As you know, school house teachers prepare for their career path through many hours of coursework, methodology classes, and student teaching before they begin teaching school. So how in the world could a parent without such training and preparations expect to be able to successfully home-school their children?
As someone who has accomplished both, I can tell you that homeschooling is quite a different job than classroom teaching. For instance, a classroom teacher is tasked with the rather prodigious challenge of conveying specific skills to a large group of kids with many different learning abilities and learning styles and certainly, they come from different backgrounds. I can tell you, as a teacher, that the temperament toward learning to which the child is exposed at home is a huge influencing factor when it comes to the child’s performance at school. Whether a child comes from a home environment that embraces and nurtures learning or not makes teaching a large group of students an even more challenging task. Then there are those discipline issues that inevitably come. When this occurs, the schoolteacher is bound to follow rules, regulations, and policies. And may or may not have the support of the parents in correcting the behavior.
Disciplinary action is a whole different arena when you are a homeschooling parent. This is a natural duty for you as a parent and as such you can incorporate the rules and policies that not only work best for your homeschool but your family as well.
As a homeschooling parent, you are in control of the home environment of the student(s)! And homeschoolers certainly don’t have to teach, motivate, and reach out to an entire room full of children at one time. We only have to motivate and manage one (or several) children, and even then (if you’re creative with your scheduling and planning) it doesn’t have to be all at the same time. As parents, homeschoolers are driven by the highest of motivators… the love for their children and the desire for them to be successful.
When it comes to the curriculum, schoolteachers are largely bound by a prescribed program and schedule. In the traditional classroom, because of scheduling and time constraints (along with everything else), a teacher must instruct as efficiently as possible. Too much time on one unit will probably mean cuts being made in others. One of the biggest challenges schoolteachers face with the larger class sizes is finding a teaching pace that will not outrun the slower student yet deliver to the higher learners subject matter that challenges them as well. Unfortunately, the answer is usually a compromise that neither works for the slower nor the faster students.
As a homeschooling parent, you don’t have to work within the time constraints or the class sizes. And you certainly won’t get called into the office because you spent too much time on one subject either because your child took to it and you wanted to dig deeper, or your child struggled to understand some of the concepts and you wanted to review, test and teach some more before you moved on. As a whole, the homeschooling parent can work with and help their children fully learn something without having to worry about any myriad of issues that schoolteachers face.
It’s been documented that one on one instruction facilitates learning at a much greater pace than can be done in a one-to-many environment. The homeschooling parent has the flexibility to adjust the schedule as learning dictates. You’ll find that because this teaching model is so much more efficient than classroom learning, you’ll be able to dig deeper and stay longer within subjects and still have plenty of time on your homeschool yearly calendar.
Preparation is always a good thing and with today’s technologies, it’s much easier. Get out there and read books, find some good online homeschooling forums that you like, and jump in. You’ll soon get a feel for how those ahead of you on the path have approached the very same questions that you have. Be prepared for some sanding and buffing of your schedule and your plans until you find what works best for you, your child(ren), and your family.
Do you have educational training and pedigrees that schoolteachers have? Probably not; but as you now know, in the case of homeschooling you don’t need many of them.
So, homeschooling… can you do this? I think you’ll find that with the availability of so many resources today, combined with your enthusiasm for your child’s success and the love of being their parent that… yes you can do this.