Before I started homeschooling I thought I couldn’t do it because I didn’t have a teaching degree. I would look in on other homeschool moms who did have teaching degrees and think that the only reason they were good at it was because of their education or experience, but I know better now.
Today’s featured blogger, Chelli from The Planted Trees is sharing her take on the topic for this week’s Homeschool Mom Confessions and I’m excited for you to read what she’s got to say about it! I hope that if you’re considering homeschooling and you’re worried about not having a teaching degree, you’ll find some encouragement in her words today. I know I would have 6 years ago!
As a former teacher and with a degree in education I tend to receive similar comments from people who find out I homeschool, “Oh, well, homeschooling is easy for you then.”
But here’s my confession:
Don’t get me wrong. I highly esteem teachers. They have one of the most difficult jobs on the planet and my teaching experience has definitely made me comfortable with a classroom of children. When you start trying to compare a classroom and homeschool,though, it is like comparing apples and oranges.
An education degree does not help you deal with multiple learning levels.
When you decide to obtain an education degree you usually declare if you want to teach primary (K-6) or secondary (7-12). Since I have a secondary education degree in history that translates to confidence teaching history to middle school and high school. When faced with teaching my children to read or math, I’m just as afraid and worried as the next homeschooler. Then you begin throwing multiple levels into the mix and any thoughts I had of being a trained teacher go out the window. When you are in a classroom your students are all about the same age and you generally teach to the average learner. But as a homeschooler I don’t have one age group and I don’t want to teach to the average learner. I want to teach my learner whatever their ability.
An education degree does not help you deal with homeschool management.
When I was student teaching I can honestly say that I never had to teach my freshman geography class with a screaming toddler, nursing baby or crying second grader in the room. But I’ve done all of these (and more!) as a homeschooler! Not that there aren’t disruptions or distractions in a public school classroom, but they are usually quickly and easily handled. If a student causes too much trouble, then you can have them removed from class; no such option in a homeschool. You are always having to be parent and teacher instead of becoming one or the other. Sometimes that means life becomes the lesson for that day.
An education degree does not make you an expert in teaching.
In fact, even schools recognize that teachers need continued training on how to become better teachers. I can honestly say that I’ve learned more about how to truly teach a child from homeschooling than I ever did in a classroom. When faced with a challenge in our homeschool, I have to research for a solution, look at various methodologies, and curriculum until I find that sweet spot for my children. And that’s if the problem is something school related. Sometimes the problem is something behaviorial or mental more than academic. I am an expert on my child which bleeds over into becoming a great teacher.
I wanted to share my confession because so many times I hear homeschoolers question themselves or others question them if they are “qualified” to homeschool because they do not possess teaching credentials. Having been on both sides of the fence, I can honestly say that the only requirements to be a successful homeschool parent are to love and determination. These requirements will have you researching what your child needs to optimize learning. Love and determination will have you educating yourself so you learn alongside your child. Love and determination will have you preserving even in the face of tantrums and bad days. So the next time someone says, “Are you even qualified to teach your kids?” Simply reply, “Absolutely.”
Chelli has been homeschooling for six years and married for twelve. She has three children Grace (5th grade), Sophia (2nd grade), and Levi (4 years old). When she’s not blogging at The Planted Trees, you can generally find her with her nose in a book, cooking up something yummy in the kitchen, or if she’s really lucky you can’t find her at all because she’s traveling with friends and family. Find her on Facebook and Pinterest as well.
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