Often I speak with parents who find themselves second-guessing decisions they have made regarding their children's education. Obviously, most of us homeschool our children for a reason. Perhaps we feel called to homeschool, or maybe we just feel it is in the best interest of our children that we be their primary teacher. It can be discouraging to encounter those who have the opinion that “professionals” have all the answers and could do a better job than we can in teaching our children.
You know your children better than anyone, so you are in the unique position of knowing what is best for them.Think about how much your child learned in the baby and preschool years. Your baby grew and developed from a helpless infant to an active preschooler who could walk and talk… and lots more. Typical kids learn all kinds of things about colors, sizes, shapes, numbers… long before they start their formal education. Who taught your child these things? Chances are, you did!
It’s not necessarily un-true in that sometimes “professionals” do have years of experience in a particular area, and could be helpful in coming alongside us as we educate our kids… but the idea that they “have all the answers” is false. Every child is unique and there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for every challenge.
I remember an incident that happened when one of my daughters was about three years old. We had gone to a mothers-day-out program, and she was in her own little class, while I was with other mothers. At the end of the time, when I went to collect my child, the teacher had several coloring sheets that didn’t have names on them. She was pretty sure one of them was my daughter’s but she didn’t know which one. After looking them over, I was able to tell her exactly which one belonged to us. You see, I knew my daughter’s coloring style! Rather than scribbling all over the page, she colored in little patches of different colors. Not within the lines, mind you, but she did have a distinctive style that I was familiar with. That was the first time it occurred to me that I was the expert on my child.
That's not to say making decisions is always easy. Sometimes it is good to get input from others who have gone before or have more experience in a certain area. It's comforting to keep in mind, though, that regardless of the decisions you ultimately make, you are serving your children well. In the homeschool environment your children receive personalized attention from the very best teacher for them. We do not have to teach everything to our children. If we can equip them with a love of learning, and give them the tools to discover how to find out more, they will have received an excellent education.
Enjoying the adventure,