It often surprises me to hear parents, who’ve made a damn good job of being a parent, say they haven’t got the skills to home educate.
I’m surprised because at a simple level, home educating is really just an extension of your parenting skills. It’s just most haven’t seen it like that.
Of course, parenting isn’t exactly simple – we know that. But since you’re already on your way with it, you can extend what you’ve already learned about parenting into home educating with relative ease as it contains all the same elements; conscious attention to your child, trial and error approaches, patience and empathy, understanding and encouragement. And research – as much as asking your friends, other parents, home educators and through online forums as academic stuff.
It’s a bit like what you were forced to do when your baby came and up-skittled your recognisable world. What a steep learning curve that was! But you did it. You didn’t teeter or waver or hang indecisively about on the edge of parenthood, wondering whether you should parent or not. You were thrown in the deep end and learnt as you went along. You connected with other parents, read, went online, shared problems, found solutions. When your baby’s born there’s no should-we-or-shouldn’t-we, you just got on with it. And you’ve grown enormously I would guess, certainly in experience. Experience teaches and develops confidence.
You can do that with home education. You can jump right in – probably after a little preliminary research as you no doubt did before the first baby, learn as you go along, connect with others and find the answers you need.
There is such a treasure trove of information and support in online forums, blogs, websites, social media sites which also lead to physical groups and meet ups. Like with parenting you can sift advice, copy what others do, try out approaches, review, modify and adapt to make things work for you. The more you’re in it the more you’ll understand about it, how different learning approaches work and what works for you.
We develop many skills as we parent our 0 – 5 child. We teach them many skills too. You don’t need ‘qualified’ parent status to do so.
The simple truth is we don’t need a ‘qualified’ educator status to extend those skills into facilitating our child’s further learning. We can begin with the skills we have already that are based in our parenting; care, encouragement, communication, curiosity, inspiration, respect, interest in learning. These are the skills we need more than any other. From these all the more complicated stuff will grow and develop.
Any interested parent who is caring and engaged and respectful can extend their parenting skills into home educating skills. It’s as simple as that.
So, if you think you’re one of those that believe they haven’t the skills to home educate, maybe think again!