Are homeschooling parents qualified to teach their children?

Post · Sep 19, 2019 ·

I’m often asked if I believe that parents are qualified to teach their children, particularly when they start getting a bit older.

The answer to that is probably no, to be honest, but it’s also irrelevant. I don’t want anyone teaching my child. I want my child to learn, and those two things are not the same.

Let me show you what I mean:

Can I stand in front of a whiteboard and teach my eldest child trigonometry? No.

Can I help him find the resources he’ll need to learn applied geometry to any level, or any other branch of mathematics that interests him? Yes.

Can I recite key moments and timelines from history to teach him about our major historical events? Some, but probably less than I’d like to admit.

Can I deep-dive alongside him into any aspect of human history imaginable to broaden our understanding of where we’ve come from together? Yes.

Can I teach him about atomic structure? No, because I can’t even remember the basic differences between protons, neutrons and electrons from when I was taught.

Can we listen to engaging science podcasts and follow YouTubers performing and breaking down epic chemical reactions? Yes, and for the record this time the atomic structure stuff stuck.

The point is that parents don’t need to teach – even as home educators that’s not our role, and in the time we’re living I’d argue doesn’t need to be anyone’s. We are literally in the Information Age. We have access to more knowledge and learning resources than anyone in any other period of human history. Information is no longer held within the walls of a classroom, it is everywhere. And because it’s everywhere, available at any time, we can access whatever we need at whatever pace suits us.

I have no problem putting my hand up to say I’m not qualified to teach my children. But what I can offer is encouragement, inspiration, guidance and help accessing whatever information, resources and people they need to explore and learn from.

Don’t teach, just start opening the right doors at the right time and you’ll struggle to hold them back.

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