You are your child’s first teacher.
How many times have you heard that adage? The beautiful thing about it is that it’s true, whether you homeschool your children or not.
Unfortunately, I believe this message has been lost in the shuffle of schooling, experts, and degrees. It’s something that, sadly, isn’t reflected on much anymore.
As parents, we often take for granted that as our infants grow, they will inevitably learn how to sit, how to crawl, how to walk, and how to talk. It isn’t something we (usually) research or feel the need to seek out an educational institution to teach. We simply know instinctively that these skills are something our children will learn naturally.
Our ancestors felt the same way about what we refer to today as “education.” Children learning how to complete the necessities of everyday living was something that, like learning to talk, happened simply by children being immersed in the life happenings surrounding them.
It wasn’t the superficial facade that passes for education today. It was true and necessary knowledge that would enable people to be self-sufficient adults.
In fact, studies have shown that the literacy rate before compulsory schooling was higher than it has ever been since schooling was instituted.
Think about it. Before teaching degrees; before licensed educators; before the Department of Education; and before the National Education Association, the literacy rate was higher than it is now.
And who were a child’s primary teachers? Parents.
In contemporary society, parents (and people, in general) get so hung up on the idea of degrees and teaching licenses that they’re erasing the legacy left behind by our forefathers.
This was the legacy of a culture that valued both education and family and found a way to seamlessly combine the two.
This certainty has only exposed to me yet another way the public education system has brought us down. We have been utterly convinced that a piece of paper that is, let’s face it, bought more than earned, is the ultimate qualification to educate a child.
More and more people are waking up to this.
Let’s do a little thought exercise before I close:
Imagine a world in which it is mandated that children start attending learning institutions from the age of 4 months so that they can learn the necessary skills of sitting, crawling, walking, and talking. After all, these skills can only be taught by “professionals.”
At first, parents across the country protest, knowing that their children will develop this ability on their own with the guidance of their mother and father. Eventually, though, the protests die down and people begrudgingly concede and mournfully send their infants into the hands of this public institution.
A generation or two passes. It escapes the notice of all but a few perceptive people that children can no longer perform these once easily attainable skills as well as their parents and grandparents did.
Those who are discerning enough to realize this attempt to start teaching their children these things at home, only to face the backlash of, not only the government, but their family, neighbors, and friends.
After all, it’s best to leave these things to the professionals.