The new year reminds me of the haunting question that echoes time and time again and that is,“What qualifies you to teach your children?”
Even after homeschooling for many years, I find it hard to hide my eagerness and enthusiasm when it comes to answering those who question not just my decision, but my qualifications to homeschool.
Just so that it is absolutely clear, I am not a former public school educator.
I do not have a degree conferred upon me in education and never went to college to learn about how to educate children.
But I do have the approval of the Highest Person in the universe to homeschool my children.
I am not a state certified teacher, but I have graduated one son who is now working on his college degree. Oh, wait, the second son just recently graduated too.
Another son is doing middle school/high school level work.
Having taught all of my sons to read and write well, I have homeschooled many years with my standard set to excellence.
By helping former public school teachers get on the road to homeschooling, I have learned that a state certified teacher does not love my children more than my husband and I do.
No, I am not asking naysayers to only believe the “love-my-kids-more-than-a-professional-teacher” mantra.
On the other hand, what has held me to my course to the end with two of my sons is my deep and abiding love for my sons. It has been an enormous motivating force which propels me beyond the basics how-tos of homeschooling.
Not everybody questions your motives for negative reasons.
A lot of times questions arise out of pure curiosity. I find too that some parents are flat out scared and they think that somebody else is more patient, organized, loving or smarter than they are. I am still working on all those things.
We know the difference between people who are really interested in how we are going to teach our children versus people who are asking with a critical stare.
Arming you with a few things that jolt through my mind and heart when I think about my qualifications to homeschool, I am hoping you remember these as you start your homeschool year.
Grab some of these and put them down on your homeschool mission statement.
Remember as I share these tips that though you may be the only one in your small community to homeschool, you are not alone. Thousands have gone before you successfully.
The key to keep learning is to not seclude yourself and to obtain continual education. Look at my points below with those thoughts in mind. Empower yourself.
- Whose standard?
Like you, I left the public school system because it was not working for me. Not everybody has a terrible, horrible, bad experience with public school. I didn’t.
But what I did know was that deep down I knew I had different standards for everything and that included academics, emotional, physical and spiritual development.
So I am not interested in meeting the public school standards, but in exceeding them.
That is why you have to come at us homeschoolers with more than just, “What about testing?”
My reply is always the same, “Do you have any idea of why to test?”
It is hard to defend something when a person starts off on untruths and preconceived ideas.
In other words don’t bring the public school’s way of determining whether something is working or not to homeschool and expect them to work at our home. Some homeschoolers test, some don’t. But if and when we do, we have very specific reasons to test. I will be discussing this in a future post.
How does that qualify me to teach my children then?
Because my system or standard works for my family!
I can and do provide a richer environment because it is more practical, useful and tailored to my children.
You are taking control back of not just educating your children, but making the everyday decisions for your family in the other areas I mentioned above.
Did you get that?
My standard has changed because I am not just interested in filling my children’s brain to the full, but hearts are involved.
The bottom line is that your family is the only one you have to worry about as far as standards. The new standard is now meeting and exceeding your family’s needs and not the needs of 100 other families that you do not know.
Too, do you know why a majority of homeschool children outdo their peers?
It certainly is not because we step to the same pace or standard.
Look at my post What is NOT Homeschooling.
- We give up cookie cutter education for the masses and adopt a learning without limits attitude.
For some folks, they may not appreciate their new found freedom so that mind-set just doesn’t settle right with them. But for a lot of others it does.
How does this qualify you as an educator? You no longer step in sync with the masses, but are intent on creating an extraordinary educational program.
Show me a teacher with a degree who does not know the child she teaches and I will show you a mom cradling her child, which has adopted a firm and dogged-determination to understand how to educate her child.
- Any guesses who is in it for the long haul?
- Any guesses who will work overtime with no pay?
- Any guesses who will drive hours upon top of hours so that her children will have friends?
- Any guesses who will jump in the college waters not knowing anything to help her child navigate them?
- Any guesses who will spring into action teaching a child to read as terrified as a mom might be?
This is not about bashing the public school system or public school teachers because I have a few friends that are teachers. But it is about keeping the focus on what is best for your children.
Not settling for mediocrity when it comes to filling your mind with the how tos of homeschooling, I do feel that you can eventually be a force to be reckoned with and that your children receive an exceptional education.
I still do not know a lot about how to manage more than 20 children at one time, but I do know how to choose curriculum with a discerning eye, how to fill a learning gap if any in our year, how to adjust my teaching to fit each sons’ learning style and how to train my sons for college level work.
More importantly somewhere along the way too, my husband and I also nurtured in our sons a desire for spiritual things.
I only shared two things today. What about you? Have you adopted either one or both of those ideas?
In Part 2 Are You Qualified to Teach Your Homeschooled Children, I will share a few more ideas that I hope you embrace.
Also, look at the helpful tips:
- Wipe Out Self-Doubt: 13 Ways to Show Homeschool Progress (And How I Know My Sons Got It)
- 3 Unexpected Benefits of Homeschool Narration
- When to Skip Ahead Or Stay Longer on a Homeschool Subject
Hugs and love ya,