I truly believe that all good parents are equipped to teach their children at home — because they are already doing so. From the moment a child is born, parents lovingly teach and direct him/her. We patiently teach them how to eat, how to walk, how to talk, how to use a toilet, how to tie their shoes, how to pray, how to interact positively with others, and many other vital skills.
By the time they are five, we have taught our children a lot. Then, even if we send our children to a public or private school, we still spend hours every evening helping them with homework, teaching them to do their chores, teaching them to ride a bike or how to cook, handling social issues… the list goes on and on. Sometimes, we are teaching our children things we have never been taught before or don’t remember learning ourselves. And yet we somehow manage to find a way to teach these skills to our children without any instruction on “how to teach.”
Many parents tell me that they don’t feel qualified to teach their children “school” at home, but the reality is that all dedicated parents have been teaching their children since they became parents — and they probably didn’t feel so qualified to do that, either. However, because we lovingly desire to nurture and teach our children from the moment they become ours, we find a way to raise them to the best of our abilities — and that often includes using resources (books, blogs, classes, church) to help us.
I know for me, even after homeschooling my daughters through middle school and high school, I was anxious about teaching my son to read because they had already learned this in traditional school and I didn’t feel qualified. But you know what, I did teach him to read — just like I have taught him since the day he was born — one step at a time, with lots of patience.
So for all those parents who would say, “I could never homeschool my kids, I’m not qualified to teach them,” my answer is that you already are teaching them, and you’re doing a great job. Yes, it will take research and work to get prepared, choose curriculum, implement your plan, and troubleshoot when necessary, but homeschooling is not out of your reach if you have the desire. You are already equipped to teach your children. Homeschooling is about adding an academic component to what you are already doing to instruct your children at home.
Have you had doubts or concerns about being qualified to homeschool? What challenges you the most? What tools have you used to equip yourself for parenthood? Do you think you could use the same approach to prepare for homeschooling? Tell us what you think in the comments below.