A common question that new homeschooling parents may have is, “I don’t have a college degree. Can I still homeschool?”
The short answer is, “YES!”
But, read on . . .
Pssst! You’re Already Teaching Your Kids!
As soon as our kids are born, they start learning! As parents, we start teaching our kids at first contact with them. You’ve already been teaching your child even if you aren’t a homeschooling parent.
However, for some reason, as soon as we put a title on it (“homeschooling parent”), we get nervous and start thinking we’re not good enough (not smart enough, not educated enough, whatever) to lead our kids in learning. When, in reality, that’s what we’re doing every day anyway, no matter where a child goes to school.
Homeschooling Without a Degree
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You can homeschool and you do not need to be a former teacher or have a formal college degree to do so. With that said, if you are in the U.S. there are some states that do require homeschooling parents to have some level of education in order to homeschool — generally a high school diploma or GED. There are also some states that have legal requirements like parents must be “competent,” “qualified,” or “capable of teaching,” but often do not define those conditions further. (So, good luck with that . . .)
In the United States, there is no standard “certified homeschool teacher” program. In general, you don’t need a college education, a degree, to pass a special examination, or need a teacher certification to homeschool. However, one state — Washington — requires some college credits, the completion of a parent qualification course, and a certified teacher must meet with your child at least one time each week.
To be safe, you should always check with your state laws and requirements prior to homeschooling (and also regularly keep up on any changes for your state).
One last thing?
When you are homeschooling, you have to throw all of your knowledge about traditional education out the window (like needing a college degree to homeschool your children). Homeschooling is non-traditional and unconventional, so it doesn’t work the same way that traditional schooling works. If you attended a traditional school, you and your child will want to go through a period of deschooling. It helps “reset” what you know about learning.
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Part of this post was excerpted from It’s Homeschooling, Not Solitary Confinement: Busting the Myths, Misconceptions, and Misinformation About Homeschooling.
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