When I was in the earlier years of our homeschool with our four, I worried over curriculum and academics and the “shoulds.” Homeschooling was stressful! I tried different schedules and a variety of curriculum. I tried to be a ‘school,’ the American definition of “school,” where children sit still and the adult gives lectures and worksheets. In my quest for more, our family attended a conference as a family.
Through a lecture by a homeschooling mom of teens, my mind opened to how freely we could educate our children.
Teaching What I Know
My new mentor said “You are what this child needs. You have what it takes to teach her. You know him best!”
A light turned on for me, and our homeschooling household was immediately different. Play was encouraged; ‘practical skills’ were leveraged to the same status as ‘academics.’ Learning, exploring, having curiosity, were encouraged. Creativity was given freedom. Learning history from documentary videos was as plausible as learning history from textbooks.
With renewed confidence, I began to teach the kids what I knew, and what was important to me. As they became older, it came time for them to learn things I didn’t know (like algebra), so we ‘found the masters.’ I sought others teaching that subject, who knew it better than I did, and we either learned together, or, as a teen, he’d go off on his own journey of knowledge.
In my journal, I wrote this (transcribed below):
Teaching What I Enjoy
I’m not going to be able to teach them Geometry but I can teach them what I know. I can teach her about crochet and making a business from home. I can teach him how to set up banking and create a website. I took the girls to the Arts and Crafts festival today. Britty was so inspired by a woven design that she stared at it a long while and during her brother’s baseball practice she began working on it. It’s not Geometry in a workbook, but it’s Geometry in fiber. It’s what I know. I can’t teach them what I don’t know but I can have the confidence to believe that God gave them me. Me! He gave them me as their mother, knowing I can’t teach them Geometry, but that I can be faithful and teach them of what I know.
from my journal
I have so many precious memories of our homeschooling days! The kids are now old enough for us to see the results. They prove that if you help a child keep their love of learning, they’ll always seek knowledge. They’ll always love to learn. At this point in their lives, they teach me far more than I could teach them.