Qualified to Homeschool

September 22nd, 2010 by Mandi

When I first began telling people about my decision to homeschool, one of the common responses I heard was that we were a perfect fit, since I have a background in education. While I was flattered, it gave me pause. The notion that parents need to be certified to teach their own children erodes the freedoms that homeschoolers currently enjoy in this state. I do not believe that teacher education is without value. However, it targets classroom teachers. The coursework focuses largely on educational theory, classroom management, and the imparting a certain set of professional beliefs.

Homeschooling requires an entirely different skill set. At least in my limited experience, I have acted more as a facilitator. Despite how it may seem sometimes, we have never drilled Levi on his reading. We started Starfall as a means of entertainment and now he begs us to play it. On his own, he has begun sounding out words in books and on signs. Just tonight he read “sea salt” on my grinder. Of course, I’m not recommending flying blind into this either. Nate and I have done a great deal of reading about homeschooling, content knowledge, and education in general. Another helpful trait is insatiable curiosity. Lately, it’s like I look at life through homeschool glasses. Nearly every life experience is another opportunity to teach some bit of important content. Finally, parents already have the most important qualification for the job–they know their children better than anyone else.  Homeschool parents can use this powerful relationship as they teach their children–and learn by their side.