Homeschool 101: I’m Not Smart Enough!

In my first post in this series, I addressed the most common response I get when I tell people I homeschool – “I could never do that!”. By this, they mean that they don’t have the patience.

I’d like to address the second part of this response, that some people don’t believe they are smart enough or qualified.

I’m gonna be completely honest with you right now. I’m exposing it all, laying it all out on the line, no turning back……

I’m not smart enough, either! I never finished college, I don’t have a degree, not even an Associates. *GASP*!!!

Here’s the thing though: I don’t need one. And neither do you. In some states, you aren’t even required to have a high school diploma! Shocker, right?! It’s true. There are different requirements for different states. Here is an article from the Washington Post that discusses this.

Now I’m gonna throw some even more shocking information on you…… kids don’t need to be taught by teachers. *DOUBLE GASP*!!! Whaaaattt??!! Okay, this may take a little explaining.

In the early years, yes you need to teach them to read, to write, and ‘rithmetic. Can you teach your child the alphabet? I think you can. Can you teach them their numbers? I’m pretty sure that’s a yes. Okay, so once they have a firm grasp on reading, they can pretty much teach themselves anything at that point.

Does that mean you leave them to their own devices? Well, no, not exactly. Even unschoolers, who don’t use a formal curriculum or formal teaching, help guide their kids along to some degree. But the majority of homeschool students are not taught by their parents. That is to say, their mom (certainly not myself!) does not stand in the front of the room with a blackboard (okay, whiteboard for you youngins) and teach lessons.

Most of the curriculum that is available to homeschoolers today is written to the student. The student reads the material, follows the directions, and does the work. It could be online, with a computer program, or with textbooks. But that’s how it’s done. In my case, I am there for my kids to ask for help if they need it. I can (so far) help them with their math, science, history, reading, writing, etc.

What about if you don’t know how to help? Or you aren’t good at math and your kids are? Well, you’re in luck. There are online programs where you don’t need to help at all. There are tutors available locally. In most areas, there are local homeschool classes and groups where there are people who can teach those things. So you are never alone. And you don’t have to feel like a dummy.

So far I have employed the help of a few tutors for my kids. For my daughter, when she was struggling with math and my explanations were not helping her grasp the concepts. For my son, who needed formal instruction with his drum playing. And for all of my children when they wanted to learn about art.

So please don’t feel like you aren’t capable of homeschooling your child because you only have your GED. Or you don’t have a Bachelors degree, or teaching certificate. If you have the passion to see your children grow and thrive, then you can homeschool. It’s as simple as that!