10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Teaching Degree to Homeschool

You don't need a degree to homeschool!

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?

We homeschool.

Are you a teacher?

No.

Do you have a teaching degree?

No.

Then, are you qualified to teach your children?

Sigh.  

homeschool myths

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.

Teachers trained for classroom management

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.

Education Red Tape

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.

teacher training

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.

Teaching degrees can hinder a homeschool

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.

Homeschooling is about doing whatever works best

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.

Homeschooling is learning with your 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.

living is learning

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.

Parents are 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.

Homeschool Helps

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:

  • tutors
  • online classes
  • mentors
  • co-ops
  • dual enrollment
  • community classes
  • other homeschoolers
  • Google
  • the library

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

10. In short, school and homeschool are two completely different things.

not school

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.

 

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

21 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Teaching Degree to Homeschool”

  1. Most teacher programs are about B.S. anyway. It is about paperwork and keeping the professors in the colleges important and making them feel good. The CSU (California State University system) has adopted an “ironclad” 3.0 GPA to get into a teacher program-in California, there is no four-year education degree but a fifth (and expensive) year to get a teaching credential. They say it is to get the best and brightest and they fail to realize that about 60% of new “young” teachers don’t make it three years but older people who become teachers are 75% successful. I know of a para in his 30’s who wants to get into a program but can’t in the CSU system because his college GPA was 2.75, this guy can really teach but CSU people don’t want to hear that he was raising a kid while in college and working full-time, they want the person whose mommy and daddy were supporting them all through college. So, he is looking at going to a private school for about $42,000 to get his credential.
    Kind of makes you think what these teaching credential programs are looking for even though there is a huge shortage of people in these programs. Also, makes you wonder what kind of people are becoming teachers.

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  2. GREAT post! Homeschooling is such a blessing… yes, it is work, but it is a blessing too. I was a classroom school teacher before I had children of my own… and I faced some of the re-training I needed to do to be a better homeschool teacher… I enjoyed both, but I LOVE homeschooling more. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have an M.Ed. and I homeschool. You’ve made so many valid points. Unfortunately where I live, public school teachers are taught how to teach their students to pass standardized tests. It was very disheartening to learn, which is part of the reason I chose to homeschool. There are moms in my homeschool group who only hold high school diplomas and have teens who are successfully attending college. It can be done. I say your commitment level is what’ll make or break you. Moms who are committed to providing a home education will prevail–regardless of their education background.

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    1. I’m sure it’s the same way here with teachers being taught how to get their kids to pass standardized tests. Our schools focus entirely on test prep year round. When I told a family friend, who is a retired teacher, that my son was thinking of becoming a teacher, she told me to tell him to do something else because it’s not what people think it is. It’s so sad.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I wanted to be a teacher too. I told a friends mom that who was a middle school teacher. She told me to find something else to do. She said I would spend years of my life and money getting my degree and would end up getting let go because of being young and new.
        10 years later now I’m married with two babies I’m planning on homeschooling and am so happy I listened to her!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Once a woman asked me what qualifies me to teach my children. I told her God qualifies me! He gave me my children and He equipped me to teach them. I also want to point out that anyone can teach! In fact we learn ourselves through teaching others. Oh, and there are some excellent curriculum for math which make it nice for both parent/teacher and student to understand and learn. I taught my son Algebra while relearning it beside him.

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  5. YES! YES!! As a former teacher I can say all of this is so very true! I was dismayed to find that much of my college degree was learning behavior management, filling out lesson plans (in a very formal way to file them with the state in the correct format)… and I have found my degree to be quite a hindrance at time to my homeschooling. It has been so hard to let go of that teacher/student mindset and the concept that learning doesn’t have to look like school!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AMEN! I was a classroom teacher (briefly) and I can say while there’s some overlap it’s a whole different skillset to teach a classrom of twenty than a classroom of one.

    I think a good quick response to someone who brings that up might be to ask him this: “You’re a parent, right? How would you feel about babysitting a couple more kids your age? What about 20…do you feel like you can handle 20? Yeah, so…if just watching 20 kids takes a different set of skill than watching 2 or 3, consider that maybe teaching just two or three kids, which you also have happened to raise, is not going to take the same skillset as teaching 20.”

    And I think a lot of people don’t realize how much self-education homeschool parents do too. I have friends who are teachers and am actually still in a forum for classroom teachers (since I still sub occasionally), and when it comes to the mechanics of how to teach (not classroom management, but teaching the actual skills), you’ld be amazed at how similar the discussions on the teacher forums and homeshool forums are. There are conversations I’ve come across about, for example, techniques on teaching reading or math or dealing with learning disabilities, that it would be hard to tell whether it came from the homeschool or classroom teacher if you took them out of context and put them side by side. Most homeschoolers do a massive amount of self training on how to teach, from what I’ve seen, and end up with a similar knowledge set than classroom teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Many well-meaning people have told my husband, “Well, your wife can homeschool because she is a licensed teacher.” This one makes me mad. It’s an insult to my mentors who taught me and encouraged me when I didn’t think I could homeschool BECAUSE I’m a certified teacher. You are very much taught in education college that you need “specialists” for everything and I have some special needs kiddos. Anyway my mentors are not licensed and they are brilliant and dedicated and I learned from them not the other way around. So, I’m indignant about the comment because it discounts my mentors who helped me and encouraged me and argued with me when I needed it because of the ingrained lessons that still lurked. My husband tells them that “I can homeschool in spite of it.” They don’t get it, it’s a work environment where more and more higher degrees are needed to climb the ladder.

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  8. I have a master’s degree in education, and as a former traditional school teacher, I agree wholeheartedly with you. My teaching experience was actually a hindrance when I started homeschooling because I had to unlearn all I knew and learn that homeschooling and learning naturally were so much better!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you Shelly, I needed this post. Wished I’d had it back in the early seventies when I wanted to home school my own children. My husband is not of the same mind as me and insisted I didn’t have qualifications such as you mentioned above to teach our children. His argument was that he paid his taxes and our children were going to have a proper education. Our daughter never finished high school and our son hated all his schooling because the instructors didn’t bother to give him feedback on tests and homework. Some would even post homework on the blackboard and leave the room for coffee and not return until class was over. No help or anyone to answer questions. He nearly failed high school all together.
    Leave us to say their kids were in bad shape because their parents didn’t receive the help they needed. Now a third generation is needing help. I am babysitting our great grandchildren and asked to be allowed to home school them. Again I’m being denied this opportunity. Some people think they know everything.
    Please give me some ideas of things I can do when babysitting them that will show their families I can do this. I can’t bear to see another generation wasted. My great grand daughters love coming to my house to learn things from me. We have so much fun together and learning should be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, what a blessing you are to your great-grandchildren! While, ultimately, it’s their parents that have to decide, you can definitely do some fun learning activities with the kids. I don’t know how old they are but here are just a few ideas: take them to the library, read to them often, teach them their letters and numbers, take them outside a lot and have them keep nature journals, play lots of board games with them keep a bin filled with arts and crafts supplies, watch nature documentaries with them, help them keep diaries, and have them write letters to their friends and family members. Even if the parents decide against homeschooling, the love and care you show them by spending time with the children and doing these supplemental activities will be a huge benefit for them.

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