I can’t count how many times I’ve had a discussion about homeschooling that ended with “oh, well, at least you have a degree.” People automatically assume that since I have a teaching degree, it’s somehow “okay” for me to homeschool. My degree makes me qualified to homeschool my kids. My job must be easier, because I have a teaching degree.
However, they couldn’t be more wrong! I spent a lot of money attending college. I worked my bum off to learn to be a good teacher. And, I was soooo ill-prepared for homeschooling. It wasn’t even funny!
I’ve written before about how my teaching degree does NOT mean that I am qualified to homeschool my kiddos. The fact that I am their mother and desire the best for their education is the only qualification I truly needed to be “qualified” to homeschool.
Am I Qualified to Homeschool My Kids?
You Don’t Need a Degree to Succeed
Teaching courses in college focus on classroom management, whole-group learning, and the psychology behind teaching. I enjoyed the actual teaching of my students, but I hated the politics and busywork involved in teaching. I was very eager to come home and homeschool my own children after just two year in the classroom.
When Logan and I started homeschooling in his third grade year, I thought I’d be ready to jump right in. I spent my entire summer planning my homeschool year in the same way I planned my classroom. Uh…that was a disaster. I had to de-school myself in order to break out of my public-school-teacher mold and start to have some fun.
Don’t for a second think that you can’t homeschool, because you don’t have a teaching degree. Oftentimes, it’s more of a hindrance than a help!
There Are TONS of Cheats Available
Even with my teaching degree, there have been plenty of things that I haven’t felt qualified to teach my own kids over the years. My worst subject in school was always history. I couldn’t for the life of me remember names and places and dates. I find history b.o.r.i.n.g! So, how in the world am I supposed to teach it to my kids.
There are TONS of “cheats” available for homeschool mommas like me and you. Those of us who dislike certain subjects. Those of us who struggle with teaching certain things – anything.
For history, I use Mystery of History which has a very simple layout, pages of recommended books lists, and hands-on activities that I don’t have to create myself. For grammar, I use Rod & Staff which is scripted. For upper-level maths, I use Saxon Math and the DIVE CDs with a DVD instructor.
These “cheats” allow me to teach subjects to my kids that I never had in school, those I never fully grasped myself, or those that are at a level above my comfort zone.
Outsource the Hard Stuff
I have come to learn the benefit of outsourcing some of our homeschool classes. Last year, Emma took a Shakespeare class at co-op. She learned all about the life and times of Shakespeare. They read and discussed bits and pieces of many of his plays. They even performed an excerpt from The Tempest. There is nothing I hated more in high school English than all of our Shakespeare units. I was all too happy to turn that content over to someone else.
I’ve outsourced Latin and advanced math classes to a DVD teacher. When my oldest was in high school, he did the majority of his classwork through an online program.
You don’t have to have a teaching degree to successfully homeschool your kids. Having one doesn’t necessarily make my life any easier. All you really need is dedication and the right tools to succeed at homeschooling your kids. You can do it!
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Have you ever felt like you weren’t qualified to homeschool your kids?
Do you have advice for someone who is doubting whether or not they’re qualified?
Let’s encourage each other here!