Another roadblock we see quite often when it comes to homeschooling is the mindset that you are not qualified to teach your kids. My answer to that is that you have been teaching your kids since they were born. Who else is better qualified to teach them? You are the one who knows them, their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses. There is no better teacher than you.
If you have a college degree, you are just as qualified as any teacher teaching in public school because aside from a few additional classes on classroom management, it is all that is required to teach. A lot of the specialized teaching classes have to do with dealing with a large group of students or particular needs, much of which is eliminated in teaching only your own children. When you eliminate the classroom, you eliminate the need to understand classroom management.
The notion that you have to have some special qualification or certification to teach your kids is a myth perpetuated mostly by proponents of public education or those who are anti homeschool. Numerous studies have been conducted that prove there is no correlation between certification of a teacher and the performance of the student.
Dr. Eric Hanushek surveyed over one hundred studies on this subject and found some surprising results. Of the total studies, eighty-five percent showed no positive affect on a student’s academic achievement due to the teacher’s qualifications. Dr. Sam Peavey, who is in charge of numerous accreditation and teacher certification programs stated, “May I say that I have spent a long career in developing and administering programs for teacher certification. I wish I could tell you that those thousands of certificates contributed significantly to the quality of children’s learning, but I cannot. After fifty years of research, we have found no significant correlation between the requirements for teacher certification and the quality of student achievement.”
Nearly all studies show that homeschooled children fare better on achievement tests and score within a grade level or more higher than their peers in public school. I can attest to this with my personal experience. I do test my kids. I do not do so with a lot of regularity but I do a check in on occasion. When I do it, I find tests geared to at least a grade level above where they are and all my kids, without fail, have scored exceptionally high.
From a practical standpoint, you are not going to know everything. Sometimes it is simply a matter of not having had to access particular information since you were in that grade. Or, maybe it is a subject you are not strong in. But, everyone is capable of research. Today, homeschooling is so much easier just because of the tool of the internet. If you do not know something, you can look it up in seconds. Of course, there are also books, the library and experiments that can get you to where you need to be. Some of the best discussions we have had have been when a question was asked and we go to seek out the answer. Keep in mind that you are teaching your children how to learn and what better way to do that then to go in search of an answer together, using various resources to do so?
There may be subjects where research alone is not going to help you be comfortable teaching it. Or, you may be unwilling to teach for some reason. For example, I am not thrilled about the prospect of dissecting a pig on my dining room table. When I get to that point, I will likely take care of that portion of science in a class or a co-op. There are numerous resources available when you are not confident about teaching a particular class. Libraries, cultural centers and museums are great sources for finding classes that are inexpensive. Also, use your support network. The members of your homeschool group either with a co-op or just by asking those you know might be able to help you. Look around at your friends and family to see if there is someone there with a skill set that can help you out.
For those who think a parent is not qualified to teach their child, think again. Those who homeschool know that this is a myth but you do not have to take our word for it. Research all the studies on the topic and you will see that there is substantial evidence to prove a parent is just as capable of teaching their child effectively as any certified teacher.