Whenever people-who-don’t-homeschool find out I am homeschooling our boys, I usually get one of two responses (and sometimes both):
They nod knowingly, and say, “Well, you and your husband are both teachers…”
They look panicked and say, “I could never do homeschool! I was terrible at school!”
For a long time I have been a puzzled at how to respond to these statements, because I think they propagate two myths about homeschooling:
Myth 1: You need professional education training to homeschool your children
Myth 2: You should have done well at school yourself to homeschool your children
Now, do those two things give me a boost of confidence teaching my kids? Sure, but they don’t automatically make me “more equipped” than the next person to teach.
At a recent training program I attended, the leader gave a devotional on humility, and as her words blessed me, God also stirred up some thoughts about these homeschooling myths.
The Bible teaches us that “before honor is humility.” Nowhere, to me, is this so true as when I am homeschooling my boys.
Being a trained teacher doesn’t make me automatically equipped to homeschool my children. We all come into our homeschooling experience with various strengths and talents, and yet we all come into homeschooling with something yet to learn – about ourselves, about our children, about learning, and about walking in humility.
Here’s what is true about me:
I am a trained teacher. I have never taught someone to read. This is new ground for me as a teacher!
I am a trained teacher. I have only taught one subject (English), and same with my husband (Chemistry). I have never taught math, art, science, music, history…
I am a trained teacher used to having a class of 20-24 students to pair off or group up to complete assignments, assist others, play review games, peer edit, and so on. I’ve never taught a “one-room schoolhouse” with one student (sometimes two if my toddler joins in!).
Here’s what’s so humbling about homeschooling my children:
It is humbling to teach my five year old how to read. Humbling! I the consummate reader and bibliophile, have to look up the correct phonetic sound of individual letters. Just because the end result (reading) comes easily for me, doesn’t mean that I know every single thing about teaching the subject!
It is humbling to have to redirect my lone five year old a half dozen times at the kitchen table. Whereas before, I could hold a captive audience for 45 minutes simply by hinting at “free time” at the end of class. Guess what? My five year old has no concept of time, and there’s always “free time” in homeschooling!
It’s humbling to have to review math lessons the night before so I understand the concept of how playing dominos teaches matching sets!
It’s humbling to tell your child, “I don’t know, but let me find out…”
I say this not to discourage, but to encourage! I am grateful for these eye-opening and humbling moments I’ve experienced! Being humbled in my teaching has taught me so much about myself and about relying on God to guide our own learning process.
Despite degrees, training, and classroom experience, we all start at the same place when it comes to teaching our own children. As homeschoolers, we cover the whole range of a year’s education, often for more than one child. No teacher training prepares you for that! No amount of doing well in school as a teenager prepares you for that!
You know what prepares you to homeschool your children? A humble heart, open before the Lord that says, “I’ll let you instruct me in wisdom, Lord!”
Not knowing everything? Why I think that actually makes you the perfect homeschool parent!
All learning comes from being humble enough to admit what we don’t know, and seeking out that knowledge.
Guess what? There were many days and moments as a classroom teacher where I had to humble myself, admit to students: “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you…” or simply recommit to finding a better way to reach the kids.
Humbling ourselves in our homeschool puts the Lord front and center – where He should be.
Humility in homeschooling puts others first, values our students, even gives value to our fellow homeschool moms.
Letting the Lord lead our home and our learning, humbly accepting there’ll be a learning curve each year as the kids learn and grow, and looking to God for wisdom… that’s the equipping we all need and can have as we seek His Will for our children’s education.
Hop on over to my post on the 2:1 Conference blog to read 5 Ways to Have Humility in Homeschooling for more helps as you homeschool!
If you found this post encouraging to you as you homeschool, please pin the image below! Thank you!