I truly believe that in order to be a good teacher to our children, we need to learn how to be a better teacher. Many professions do this. Teachers who work in a public school, for example, need to complete continuing education hours annually, depending on the state’s requirements. I come from a professional background; I have a masters degree in speech-language pathology. I have held a state teaching license and national certification for my profession. I am required, for example, to do 30 hours of continuing education for my national certification every 3 years. Doctors, who provide patient education, need to complete continuing education hours. I think we would all agree that we want our doctors and teachers in the schools to be active learners. What do you think you should require of yourself, as a home educator?
As a mom or dad, I suspect you are driven to improve yourself. Many of us read parenting books, listen to podcasts for self-improvement, and read blogs to become a better person. For Christians, we read the Bible for many reasons, including how to become better disciples of Christ. It is a part of our God-given human nature to want to improve, and it is a sign of humility. We don’t know it all.
As a new home educator especially, there is a steep learning curve. If you have a new baby at home, an active toddler, a child with a disability, or a spouse who is working long hours, homeschooling is challenging.
Even with these “extra” challenges, it is entirely possible to homeschool well.
In fact, many families who homeschool face extraneous circumstances.
How do they do it? They find ways to be creative. They find ways to be efficient. They are flexible. They learn how to manage. They learn from homeschool educators who are not frazzled all the time! Most certainly, they pray for our Lord’s assistance.
Let’s be real. You are running a private school from your home. You and your spouse are the donors for the school building (e.g., your house or apartment). You are the primary donors for the students’ scholarships. You are the donors for the students’ room and board. You are providing a huge gift to the children who are enrolled in your private school!
Not only are you giving a gift, but you are receiving a huge gift. Let me explain.
Your students are the most amazing little children you will ever meet. Your children are precious! They are a gift to love with your whole heart. It is a gift to be their primary educator. Many parents wish they could be home with their children, but cannot. Many parents wish they could provide a Christian education for their children, but cannot afford a private school. Many married couples wish for years to have children, but are not given any. And look at you–you are given the precious gift of children, and this opportunity to educate them at home. Wow.
With this gift of educating your children at home, I truly believe that the more you know about how to be a good educator, the smoother your day-to-day life will be while homeschooling. The more tips and tricks you have in your “educator toolkit,” the better quality your private school will be.
As I continue with this blog, I will occasionally feature a way that you can grow in your teaching skills. From my professional background, I will use the term “Continuing Education Units” or “CEUs.” This will alert you that it is a skill or technique that you can consider learning. I hope the free CEUs can be helpful to you! If you have any topics you would like to learn more about, please leave a comment.