I mean, honestly, it’s a given that there wouldn’t be “professional” homeschoolers, if you really think about it.
“Veteran” homeschoolers? Most definitely; that term is used quite frequently in homeschooling circles to describe those parents that have been around the block. They’ve been doing this for years and have umpteen children, and in their spare time, they wrote their own curriculum.
There are plenty of people who know this ins-and-outs of homeschooling, who’ve studied educational philosophies, written books and given lectures.
These are the people that us newbies (I’ve been doing this for 4 years, if you count some loose Kindergarten) scout out on the homeschool blogs and at conventions, because obviously they know what they’re doing, right?
Yes and no. They may have tried out the best curriculum and taught their children to read by the age of 3, but professional homeschoolers? Nope.
By nature, there can not be professional homeschoolers and that’s the best part. Simply because education is, at it’s very core, about relationships.
We want our children to build relationships with the material, to start thinking critically about what they’re learning, and to see the proverbial “lightbulb go on”. I love watching my children act out Lewis and Clark’s explorations in our garden, or Huckleberry Finn’s adventures in the “cave” (fort) they just built. The subjects take shape in their mind and come alive, and as a teacher – and a mom – it makes the exhaustion and messy home worth it.
However, it’s more than just building relationship with the subjects that they’re studying. One of the most critical factors in education is having the student build a relationship with their Teacher. Without a foundation of trust and love, it makes every subject fall flat, and it becomes a torture to learn. That is why dedicated, proactive parents have the potential to be the best educators that our society has ever seen. We know our children like no other person on earth; we know what makes them tick, and we can tell when they have really grasped the material. When homeschooling is done right, there really is no child left behind.
And that’s why there are no professional homeschoolers. If there were, then we would rely on all of their recommendations, their theories and we would become institutional in every way shape and form. We’d be back to school at home – not homeschool.
Instead, every parent has to search out the very best for each of their own children. It’s a messy process, but what relationship doesn’t have its ups and downs? What worked for one child won’t work for the others. The curriculum that everyone loved and swears by? It made you pull your hair out.
There is no easy answer, no professional to just tell us the “right way” and give us all of the answers.
There are several homeschooling books that I adore, and I’ll be posting more on those in blog posts to come. They’re full of amazing teaching information mixed with parental advice. However, even if I found all of the right answers for my family, it’s just that. The right answers for my family and my children.
As hard as it is when we feel like we are recreating the wheel sometimes, I’m grateful. Not having “professionals” to tell me what to do and make the choices for me is probably the best thing that ever happened to my children’s education.
Linked to Natural Family Friday