Who Taught This Kid to Walk, Talk, and Potty?

It is my standard soapbox-speech when a young mom hesitatingly asks me if I think she could possibly homeschool. Who taught this kid to walk, talk, go potty, feed himself, dress himself, tie his shoes, say his ABC’s, print his name, sing Happy Birthday, and count to 10? YOU did, Mom, that’s who. Now the government thinks you are not qualified to teach him to read and add 2 plus 2? No one knows this child better than you do; therefore, no one is better qualified to teach him than you are.

It may be true that you do not have a university degree in early childhood education. It may be true that you have never formally studied anything about education. It may be true that you have no idea what you will do about teaching chemistry or calculus. It may be true that you were a poor student yourself in school who barely graduated and never had any desire for continuing your education after high school. Frankly, I do not think any of that matters. I repeat, no one knows this child better than you do; therefore, no one is better qualified to teach him than you are.

When we began our homeschooling adventure, we told our families and friends it was “for a year… to start with… then we’ll see where to go from there.” I knew in the back of my mind that there would be no turning back. I knew my commitment was for the duration, but I concentrated on the present, the temporary, the easier-to-deal-with.

I also knew that the government system had failed to meet my daughter’s needs. I had seen the Kindergarten teacher attempting to manipulate me regarding my son’s behavior. My son, incidentally, was no different from any other 6-year-old boy, not in need of medication or behavior modification or counseling, just in need of space and the freedom to play in it. I was quite confident that I could do a better job for both of my children. I understood my daughter’s headaches that made it impossible for her to do math some days, even though she could still enjoy reading. I understood my son’s desire to tell jokes and perform silly tricks for an audience. I felt I could work around those things and still educate my children. I just needed the encouragement to give it a try.

Let me now be the voice of encouragement for you: You can do this, Mom and Dad. Stop to reflect on all the things you have taught your children already. Let me repeat once again, no one knows this child better than you do; therefore, no one is better qualified to teach him than you are. End of discussion.

Comments

  1. This brought tears to my eyes, its sooooo good to hear the words you wrote for me to read. Thank you.

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