Question and Answer
Dear Community Moms,
I have dreamed for years of becoming a home-school mom. I have discovered that there are people who don’t think Moms are qualified to teach their children without being a certified teacher. Are they right? What qualifies a mom to teach? Am I making a mistake.
I love how you begin the question with your dream. Never lose touch with that part of your heart, because God is the one who put the dream there. Remember that most likely you have been receiving unsolicited parenting advice on every conceivable topic. This is just another verse of that same song. Some people will support homeschooling, some will not. It has advantages and disadvantages. But this is your family’s decision to make, in accordance with God’s will for you.
Next time someone is bold enough to express an opinion, you can share the facts laid out by researcher Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute: Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of parents’ level of formal education or teacher certification. He adds that the “degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.” Many other pertinent and encouraging facts are noted on his website, nheri.org.
Those who think you are putting your kids at a disadvantage by not being a certified teacher may not realize that many non-accredited private schools hire uncertified instructors. Some public school districts are becoming so desperate for teachers they allow non-certified instructors.
What qualifies a mom to teach is that she knows and loves her children better than anyone on the face of the earth. I do have a bachelor’s degree, but my lack of official teaching credentials did not hinder my children’s success. Of course there were certain subjects I needed help with when we got beyond the basics, but help is plentiful through family, church, community, and online resources.
So here is a bragging opportunity I can’t pass up. My children are now in their twenties; all three were homeschooled from pre-k through high school. My oldest is an IT manager who took a trip on the corporate jet last week to hobnob with industry leaders; middle child earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the age of 20 and is studying to be a nurse practitioner (while working full time), the youngest founded a thriving small business before he could drive–hiring his first employee when he was only 19. More importantly, they are all three godly, loving people who are busy nurturing their own sweet little families. Proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
So keep your heart open to homeschooling, Mama, and watch your dreams soar.
Traci Matt – tracimatt.com
Hello Friend! You’ve asked a great question! The Bible is very clear we are to not only obey His commands, but also those in authority (Romans 13:1-5). Thus, we must break down the issue in question.
What does it mean to be qualified? This could mean one of two things, depending on who you are speaking to. Qualified might mean legally able. It might also mean physically able. Depending on the context of the question, you will get completely different answers!
If asked whether or not you are legally qualified to homeschool, verification is definitely in order. While I’d love to tell you homeschooling is globally acceptable, this is just not so. We are daily praying the Lord does a work in this area. Even if homeschooling is technically legal in your region, details pertaining to restrictions imposed should also be verified. (For detailed information regarding your region, I highly recommend contacting HSLDA.)
If asked whether or not you are physically qualified to teach, well…
What does it mean to be qualified? Legality aside, are we able to meet all our children’s educational needs as a homeschooling parent? I would answer with an unqualified, “YES!” No one knows our children better than us. Who better to instruct them in their daily learning. Being our children’s primary teacher does not mean we have to know absolutely everything about absolutely every subject. It does not mean we even need to be our children’s primary instructor in all subjects. (We are free to out-source areas of learning we feel might stretch the bounds of our own limited knowledge.) What does qualify us to teach? A passion for reaching our children’s hearts; a desire to see our children succeed; a mind willing to learn; and a drive to always do right by our kids.
Sadly, there are always going to be people who will nay-say your decision to homeschool. Expect funny looks, odd comments, and surprise over your choice to disciple and train your own children. If the Lord is leading you to homeschool, rest assured He will provide all you need to accomplish the journey ahead. May the Lord fill you with confidence, peace, and joy; renewing your dream to homeschool your precious children.
Cristina – The Home School Mom – A Homeschool Mom