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I have always loved homeschooling. From exploring nature to learning ABC’s to discussing the Civil War — it’s all been fun! But, I have a confession to make: I’m not a very good teacher.
Does that surprise you? Did you think all homeschooling moms are natural-born teachers? Yes, I did, too.
I thought I was a teacher when we began this journey. But there were times when tears broke out halfway through a lesson. Sometimes I cried right along with my child. Sometimes I had to leave the room because I was the one crying instead of one of my children.
It’s never easy to confess a weakness, but there you have it. I am not a teacher. The day I admitted that to myself I was in a blue funk. How could I continue to homeschool my children? Was I making a huge mistake? Had I already ruined their lives?
If I recall, that day ended with ice cream, because ice cream always makes me feel better.
The next few days were filled with prayer and reflection while I continued to teach my children to the best of my ability. And then it hit me: I am teaching to the best of my ability. And they’re learning! I knew it had to be God.
Proverbs 16:3 tells us to “commit our works” to Him and our plans will be established. But, how do I know if my plans are the same as His plans? That’s an easy one: Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight in God and He’ll give us the desire of our heart. So, if I’m digging into the Word, and finding my delight in Him, He is placing desires in my heart — desires such as homeschooling my children! And I can be assured of this even more because Philippians 2:13 tells us that God is at work in us.
So, if I’m not a natural teacher, how was I managing to teach my children?
Just about every single curriculum has an answer key of some sort. Not only does the teacher’s edition of the math book walk you through how to present the material, but it also has the answers. Sometimes you can even buy just the answer key! Not only math but science, history, language arts, and everything else — if the answer isn’t spelled out, it at least gives you an idea of what you’re looking for from the student.
Of course, the program I chose to use didn’t come with “answers” like in the back of our math books. Therefore, I had to educate myself on the topics I was teaching, so I would know what sort of answers I was looking for from my children. Thankfully, I like to learn. And, thankfully, we have a ton of books in our home as well as a good Internet connection.
When we first started homeschooling, it was all done with curriculum and library books and field trips. My older boys didn’t even do research online until they got into high school. By the time my two youngest hit high school, I had discovered educational videos on YouTube.
I don’t need to know all the answers! I just need to know how to find them!
Sometimes, the best place to find answers is in other people. Math is not my strong suit, even with an answer key. So, as my older boys hit high school, we looked into local co-ops and tutorial centers. Not only did they get in the math and science classes I couldn’t teach (did I mention I’m not much of a scientist, either?), but they were able to interact in a classroom setting with a small group of students. This was great prep for college!
Another option we utilized was the local technology center. You probably have a Tech campus in your area as well — these are the hands-on schools that teach vocational classes, such as cosmetology, child care, nursing, and so on. These classes were a little bigger than co-op, and they integrated my children into the world of public school on a part-time basis. Again, great prep for college!
You Can Do This!
Perhaps your confession is the same as mine: you’re not a teacher. How has God gifted you? While you and I may not be natural-born teachers, we can still teach our children. Perhaps the curriculum lays everything out, or maybe we need to find help through videos or outside classes. There is so much available these days to homeschooling families. Don’t let your fears stop you from homeschooling! Utilize the resources available and teach your children to the best of your abilities.