Homeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.
The assumption often made with homeschooling is that you must be extremely intelligent in order to teach your own children. No mere parent could possibly oversee their children’s education, a PhD or Masters is required to be a fully prepared, adequate teacher! Let me assure you, this is not the case.
While I am sure there are many doctors, engineers, teachers, and other working professionals, all with degrees, who do homeschool, having a college diploma does not a great teacher make. Nor does not having one make you a bad teacher.
Before you allow a lack of college education, or poor high school education, to prevent you from experiencing the joy of homeschooling, let me ask you something. What is your purpose in homeschooling your children? Are you merely looking for an advanced learning program, allowing your children to get into college at an early age, or an opportunity to spend more time with your children, discipling them in the ways of the Lord?
For those who doubt my motives, please allow me to explain. It is not that I don’t believe in giving children a well-rounded education. I do. In fact, if we are going to pull our kids out of public school, and take on the responsibility of their learning, we ought to be doing as good a job as our local school, if not better! However, if our sole purpose is to give them a great education, we are missing an even greater opportunity to reach our children’s hearts. The purpose in educating our children isn’t to make them knowledgeable droids, but wise adults who can go out into the world prepared to do God’s work.
Perhaps you might not have a college degree, high school might have been a real struggle, but you have a heart to help your children and give them the best opportunities available to them. What more could you ask for in a teacher?
As for the practical side of homeschooling, there are many ways to overcome this obstacle.
- If your children are very young, you are more than capable of helping them through their lessons. At this stage, their learning is very basic. You can do it! Even the more seemingly difficult areas, such as teaching reading, can be accomplished with the right materials and dedication.
- Student/teacher guides are often available through curriculum companies to help parents who are unsure of how to teach various subjects or are unsure of how to provide corresponding activities.
- DVD courses are extremely helpful. Depending on which curriculum you purchase, every class, every problem, in every book can be found in various DVD courses. If you are clueless as to how to teach Biology, buy the DVD course and allow your child to proceed at their own pace. You might even consider sitting with them and learning as well!
- Online learning is also available. Perhaps you don’t know where to start, what to buy, or how to teach. Consider online learning, which provides everything. Your child logs in each day, proceeds at their own pace, and the program checks all their work. It’s simple, fairly inexpensive, and requires little work on your part.
- Tutors are a huge help. There might be only one or two areas of learning that feel out of your depth. Consider a tutor for those few subjects and take advantage of someone else’s expertise.
- Co-ops are another fun way to homeschool. You might be comfortable with teaching science, but not language arts. Another parent might love arithmetic. Think about joining a local homeschool support group and participate in a co-op. Your children can learn various subjects with other homeschooled children, and you can remove some of the pressure of teaching that difficult subject you’d prefer to avoid.
- Google, YouTube, and Pinterest are wonderful! Let us not discount the amazing helps that social media can provide. While I don’t recommend being on a device all day long, I would be lost without these tools. Use the tools available to help you and make learning easier. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to Google an algebra problem. These can be life savers!
Remember, every teacher has gaps in their teaching. Every student has gaps in their learning. You cannot possible do everything, nor should you be expected to. Focus on the purpose for homeschooling your children and allow the Lord to direct your learning. No matter how you choose to homeschool, your children will be blessed by their experience and your family will be blessed by the memories.
If the Lord is leading in this direction, you can homeschool. Step out in faith, believing God will provide all you need to succeed.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
🔔Time to Chime In: For those already homeschooling, is there a subject you’re ‘scared’ of teaching? Share your thoughts with us!