Three things I’ve learned as a homeschool tutor

Giraffe (8), Monkey (7), and moi
Giraffe (8), Monkey (7), and moi

Tomorrow is my last day of work! For the last two years (nearly exactly), I’ve worked a couple of mornings a week as a homeschool teacher/tutor for two girls. When we started, they were five and nearly seven; now they are seven and nearly nine!

It’ll be sad to say goodbye to my job, and even sadder to say goodbye to the family I’ve spent two-three days with every week. There have been so many things I’ve learned through this job, about myself, time management, working for someone, communication, patience, and working with kids. Here are a few that I think impacted me the most.

Sandpaper on a slide makes a good lesson on friction!

Be prepared

This year, I often lesson planned for the following week while the girls were working on a notebook page, and it worked really well. However, if I didn’t have enough time to plan during the mornings or to consolidate that planning back at home, I could really notice a difference for myself come the next week. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say, I forgot books or craft supplies, or I wasn’t familiar with what we were reading when I should have. It still worked out okay, but it wasn’t the best. Sometimes I could wing it for a few weeks just knowing what I wanted to do without a lot of prep, but when I did prepare, I know I passed on the information better and things ran a lot smoother. It taught me to take the time to do a job well (including preparing for something), even if it isn’t my favourite thing to do, because the results are worth it.

Monkey on the microscope
The look on her face discovering microscopic creatures was the best.

Be curious

Google is my friend! The Dad of these two girls is really good at doing this. If the girls had a question, he Googled it, and that rubbed off me! I love how kids enjoy the little things in life, laugh and reminisce over yesterday, and want to explore the world around them. Both the teaching things about this world, and hanging around the girls, reminded me to be curious.

Paint everywhere!
#1 question: are we doing painting today?

Let kids be kids their way

It took me a while to relax and not expect ten-year-old level work from a six-year-old. When they’re that age, learning is supposed to be fun, enjoyable, and encouraging, not expecting perfection. Really, that’s the same for any age. And it’s the same for their play time – it took me a while to just let them be interested in whatever they were interested in, even if that’s not what I did when I was their age. When I seven or eight, I had about ten things I liked to spend one afternoon on, but that’s just the way I tick. Some people have a variety of things they enjoy doing at once, others will focus on one hobby or activity for months before moving on to something different. Even kids are like that. If they are being exposed to different things in school and as life goes on, and they have the freedom to try their hand at it when they want, then it doesn’t really matter what they choose to spend their time on if it engages their imagination and creativity. They’ll turn out okay in the end!

I’ll be sad to say goodbye – I love these girls and this family so much! – but I’m thankful for these last few years and for everything I’ve been able to do. It’s been a really special two years that have flown by and I have learned so much!


2 thoughts on “Three things I’ve learned as a homeschool tutor

  1. Hello Jessica, this is Ariya here. (The Giraffe). Thank you for teaching us for so long and making it fun. You are a great teacher and my sister (monkey) really enjoyed it too. We will miss you a lot. Love Ariya xxx.

  2. Hey Jessica. This is your soon to be ex boss typing! A great blog and the feelings are the same from us back to you. We are all going to miss you so much.
    You have been a such a big part of our lives for ever but especially these last two years that there is going to be a huge gap in our lives after your last day tomorrow.
    Your dedication to helping my children has been amazing and I know that your influence will stay with them in some ways for ever and believe me, that is a good thing!!
    Thank you for doing such a great job and being the best employee I have EVER had!
    Thank you for loving my kids just the way that I loved you as a kid.

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