Several times a year without fail, I have a conversation with someone that goes something like this:
So where do your kids go to school?
Are you a teacher?
Do you have a teaching degree?
Then, are you qualified to teach your children?
On the other hand, I’ve also had several conversations with people who want to homeschool but prefer to leave it to a “professional” because, again, they can’t possibly imagine how someone who hasn’t been formally trained in the art of teaching can handle a huge responsibility like teaching their own children.
As astonishing as this may sound to some, when it comes to homeschooling, education degrees simply don’t give facilitators any sort of advantage over those who do not have them. Here’s why:
10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Be a Teacher to Homeschool
1. Teachers are prepped for classroom management, something not necessary in a homeschool environment.
I think a lot of people assume that when people go to college for an education degree, they’re learning everything there is to know about anything.
After all, teachers know everything, right?
I always thought so…until I was brought back down to earth by, you guessed it, teachers who told me that I couldn’t be more wrong.
You see, education majors aren’t handed the secrets of the universe (as cool as that would be…). They’re simply trained in the ins and outs of how to effectively run a classroom in a school.
Not a homeschool.
2. Education courses are often about how to fill out paperwork.
If there’s one think I know about any bureaucracy, it’s that they love paperwork, and the education system is no different. While in some states there is a fair amount of paperwork that needs to be completed in order to homeschool, it’s nowhere near the amount of red tape that teachers need to contend with every. single. day.
God bless them. I couldn’t do it.
They’ve got report cards, attendance sheets, and student records. They’ve got reports to grade, rubrics to follow, and progress reports to calculate.
In homeschooling, we have the choice about what sorts of records we do and do not keep, whether or not to grade and give report cards, and even in the stricter states, we at least have some leeway as to how we’ll keep attendance.
No training necessary for that!
3. Teachers are trained in techniques that aren’t necessary in a homeschool environment.
Chances are, when someone mentions “school” to you, you imagine a classroom of kids raising their hands or doing some sort of worksheet.
While new homeschoolers frequently get stuck on this, it’s so important to realize that homeschooling doesn’t have to look anything like that! One of the beauties of homeschooling is the freedom to give your kids the sort of education that actually fits their learning style and their interests.
That just isn’t possible in a traditional classroom.
4. Having a teaching degree may even be a hindrance to homeschooling.
Now I just want to point out right here that I am not coming up with this on my own. I have corresponded with countless teachers who lament that their training has made homeschooling difficult for them because they just can’t let go of what they were taught education has to look like.
I can certainly see how that would be true, don’t you?
5. Those of us without training find it easier to being open to doing whatever works for our kids.
I’ll admit that this isn’t always easy for some of us because, starting in our own childhoods, we become so ingrained with what a “proper” education entails that we find it hard to deviate from that.
Thankfully, most of us are able to let go of this notion and soon begin to do what homeschooling is meant to do- educate our kids in a way that works for them.
Those who are trained as teachers, however, often find themselves holding on tight to the school model because, not only is it all they know, it’s all they ever planned on doing.
6. We can learn alongside our kids.
As much as people would like to believe that you have to be an expert in every subject in order to homeschool, that’s just not the case. One of the most rewarding aspects of homeschooling is the ability to bond with your kids while learning right alongside them.
No degree necessary.
7. Most learning comes from everyday life experiences.
As much as we’d like to think that our kids pick up the most information during our homeschool time, the truth is that they learn the most from daily life experiences. Our world is simply teeming with new and delightful things to learn.
When your child lives a full life with plenty of time to explore, abundant knowledge is gained with barely more than a nudge from Mom or Dad.
Does that sound like a classroom?
8. Throughout history, parents have always been a child’s primary teachers.
A huge portion of our population doesn’t realize that the school system as we know it is a fairly new occurrence. Up until about 150 years ago, parents were always their children’s primary teachers.
The modern education system was designed with the sole purpose of training new workers for the booming Industrial Revolution.
Believe it or not, kids have been learning since the beginning of time- school or no school.
9. Help is always available.
People will often never follow up on their dreams of homeschooling because they’re aware of some perceived deficiency they possess in a subject area. (Math is the one I most commonly hear.)
But guess what? There are so many options to turn to for help when it’s needed, such as:
- online classes
- dual enrollment
- community classes
- other homeschoolers
- the library
Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
10. In short, school and homeschool are two completely different things.
Honestly. It’s like saying you need to have a degree in physics to write a historical fiction.
They’re two entirely different things.
If you’ve been looking into the homeschool life for you and your family, remember that you are not at a disadvantage if you aren’t a teacher. You can do it.
If you ask me, I’d call it a blessing in disguise.