Have you ever considered if you’re qualified to teach your children?
Recently, I posed the question on social media: Do you feel qualified to homeschool? (Or, you may have even been wondering, “Can I homeschool?”)
Not surprisingly, the great majority of my peeps said, “No.” There were a few who felt qualified, but readily admitted to frequent feelings of whathaveIgottenmyselfinto? and overwhelm.
Any honest homeschool parent worth their Ticonderogas will not sugar coat this reality.
Seriously, being able to teach your children on every single subject at different grade levels is one major undertaking!
And yet…the homeschool movement continues to grow.
Could it be that there are a whole bunch of dummies out there teaching their children and nobody is doing anything to stop them?
Well, yeah. I guess that’s a possibility.
However, a more likely scenario is that there are a whole bunch of desperate families out there willing to take a leap of faith and do something they never thought possible for the betterment of their kiddos.
And they are succeeding.
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How do these self-proclaimed “unqualified parents” press on and homeschool even though they have no formal training? Even though they are scared to death? Even though someone else could probably do a better job?
1. Homeschooling parents understand that they know their children better than anyone else.
Homeschool parents may or may not be experts in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Regardless, they are experts on their children, how their children learn and process information, and what is and is not working for that child. They have the ultimate freedom to explore and pursue educational options on behalf of their children.
2. Homeschooling parents know having all the answers is not the goal.
Being able to teach your children is not about knowing everything. There is no way a homeschooling parent is going to have every answer for every problem for each and every child every year.
(Say that three times to remind yourself.)
Here’s the kicker though: They do know what questions to ask. Homeschool parents are a resourceful bunch of folks. Thank you, Internet. There are no limits, lack of available resources, or Answer Police stopping them from finding the solutions that best fit their family.
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3. Homeschooling parents know they are not alone.
There are gobs and gobs of families out there doing the same thing. The old saying, “Surely, if she can do it, so can I!” comes to mind. Let me be clear, homeschoolers are not necessarily comparing themselves to one another. They are, however, encouraging one another to keep on keeping on. It’s more like, “If I can do it, anyone can!”.
4. Homeschooling parents know there are no real rules when it comes to homeschooling.
Homeschooling looks different for each and every family. There is no box to fit inside. There are no rules to follow or break. They’re just doing what is best for their kids. And if/when that stops working, they try something different. (There are state mandated requirements though. Check those out to stay legal.)
5. Homeschooling parents know it’s not about them. It’s about the children.
Homeschool parents understand that homeschooling isn’t about their past experiences, their college degree (or lack thereof), or even their own capabilities. They know that homeschooling their children is all about the children and their future. And they are committed to the homeschool process regardless of what they may or may not currently know. They trust that the homeschooling experience is what is best for their child and are committed to providing the best they one they can.
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6. Homeschooling parents keep the why front and center.
Parents of homeschoolers have good reasons to pursue homeschooling. They keep these reasons at the forefront of their hearts and minds. Even on the tough days, they see the big picture. There are too many reasons to list as to why a family might homeschool. But, whatever their motivations may be, we can be sure they take a priority within their homes.
Homeschooling parents come from every walk of life. Yes, some are more qualified than others.
The cool thing about homeschooling is that just about anyone can do it. Qualifications, training, certifications, degrees, past experiences, or the lack thereof, doesn’t account for too terribly much in the world of home education.
What matters is conviction, commitment, and the willingness to do what they think is best on behalf of their children.
Rock on, Unqualified Homeschoolers! And, remember, you can teach your children!
Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christians to embrace their weakness and accept His strength.