Many times when a stranger has found out that we homeschool I have had the question, ‘Oh, are you a teacher?’ One person even said to my husband ‘What makes your wife think she is qualified to do that?’ Firstly, my oldest child is 5. If after completing high school myself I can’t help a 5 year old learn everything they need to know, then that’s not a great advertisement for school. However, I also think that I am the best person to teach my children no matter how old they are.
So, why do I think I am the best person for this ‘job’?
Because no-one knows my children better than I do.
Because no-one is more invested in their education.
Because I care not only about their academic education but their development as a person.
Because no-one else loves them more than I do.
Because I am the most motivated to see them do well.
Because I believe that young children should be surrounded by people who love them.
Because I can give my children a stress free childhood.
Because the fact that most people send their children to school doesn’t mean it is the best choice for our family.
Because their education is my responsibility and I will do what I think is best for them.
Because I can.
I can do this. Before I had even considered it, the world had me believing that I couldn’t. That someone else was better able to take care of my children than me. That only trained teachers can educate children. That when my child reaches the age of 5, I am no longer good enough to be in charge of their education. Well I am not buying it anymore. I am the best person for this job.
Now I want to be clear… I think teachers are amazing. Most of them are passionate about their job and fabulous at it. That, I do not think I could do. Looking after 30 kids every day is not for me. But I am not trying to be a school teacher. My children’s education doesn’t look anything like school and so I don’t need to know how to be a teacher. I would never call myself a teacher. I think of myself as more of a facilitator in their learning. I am not trying to fill them up with facts, but rather enabling them to become self-directed learners and fostering a love of learning in them. I absolutely do not need to know everything. I think this is the biggest misconception…that I need to know about everything in the school curriculum so I can pass that information on to my kids. Not true. It’s ok not to have the answers. They ask so many questions that I have no clue about. But we find the answers together. I am teaching them how to learn. And that is not difficult.
It also doesn’t have to be perfect. There might be things that we miss that they decide they need to learn later, and that is ok. There is no expiry date on education. The alternative, school, doesn’t automatically guarantee a ‘perfect’ education anyway. But I will do my absolute best to give them an education perfectly tailored to them. And if I raise children who are resourceful, curious, creative, problem solvers, self confident, fulfilled, well rounded, passionate, and who love life and learning, then I have succeeded. I can do that. I am doing that.