“I’m not qualified to teach”: Common Objections to Homeschooling pt. 2
Donna and I know some Christian people who have changed their tunes over the years about homeschooling. One lady told us years ago that she was not cut out for that sort of thing. In fact, we almost got the impression that she thought we were a little weird for homeschooling our children (which is not uncommon). But a few years later she pulled her one of her teenagers out of public high school for getting in some kind of terrible trouble that she would not disclose the details of. That same mother now says she wished she would have homeschooled all of her children all the way through school, because none of her kids, who are now young adults, have the kind of passion for God that she and her husband had hoped for.
This lady’s former objection to homeschooling is similar to what we have heard other people say: “I’m not cut out for that,” or, “I’m not qualified to teach my kids.”
Regarding the first objection of “I’m not cut out for that,” what this really means most of the time is that “I’m too busy doing other things to be concerned about schooling my kids when someone else can do it for me.” Or, “I don’t have the patience for that.” These two objections are ones that I could spend a good bit of time discrediting, because, after all, if a person doesn’t have the patience to educate their own children, that’s a CHARACTER issue, nothing more. Patience is one of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. And if a person is too busy to sow into their own precious offspring, then that’s another character issue. Who and what is more important than your own kids? If you are too busy for your own children, you’re too busy! Scale down. It won’t kill you.
But for the purpose of this post, I want to address the issue of parents not feeling like they are qualified to school their own children.
Sam Sorbo, wife of actor Kevin Sorbo, has written a book on homeschooling called, They’re Your Kids: An Inspiration Journey from Self-Doubter to Homeschooling Advocate. In that book and in her interview on Fox and Friends, she addresses this issue. I like her matter-of-factness in responding to this concern. She says that something is wrong with the idea that a person who was educated by the public school system all the way through high school can’t teach a third grader how to read, write, and do arithmetic. You can’t teach some basic history? You can’t explain a few basic tenets of how our government works? So a person who went all the way through public education graduates with such little confidence in their knowledge that they feel unqualified teaching a third grader? And so you are going to send your kids back to that same public school system who turned out the likes of you?
That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it?
The fact is, homeschooling is pretty easy in terms of the level of information you have to teach. There are TONS of excellent curriculum that really does most of the teaching for you. And it’s not difficult to bone up on some of the subjects with which you feel weak. All it takes is a little effort on the part of the parents; something that many parents, apparently, don’t want to do.
But often times the objections to homeschooling one’s children isn’t so much a laziness on the part of the parents, but is more a legitimate insecurity as to whether or not they can teach their children and teach them well. Sam Sorbo’s book may be both educational and inspirational in helping parents to overcome their insecurities and fears where homeschooling their children are concerned.
The fact is, most parents can teach their kids and teach them well, especially with the aid of homeschool curriculum and other educational materials. Besides, the spiritual and worldview education your children will get from you versus the one they will get from a humanist public school system is priceless.