A New Perspective on Homeschooling

A New Perspective on Homeschooling

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.

No teaching degree necessary to homeschool

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.

Sound familiar?

 

 

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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.

16 thoughts on “A New Perspective on Homeschooling”

  1. Brilliantly said! There actually is a book entitled, “You are Your Child’s First Teacher” and I read it when my first was a new born. I’m glad I did if only it because it made me appreciate how much learning is an in-born drive and what we really do as parents is facilitate those experiences by bringing them along in our world. The over-professionalization of our current culture has left us afraid to do anything we don’t have degrees for and letters after our name “proving” we can. (I have those hard-won letters after my name and, in my experience, they simply indicate a legal right to claim that you can do something, not that you actually CAN do it.) I know business-owners who say the current young adult generation has absolutely no initiative and has to be told daily and step-by-step what to do. I think this is due to children being told, from a very young age, that they are incapable of doing anything without an adult telling them what and how to do it. This message may be subtle (by the removal of all risky play and the proliferation of adult-directed activities) but also overt in some of the schooling methods used today. One of the main reasons we home school is that we want our boys to have a passion (or many) and the initiative to go after whatever they want in life. All of your posts are so inspiring and helpful on a practical level but I think this is one of the best philosophical pieces. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. But if you hmeschool, aren’t you subjecting them and yourself as a teacher to limits imposed upon you by the educational system such as the curriculum that you have to follow and the level your child has to reach in each subject at a certain point? Do you agree with these or do you accept them because you have no other choice? In that case, where is the freedom in homeschooling?
    Not trying to undermine you, I am just truly curious. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I can’t believe you potty train your own children, that’s just gross. That’s what teachers are for.” Lol, that could actually happen if they keep dropping the age for school. After all, just replace breastfeeding with potty training and formula with teachers and my mother heard exactly that from her pediatrician. Actually he told her “that’s what poor people do”.

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  4. Thank you for your insights. I was a public school teacher for over two decades, and have supported homeschooling from the beginning. So, why would I then teach in public schools? I knew I had a gift to teach, which I quickly saw in summer camps, teaching horseback riding, then beginning trick riding, having never done so before, but only after helping the main teacher for a couple of sessions (She recommended me.). As a teacher, I knew kids could learn anything quickly. A concept didn’t need weeks and weeks of teaching, only to be relearned the following year. Nope. One time only. As a substitute, in a 3rd grade class, I asked them if they ever learned prepositions and prepositional phrases. No, was the answer. Since we were done with the lessons, I spent 30 minutes and they all got this, supported by revisiting at the end of the day to which they all raised their hands to share additional prepositional phrases they came up with. Imagine. A cloud. Planes. Relationships between the planes and cloud. That was it. Parents know their own kids best. Sad, if the teachers know them best. And parents can teach so much at home (i.e. cooking, recipes, measurements, costs of goods, small lemonade/cookie stands, making outfits, putting on plays, and so forth, as well as true history which any number of bookstores, libraries, and the internet can provide. And they can learn this all together.). Thanks for encouraging others in what they can do.

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  5. @everysmallvoice: Some homeschool parents view teaching very similar to how they learned in school. With the freedom to teach at home, the doors of opportunity are wide open and you can have a lot of fun with it. Just don’t let the box hem you in, if that is happening. I’ll give an example, something I’ve tried when I had more freedom. Let’s take writing and grammar, for example. Have the kids take out a pencil and paper and create 5 columns (This is the day after the lesson was done verbally.). The columns will be titled nouns (things you see), adjectives (words describing nouns), verbs (what the noun does), adverbs (modifies verbs), and prepositions (words that show a relationship between a plane and a cloud). Then show objects one at a time. Say you show a stuffed bear. Noun: bear, animal, creature. Adjective: cuddly, furry, nice, big. Verb: Eats, walks, runs. Adverbs: quickly, hungrily, fast, powerfully. Preposition (Say, to a tree.): behind, beneath, within. This should take about thirty minutes. Then, they can make sentences with those words, using commas and periods. Then, let them have an object and run the lesson themselves with you as the student. Also, drawing pictures demonstrating the parts of speech continues the lesson. There’s really no end to the creativity here. Even when your out grocery shopping or otherwise, you can ask where you are in relationship to the car and such. It’s never ending, and the more real you make it, the more they use it in real-life, the more it becomes a part of their understanding. And it only needs revisiting from time to time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think a trick to teaching is not to overthink things. Ideas pop-in, you try it. With time, you learn what works with some kids and what works better with others. But with time, you get a better handle on what education is without thinking you have to hit all the points. Remember, kids think. Sometimes, very often, if they’re motivated, they’ll learn a lot that you never told them. You’ll wonder how they figured out new ideas you never taught.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I found your videos and this site a couple of weeks ago. I cannot tell you how similar our homeschooling philosophies and ways are!!! We’re in our 15th year of homeschooling. Our oldest three have graduated from our homeschool (they were in 2nd-8th grades when we started) and we’re now just homeschooling our two girls left at home, ages 8 and 10. With our little ladies, we use Christian Liberty Press for math and phonics then we switch to Abeka math at 3rd grade (we do use Christian Liberty Press’s spelling program but mostly just for the word lists, like you do with Natural Speller…which I used some for my older kids too!). We do Unit Studies for the rest (we did US some with our older kids too but started out school at home-ish). We notebook too…and we did with our older kids too. There are so many other similarities that have come up too!! It’s been really strange but neat too. I’ve never “met” anyone whom I had so many homeschool similarities with! I don’t think I’ve ever even known of anyone who used CLP phonics and math! (I love it because it is so straight forward and not distracting for my ADHD girl since it is in grayscale and one color). Anyway, I’m loving your videos! Even though we’re in our 15th year of homeschooling, I love to get fresh ideas from a like minded mama. Thank you for blessing me and so many others with your videos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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