It’s this type of post that makes Chris such a valuable resource for people who are considering homeschooling and even for people who are currently homeschooling. It’s stuff like this that caused me to drool all over Chris and make a complete fool of myself whenever she was within my vicinity. Her advice is perfect. If she wasn’t so sweet, you could almost hate her for her perfection.
Since I’m interested primarily in homeschooling the older child, let’s look at her advice that is specific to the middle schooler and high schooler.
If I don’t know more than my children do at the sixth grade level then I have bigger things to worry about than how I am going to teach them. But what about the higher grades? This question I have a tough time with. First of all, because I think it is my job as a home educator to give my children the tools that they need to be able to teach themselves things.
Secondly, because I can not imagine them wanting to learn something that I could not teach them, with the help of a text book, of course. I have taken Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Latin, Logic etc But I hesitate to say that because I do not think those things are a prerequisite for teaching your children at home. Do all home educating parents need to have formal college education or have had a prestigious private school education? I don’t think so. I just happen to have those things.
It can seem daunting, the idea of teaching an older child. Even if you’ve taken higher level courses, you may feel like you are unprepared to teach those subjects to your child. Things have changed since you were in school. Passing the subjects yourself does not necessarily make you a good teacher of those subjects. Heck, I got As in Spanish but that certainly did not make me qualified to teach Spanish to a high schooler. Definitely not, in fact it was just the opposite. My poor Spanish was not the Spanish Michelle really needed to learn.
I completely agree with Chris, as a home educator it isn’t my job to know all and teach all – it is my job to give Michelle the tools she needs in which to teach herself. It is my job to acquire every resource available to her, whether that’s a textbook, a visit to a museum, an online education program or even dual enrollment at the community college.
Homeschooling a high schooler isn’t hard. It takes time and energy and effort and enthusiasm but it isn’t hard and you shouldn’t feel like you can’t do it because you aren’t a teacher, because you never took those subjects in school, because you aren’t smart enough.