Why I Can't Homeschool Myth: "I Could Never Teach My Child Anything"

There are several responses that I get when I tell people I homeschool. Some people are incredulous. “You homeschool four children!” Some people are impressed. “I think homeschooling would be great.” But often people get a little defensive. “I could never homeschool because…”

I’m usually not outspoken enough to challenge their defenses. I’m an introvert who avoids conflict. But sometimes I really want to challenge some of the things they say. Because I know they aren’t true.

Reasons not to homeschool
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This is one of my favorite why I can’t homeschool myths: “I couldn’t homeschool because I could never teach my child anything. They just won’t learn from me.” Oh really. Who taught your child to walk? Where did he learn his first words? Who introduced him to solid foods and taught him how to hold a utensil and eat? Who potty trained him?
I suppose that on occasion someone might argue back that the child went to daycare where he learned all of those things. But, if they’ve spent any amount of time with their child during his early years, chances are good that they have taught their child many things.
There are two big reasons why you are your child’s very best teacher.

You can teach your child because you know your child. 

You have held him when he cried. You have spent nights walking the floor with him when he couldn’t sleep. You’ve cared for him when he’s sick. You know his moods. You know what his different expressions mean. You know his background, his past experiences. Has he always been afraid of dogs? Does he sleep well or is he up and down all night? All of these things make up the complete picture of who your child is, and knowing these things helps you to teach him because you know where to begin and what direction to take in learning.
No matter how good a teacher is, a teacher will change from year to year and won’t have as much time with your child as you do. They won’t know him as well as you. When I was a traditional school teacher I longed to get to know my kids. But to do that I had to talk to previous teachers and to his parents to try to get a complete picture. Even then, it took the entire school year for me to really know the child… just in time for a new school year to begin with a new group of kids.

You can teach your child because you love your child. 

I’ve been a teacher, and I am a mother. I loved my students dearly. But I can say without a doubt that I love my own children more. I would do anything for them. I would sacrifice anything for them. I will go to bat for them in any situation. I will take up for them. I will strive to get them what they need educationally. Even the best teacher can’t love my child as much as I do.
Because you love your child you’re going to be more aware of what he needs in order to learn. Does he have special needs? What is his learning style? You’re going to know these things, and because you love your child, you’ll be the one who is most active in using this information to make good decisions about his educational needs.
Reasons not to homeschool
There are lots of factors that go into a decision about schooling. But, if you’ve considered homeschooling and don’t think you can teach your child anything, remember that you know and love your child more than any great teacher could. And that goes a long way when it comes to teaching your child.

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