Welcome to the first Family Revised Duets post! Karly and I are both posting on this myth today, and we'd like to bust it open. Oh, you people who are homeschoolers may not believe this one, but I've heard it from others. "Oh, I could never homeschool. But you? You've got a teaching degree so...."
I agree. So what?
Honestly, the transition from public school to a "homeschool" mindset has been rough! I read a lot of books before we began and while it all sounded neat, I just didn't really see how it could actually work. I'm also not going to sit here and say that a college degree is completely worthless. Here, I'll lay out both sides.
WAYS A TEACHING DEGREE HAS HELPED ME HOMESCHOOL
I'm not sure it's the degree, but probably more like the teaching experience that has given me some ideas for things to do with my daughters. Certain things that I did when I was in the classroom translated well to our homeschool last year. Of course, that will only work for the grades I have experience with. The highest I ever taught was 4th grade. After that...it's all going to be new to me, you know? And that big tub I have out in the garage of teaching junk will be useless. (It's almost all 1st grade stuff so it's kind of dead to us for a few years anyway.)
And I have to say that I have a LOT of training in early literacy. I know now that all you really need to teach kids to read is books, and paper and something to write with. Most homeschool moms probably already know that. I know plenty of classroom teachers who think they can't teach children to read unless they have their entire bag of tricks from their classroom. Trust me, I know. When I quit work I really wanted to pack up my whole reading cart with me because I couldn't see how I could teach without all the things I was used to using in class. Guess what? Turns out what you need for a class of 25 kids and what you need for your own children are totally different things.
How else has being a former teacher helped me? Let's see...
Yeah, I think I'm done. No, seriously I'm sure there are other benefits, but they aren't coming to me right now. Dealing with irate parents? A non-issue. Navigating the politics of a school staff? Blissfully, a non-issue. Paperwork and training hours and meeting campus, district, and state requirements? A non-issue. Team meetings and district meetings and staff meetings? Gone. SO MUCH of what used to take up my time is gone and I am left with what I know about teaching. And, as it turns out, very little of what I learned as a teacher applies.
WAYS A TEACHING DEGREE HAS NOT HELPED ME HOMESCHOOL
It has been so hard getting out of the public school mindset. My body and my brain are stuck on a traditional school calendar. The very idea that parents are in charge of their kids and not the school is still new to me. When I first starting reading things from people who refused to trust the "government" with their children I thought I had stumbled on some crazies! The more I thought about it, and the more my thinking shifted, the more sense it all made. I was able to step back and look at the whole big machine that is the public school system with new eyes.
Honestly, there isn't one thing that I do with my girls that is the same way I would have done it in the the classroom. Every single thing about homeschooling has been new and different to me--and harder to understand because I was coming at it all with the perspective of a classroom. I'm navigating all the homeschool curriculum and methods such as notebooking, lapbooking, etc. and I feel just like a newbie. Just like anyone else.
And more than anything, I'm enjoying loving each one of my students to death, having fun with them, setting our own schedule, adjusting as needed to meet their needs rather than the other way around, and living life with them.
The two (public school and homeschooling) are not even comparable, in my opinion.
Karly is posting on this same topic today. (And she said it so much better than me!) Hop over to her blog and read what she has to say about being a former teacher turned homeschooler!!!!
Any of you former or current teachers want to join in? Leave your piece in the comments section.