Okay, it’s time to fess up. If you’re a homeschool mom or dad, how many times have you had someone either hint or outright say that parents aren’t qualified to teach their kids?
I’m guessing it’s happened to you at least a few times.
A few months back, I was binge-watching homeschooling videos on YouTube. (Hey, I do that sometimes.) As I was scrolling through the comments, I came across one in which the author was adamantly opposed to homeschooling because, once again, “parents aren’t qualified to teach their kids.”
That one comment really got me thinking – and a little fired up – about how ironic that mindset is.
3 Reasons Why the “Parents Aren’t Qualified to Teach” Myth Reeks of Irony
1. The first five years (aka – B.S. (Before School)) of a child’s life is filled with learning.
Make no mistake about it. Parents are their child’s first teachers. In the first five years of life, children learn how to sit, crawl, walk, talk, dress themselves, learn the names of objects and people, count, feed themselves, and interact with others, among many, many other things.
This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Do parents send their kids to school to learn how to talk – arguably one of the most difficult skills there is to learn? No! These abilities are picked up completely naturally, with the influence, nurturing, and guidance of their parents.
2. Parents are expected to prepare their children for kindergarten and to help with homework.
I can’t speak for all school districts, but ours actually tests what children know at kindergarten registration to see if they’re “ready” for kindergarten.
Parents are expected to teach their kids how to count, know their alphabet and identify letters and numbers, write their name, identify colors and shapes, and put puzzles together.
Do I think parents should teach their kids these things? Yes, when they are ready, but that’s a post for another day.
The same goes with homework. Parents are expected to help their kids with their homework. In fact, they’re often required to sign or initial a paper each night stating that they checked their child’s homework and that their child read for x number of minutes.
Do I think parents should help their kids with homework? Yes, although, if you ask me, homework shouldn’t exist. A parent who helps their child is not only offering them support but is also better able to keep a close eye on what is actually being taught.
My point is this:
If parents aren’t qualified to teach their own kids, then why do schools expect them to do so much teaching?
3. If the school system failed the parents, won’t it fail the child, too?
This is perhaps the biggest irony to be found in the “parents aren’t qualified to teach their kids” logic.
Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?
If parents don’t know enough to teach their own kids, that must mean the school system didn’t do its job.
Why in the world should parents send their kids to the same place that failed them?
Think about it.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe we’ll ever convince everyone of the effectiveness of homeschooling. What I do hope, however, is that I’ve given you some logical reasoning to use the next time the subject pops up.
In the meantime, don’t ever let anyone second guess your decision to homeschool. No one knows your children like you do, or loves your children like you do. Sometimes people are afraid of that which is unfamiliar to them. Don’t ever let that stop you from doing what you’ve been called to do.
You are doing the right thing. And your kids will thank you for it.