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Homeschooling: You’re the Expert!

Homeschooling: You're the Expert!

Photo credit: Henderson family

This post is contributed by Oak Meadow, the sponsor of our Living Education series.

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Have you ever wondered how homeschooling works for ordinary parents? It’s true: Most of us do not have advanced degrees in education or child development. Most of us are just ordinary people who went to school like every other kid we knew and never imagined we’d be homeschooling our own children someday. How can an ordinary parent possibly be qualified to be a home teacher?

Good news! You certainly can successfully teach your children at home. You are already doing it. Home teaching is a natural extension of parenting. You’ve been a teacher since the moment your children arrived to join your family. You’ve simply followed your instincts to figure out what they need and figure out how to best meet those needs, whether the solution is something you do on your own or seek outside help with. This is what teaching is all about.

As you go about your daily life, you teach through example and by explaining what you are doing and why. You answer questions and challenge your children to come up with some of the answers themselves, sometimes, too. You pay close attention to them as you explain many things and support them as they try things on their own. You bolster their courage as they grow in new ways. You know more about them than anyone else in the world!

Although you may not have an advanced degree in education, you do know how to tell when your children are open to learning something new and when they are not ready. You know when they are feeling confident and when they need extra support. You know how to tell when something really isn’t working for them, and you know just when to switch gears when that happens. You can read their signals better than anyone else can. And using a packaged curriculum can give you the peace of mind that, pedagogically, you are offering an optimal learning experience.

As a homeschooling parent, you are an educational coordinator, especially if your family takes advantage of teaching resources such as in-home tutors or classes outside the home. If you don’t feel capable of teaching French or Calculus because you never learned it yourself, you can engage a local or distance learning teacher to handle that subject with your children. If you are afraid your lack of confidence with math will interfere with their ability to develop a love for it, don’t worry – just get some help from someone who really does enjoy teaching math. If your children are learning primarily at home, even if they are also taking classes or lessons here and there, you’re their home teacher – and in the best position to support their learning.

Learn More...

If authentic engagement represents your homeschool philosophy, read more about how to engage your children in these posts from our contributor Living Education by Oak Meadow covering topics like nature-based learning, creativity, handwriting, homeschooling multiple grades, authentic engagement, and more.

Living Education posts »

For a homeschooling parent, sometimes a little boost of confidence can go a long way. Seeking outside help when you need it is important. If you would like to learn more about tools and techniques that can help you be more confident as a home teacher, Oak Meadow’s Foundations in Independent Learning course is a great place to begin. One or more homeschool support sessions or the ongoing support of an accredited distance learning program can also be a great help. Most homeschooling parents do not have a teaching certificate or an education degree, and yet most homeschooled students learn what they need to learn and grow into capable adults.

Consulting outside experts who might be helpful to you doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified to be a home teacher, but that you are capable of being a very effective home teacher. And as the home teacher, you are the one who most aware of what your children needs. You are the primary expert on your own children, and you are capable of homeschooling them!

Amanda Witman is a lifelong learner and an enthusiastic homeschooling mother of four. She enjoys writing, playing fiddle, tending her garden, organizing community events, learning new things, having family adventures, and connecting with other homeschoolers. She manages social media at Oak Meadow.

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Living Education Contributor

Enjoy these posts from the pages of Living Education, the seasonal journal from Oak Meadow. Visit the online archives of Living Education to celebrate, explore, and get inspired with more in-depth articles, stories, and crafts brought to you by Oak Meadow faculty and families.

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TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Suggestions and advice on TheHomeSchoolMom.com are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to any individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. Blog posts represent the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors or the publisher. Full terms of use and disclosure

Comments

  1. Aretha Delk

    Considering homeschooling for one of my eleven year old twins who is having many behavioral difficulties. I am very afraid that I will not be good enough. Seeking advice and support.

    • Holly

      Aretha, you have always been their first teacher. You are good enough and you can do it! I am a single parent working full time and I homeschool my 12 y/o son. I pulled him from public school because he has ADD and as he moved up in grades, teachers began to stop following his 504 plan. He went from As and Bs and loving school to Ds and Fs and hating it. This is his first year home and he’s asking if he can “school” during the summer because he’s back to loving it again. It is tough sometimes, but use all the free/low cost resources you can to help build a plan for them before you pull them out of school and you’ll see the difference in them fairly quickly. Also, if you’re working with them, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t to help them succeed so if you ever put them back into public school, you’ll be able to give much stronger input into their IEP/504 plans should they need to have one. Trust your heart and yourself. You are, after all, MOM 🙂

  2. Renee Cheree Lopez

    I am looking forward to homeschooling my 12 year old son who will be in the 7th grade.
    I have always wanted to homeschool him but stayed with the norms and did what most parents do but this year I’m making the leap!
    I feel as a parent the school system has to much authority over every aspect of my son’s education. The stress can be a lot for the child as well as the parent.
    I think that what teaching strategy works well for one kid may not work for another one. I think the schools are expensive every time I turn around it’s money and supplies for things that wasn’t our choice to spend on. I would rather invest that money into cirriculums and field trips that are interesting to my son rather than what they choose. Homeschooling while it still will be work it’s freedom of choices, flexibility, and quality time and those things really will make
    a difference for both of us. If it doesn’t work out the option of going back to public school is always there.

    • Exactly, Renee. Every child is different, and the same child may have different needs at different times. Homeschooling is as much about knowing your child and managing the education that best fits their needs as it is about any particular style of education. Enjoy your time with your son!

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