Teach your own, really?
I taught a homeschool co-op class of twenty 8 to 14-year-olds about Africa. How can you teach your own child, let alone many people’s kids?
I asked my teacher-turned-homeschool-mom friend to teach me everything she knows about classroom management in five minutes?
To teach your own, and other homeschool kids, turns out, classroom management skills weren’t required because homeschool kids are generally astute and engaged.
The only chattering I heard was from my own daughters, and with one fell swoop of their names spoken in the presence of their peers, they were magically quietened.
Can you teach your own child?
Since I bought my children home, the second most common question I’ve been asked, next to the ‘S’ question, is “Are you a certified teacher”?
Nope, I am not.
Originally, I understood that teachers know everything they need to know to teach kids.
And I don’t know everything there is to know about everything. (PS I’ve heard firsthand from teachers that they don’t think they know everything either.)
In fact, I’ll tell you that I learned basic arithmetic right alongside my oldest child because some of it I didn’t grasp in school.
Now that we’ve been homeschooling for a few years, I’ve learned there are many things I didn’t learn in school. (I just didn’t realize I didn’t learn them and turns out I survived just fine without them.)
My goal in my homeschool co-op class was to keep the kids’ attention and discuss a topic in which they may or may not have had an interest.
Their reasons for attending may have been mom decreed it. There might have been a seed of interest in my topic: all things Africa as we traveled to Kenya.
I might have been boring them silly, but they weren’t rude enough to tell me.
However, I didn’t have enough time in the group to get to know these kids. I only understand my children (and one of them wasn’t interested either).
Teaching your own child is not so difficult.
Even with my own kids, teaching my own children takes some figuring and intentional observing. (And naturally, I’m motivated).
- I care that they learn.
- And I care that their interests grow.
- I care that their understanding expands.
- Of course, I care that their ability to communicate blossoms.
So, I’m as intent as a mama with a preschooler helping him sound out words.
If I don’t know something, I find a book, Google, or YouTube it. Of course, John Holt’s encouragement that I can teach my own helps too.
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Knowledge is found at the tap of a finger.
In my Friday morning class, I shared what I knew about Africa (which, of course, was limited despite having visited twice), I engaged the kid’s questions, incorporated a few stories, and lightened the topic with a few games, but I’m not teaching my own.