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“I would love to homeschool, but I don’t know enough to be able to teach my kids everything.”
“How can a mom who is not a trained teacher possibly teach everything a child would learn in public education?”
“I can’t teach my kids math/science/music/etc. because I’m not very good at it myself.”
Have you ever had these thoughts about yourself or the homeschoolers around you? It is probably one of the most common objections to homeschooling that I have heard. Many parents would love to pull their children out of public schools, but are afraid of their own abilities to be their child’s teacher.
Time to obliterate this objection.
#1 You’re smarter than you think!
Can you read? Do you know how to use the internet? Do you have friends and family members that know things you don’t? If you can answer yes to these three questions then you ARE smart enough to teach your kids.
One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling for me is that I get to continue my education every day along with my kids. If I don’t know something we look it up together. For example last week Benny wanted to learn more about how big trucks were made. This is a topic that I have absolutely zero knowledge about. We jumped on Amazon and found a great documentary called “Raw to Ready“. It showed him step by step how they took raw materials from the earth to form parts of the vehicle. It also discussed what those parts did and why they used the materials they used. He LOVED it! Leah wanted to learn about how babies grow inside mommy’s tummy. Now that’s something I was able to tell her quite a bit about on my own, but after I had exhausted my personal knowledge we rented the National Geographic film “In the Womb“. Not only did I get to learn a few new things, but all the other kids wanted to watch and learn something new as well.
#2 You aren’t the teacher
I do not consider myself my child’s teacher. I am their facilitator. I don’t just give them answers to their questions. I show them how to find those answers. I believe that teaching my children HOW to learn is far more important then filling their heads with the facts that I think they should learn. Learning should be a life long process. We should never feel held back by what we don’t know. With the ease of access to the internet everything we could possibly want to know is at the tips of our fingers. There is absolutely no reason why we should ever limit our knowledge. In addition to the internet we have the public library, yard sales, thrift shops, and Kindle for accessing an amazing amount of knowledge through books.
There are certain things that just need to be learned by example and hands on application. For these things it is my job as facilitator to locate an appropriate mentor for my child. I do not need to learn how to do ballet, paint, build a cabinet, fly a plane, make jewelry, play the violin, or any of the other myriad of topics that my children want to experience. I simply need to find them the best mentor to guide them in that subject. If I’m not great at math then I find a math tutor. If I don’t understand biology then I find a biology tutor. A lack of knowledge or experience on my part need never stop me from filling my child with the knowledge that they want and need.
#3 Public school teachers don’t know everything either
The people who have chosen the life calling of teacher are amazing individuals. I truly admire and respect them. This does not mean that they are founts of endless knowledge. They all have their specialties and limitations. The math teacher is not as well versed in Greek literature as the English teacher. The history teacher isn’t going to be teaching ceramics class. The foreign language teacher would not be the one a child goes to for a question about their cell membrane homework. The elementary school teacher isn’t going to be tutoring calculus. They all have their specialties. They are very knowledgeable in their specialties and more than happy to pass off questions to the appropriate specialist when it does not fall within their body of knowledge. They are a tribe of educators who work together to give our children the knowledge that they have. Not a single one of them is capable of taking a child from Kindergarten through 12th grade and teaching them every single subject that they will ever use in life. Why do you expect that of yourself? You aren’t in this alone. No homeschool mom is or should be an island. Remember #2, you aren’t the teacher, you are the facilitator. Build your tribe of educators.
Is the fear of not knowing enough stopping you from homeschooling your child? Has this objection caused you to judge the homeschool families around you unfairly? What other objections do you have that need obliterating?