Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
This is the question that haunts every parent as they contemplate the decision to homeschool their child(ren). Am I qualified to teach my child? In technical terms, No, you’re probably not qualified to teach your child from Kindergarten thru High School graduation. I don’t think there are too many people who actually hold a teaching certificate that are qualified to do that either. So, while you may not be technically qualified to teach your child, you are UNIQUELY qualified to teach your child. If you think about it, you were your child's first teacher; you taught them how to walk, talk and use the potty. Not only were you their first teacher, you will always be their best teacher and here are a few reasons why...
1. No one knows your child as well as you do. You understand their strengths and weakness. You know how they learn the best. You’ve watched them develop interests and hobbies so you know what motivates them. You are uniquely positioned to develop a curriculum, schedule and teaching style that will allow your child to learn and grow as a person. You can devote the time that your child needs to succeed in learning because your attention isn't being divided 20 different ways. If your child is struggling in any way, you have the foresight and freedom to make adaptive changes. Most importantly, you love your child and want nothing but the best for them.
2. You are personally invested in whether your child succeeds or not (after all, I don’t think any of us want our adult kids living in our basements) and have the ability to tweak anything that isn’t working. When a child is in a public school classroom, the teacher is limited in her ability to change what is being taught and how it is being taught. The most wonderful gift of homeschooling is flexibility. You can decide what is taught, when it’s taught and how often it is taught. If your child is really struggling with something, you can even decide to take a break from it for a while and come back to it with a new approach. If your child needs to fidget, you can let them do that; sit on an exercise ball, practice spelling words on the trampoline, etc. If your child loves dinosaurs, you can do unit studies that lets them learn every subject using dinosaurs!
3. As a homeschool parent, your job isn’t to be the authority on every subject. You don’t stand at the front of the classroom filling the kids with information they spit out on the test before they move on to something else. Homeschooling is more about coming alongside your child and learning together. The goal is to actually learn things as opposed to memorize stuff. It allows you to spend as little or as much time on something until your child understands it. If your child asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, you say “I don’t know, lets figure that out together.” If there is a question about something, you can stop right then and look up the answer. If something is especially hard or extremely interesting, you can spend more time on it. Essentially the most important thing you teach your child is how to be an incredible, life-long learner.
There are so many more reasons but these are my top 3 for why you are not only qualified, but you are UNIQUELY qualified to homeschool your child. Along with these three important facts, there is a plethora of resources available to you to make sure your child gets a top-notch education. Look into internet resources, local homeschool groups and Homeschool Conventions and you will find an endless supply of curriculum and advice to help you be an amazing homeschool parent. HSLDA has some great information comparing homeschool vs public school scores, parent education, etc. that will help ease your mind. Will you still wake up most days and say, “Please, God, don’t let me screw up my kid!”? Probably, but rest assured, it will be fine, everyone will be fine!