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Homeschool Fiction

Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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November 2008
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Topics: education,empowerment,homeschooling,mindful parenting,relationships,so you think you know,Unschooling

“Are you qualified to teach your children?”

I’ve been asked the above question (or similar) hundreds of times since I started telling people that we were a homeschooling family.  Just about every kind grandmother at stores or check-out personnel ask me this when I go out shopping with my kids in the middle of a school day.  Very few are rude about it (and I never take it as such), they are just genuinely interested in the legal process of how to homeschool (almost all understand the why).

I find the question itself quite interesting.  I mean, how could I not be qualified to teach my children according to the same logic in which the question is asked?

I went to public school.   I graduated from a public high school.  Thus, since I graduated from high school I should be knowledgeable about everything necessary to get a high school diploma and finish all the grades leading up to that recognition.

If I don’t currently have the knowledge necessary to get that diploma then did I ever actually know that information?  Did I deserve that piece of paper?  Is any of that information actually necessary for living in the real world?  If it is necessary or if there is new information since I was in school, then why couldn’t I learn right along side of my children?  Why shouldn’t I be “required” to do such?

Should a teacher certification be required for all homeschooling parents?  Should a teaching certificate be required for all public and/or privately schooled “teachers”?  I say no to both.  Instead, we should have responsible, empathic, nurturing, and inquisitive adults be mentoring — NOT TEACHING (since teaching doesn’t work) — our children.  We should follow the children’s leads and see what is actually necessary knowledge to have in today’s world (perhaps internet shorthand is more vital knowledge that diagramming sentences, for example).

Back to the question:  Am I qualified to teach my children?

Yes, and so are you.  Empower yourself.  Be your child’s partner in life.  He deserves nothing less.