Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homeschooling's Many Teachers

One of the treasures of homeschooling is the opportunity it provides to expose our children to numerous teachers. Whether through formal, community-based classes like music, art, dance, or athletics, or through the informal interactions children have with other parents, neighbors, librarians, community members, relatives and friends, homeschoolers learn from many different teachers, gaining diverse perspectives, new ideas, and important skills along the way.

Our job as homeschool parents, I think, is much less about teaching and much more about facilitating: listening to our children's interests and needs and then connecting them with resources and people who can guide them to expand their knowledge.

As an example, several moms from one of our local homeschooling groups noticed how our kids were interested in learning Spanish, so we gathered together to host a weekly, in-home Spanish music class with local musician and educator, Mariana Iranzi. These organic, home-grown, child-led learning experiences are valued and appreciated for their relevance and for the sense of community that they nurture.

I think a significant factor in precluding interested parents from more seriously considering the homeschooling option is that, at least at first glance, homeschooling can seem daunting. How can I possibly be equipped to teach my kids all that they need to know? How can I be both teacher and parent? How can my children also learn from people other than their parents?

These are understandable questions for anyone considering the homeschooling option, but the reality is you don't need to know everything, you don't need to be both teacher and parent (parent is just fine), and you will discover many, many outstanding teachers for your children as they learn and grow.

2 comments:

  1. Yes! Thank you for this post. I feel exactly the same way about homeschooling. Then, I slip into self-doubt every once in awhile. But, as long as I'm following their lead and supporting them, we're doing just fine!

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  2. Self-doubt comes with the territory, I think, but you are right to remind yourself --often-- that you are doing just fine!

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