Homeschool? Me? I don't know everything...

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Homeschool? Me? I don't know everything...
And some mornings I wonder if I know anything at all.

I hear this question a lot: "How can I homeschool, I don't know everything? I am not a teacher."

I want to ask you, “Does anyone know everything?” I mean, I probably know a lot that you don’t know, and you probably know a lot that I don’t know, and yet we are both capable and functioning adults.

We do not need to know everything in order to teach our children. We can learn right along with them. And, we really do not need to teach them everything they need to know by the time they are 18. Haven’t you learned a LOT since you were 18? I bet you thought you knew a lot when you were that age and now you realize how little you knew then. More frightening yet, is how little you know now. It seems like the more we learn, the more we realize we don't know. But, maybe that is a discussion for another day.

Take heart! Teachers don’t know everything either. Doctors, lawyers, rocket scientists—they don’t know everything either. In fact, and this is the honest truth, I talked to a rocket scientist a few years ago. She and her rocket scientist husband were going to homeschool their five year old so she called me for advice.

I was mentioning how she could teach using literature and how effective that can be. She didn’t know she should be reading aloud to her child! I mean can you believe that? Here is a rocket scientist, someone who we think should know it all, or at least know a LOT, and I was giving her advice about reading aloud to her daughter in order to develop language skills, family closeness and to transfer core beliefs. She didn't know that. She learned something new that day and so did I.

No one knows everything.

Also, if you really get stumped, help is pretty close. I have found that there are people in my community that can help if chemistry or calculus is more than I can teach. There are community college classes that students as young as 14-15 can take. There are co-ops and other opportunities—tutors if you need them-- and the amount of help you can get on line or with DVD's is staggering.

Maybe one of the best lessons your children will learn is that "we are not quitters" and "you're never too old to learn something new." If our kids see that someone as ancient as mom or dad can tackle Algebra 2 for the first time, surely they can do anything they set their minds to.

You don’t need to know everything. What you need is a strong desire to enable your child to learn as much as he can in the time you have him home. You can help him pursue his desires and encourage him as he struggles though something that does not come easy. You can learn Calculus along with him if you need to, or have him take it away from home.

Homeschooling does not mean that you know everything or that you have to teach everything. I loved it when my kids would say, “You didn’t know that, did you Mom?” And I didn’t. We learned it together.

What a blessing, to learn along side of your children.

Sometimes you teach, sometimes you learn, sometimes you tutor or mentor and sometimes you bring in outside help.

You can do it. You can homeschool. Take the first step now and don’t worry about chemistry labs and foreign language. You can worry about that when the time comes. And when the time comes you will be surprised how many different ways there are to accomplish an incredible high school education without going to a traditional school. You can do it-I know you can.

Take care,

Jill

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3 Comments

  1. Andrea

    As a homeschool graduate, I can attest to the truth of this blog post. While my parents are both extremely intelligent, neither one of them knew everything about what I was learning. This was not detrimental to my education: on the contrary, it gave me a fantastic example of how to approach life. When I asked my mom a question about a subject that she didn't know the answer to, she was able to say, "I don't know. Let's find out!" That invariably led to lessons in how to use a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, or (in later years) the internet to discover the answers to our questions. Rather than being taught that grown-ups knew all the answers, I was taught that it's important to keep learning throughout my life. Now, I'm a graduate student. My main job is to find areas that no one knows the answers to, and say "Let's find out!" I continue to be thankful for my wonderful parents who developed this thirst for learning in me through Sonlight and homeschooling.

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