Parent: “You do such an amazing job homeschooling! I wish I could do it.”
Me: “You can totally do it!”
Parent: “Oh, I wish I could. But … I’m not a teacher. I don’t have the patience. I don’t know what to teach. I don’t think my child could learn from me, our personalities clash too much. I don’t know how to teach. I’m not smart enough.
The reasons go on and on as to why a parent feels they are unable to homeschool. Why do parents feel so ill-equipped and incapable of educating their own children? Why would anyone feel like they are a less than adequate teacher for their children? How as a society have we accepted that our children will learn best in an atmosphere away from home without their parents? Don’t get me wrong, I am not “bashing” public school or other out of home educational facilities. I believe that they are needed for a multitude of reasons. Again, I was a former public school teacher and there was no greater joy to me at that point in my life than teaching. What is alarming is that so many parents WANT to homeschool or WISH they could homeschool but don’t because they feel that they are not capable or even smart enough to do it. This is a huge issue. An epidemic if you will.
One quote really brought this all into perspective for me:
“Don’t question your ability to teach your child. Question putting your child into the same system that left you feeling incapable of teaching your child.” – unknown
As parents, we ALL are our children’s first teacher. We teach them right from wrong. We teach them appropriate manners and behaviors. We teach them social norms. We teach them kindness, gratitude, and acceptance. We teach them to forgive and to also ask for forgiveness. We teach them love and compassion. We teach them daily without even consciously trying, but through our internal motivation to help them lead a happy, fulfilling life as quality humans. This is so much harder than teaching math! Think about it! Teaching an unknowing child the ways of the world, people, and life is a way bigger obligation than teaching them “school subjects” like reading and math. We can easily revisit the topics or subjects to refresh our memory or even easily and effortlessly look on Google to help us if we get stuck. (Spoiler alert: You’re not going to “get stuck”.)
“Is there an idea more radical in the history of the human race than turning your children over to total strangers whom you know nothing about, and having those strangers work on your child’s mind, out of your sight, for a period of twelve years? Could there be a more radical idea than that? Back in Colonial days in America, if you proposed that kind of idea, they’d burn you at the stake, you mad person! It’s a mad idea!” – John Taylor Gatto
If you are even remotely considering homeschooling, I urge you to release all of your concerns and worries about your abilities to teach your own child. There is no one who knows your child better than you. There is no one who cares more about their education than you. There is no one who is capable and qualified in teaching your child more than you. Give yourself some credit and give your child what they need and deserve in a teacher: you.