Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doing the Once Impossible

The longer I homeschool (and this is only our second year!), the more I believe that parents really can teach their children at home. Huh? Of course you can or you wouldn't be.... What I mean is...we can do more than just teach them reading, math, science, history, etc. I truly believe that parents can teach their children far more than they realize.

One of the results of public compulsory education is that we have lost the art of teaching our children at home. For the most part, anyway. Years and years ago there was no question who would teach the children---their mom and dad would! When they were older, they might apprentice with another trusted adult to learn a skill, but education truly began in the home.

We now have parents convinced that their 2 year old MUST go to preschool or else. How did we get here?

I'm getting on a soapbox. Sorry. I remember reading a debate about whether homeschool parents were allowed to teach driver's ed to their kid or did they have to enroll them in the classes? If we can drive, and we can get our hands on a driver's booklet from the department of public safety, then I feel sure we can teach our daughters to drive.

But music lessons? No way. I can't read a note of music! I told myself, "I will just have to sign the girls up for music lessons and pay a lot of money for them to learn. I can't teach music, because that is something I don't know about."

Well. I mentioned that a very kind man from our church is teaching Sweetheart to play the recorder. She had a lesson with him last week, but it wasn't really enough to leave her knowing how to DO anything with her new instrument. So, she's frustrated.

I began nosing around the internet and found a wealth of information on learning to play the recorder. Certainly I cannot do more than our friend who plays the recorder beautifully, but I can teach her something. I have the added benefit of knowing her learning style. So, I'm printing off pictures of what her hands should look like when making certain notes. I found an online tutorial complete with pictures and a movie and sound clips. I can teach some music to my girls.

It's very freeing to realize that you don't have to always depend on "the experts." Wonder what else we can learn around here?


  1. See, THIS kind of encouragement is exactly what I needed to hear right now. There's no one in my immediate circle who can provide what you just did: confidence that I really CAN do this homeschool thing. I'm really not down on blogging, just looking for balanced perspective. You gave me that here today.

    Thanks, Brenda!

  2. We really can learn anything these days through the internet. It has definitely enabled me to teach my children many things that my own mother couldn't know for lack of resources.

  3. There was a news story a while back about a man who homeschooled his daughter in the back woods using nothing but a Bible and an old set of encyclopedias. She was grade levels ahead!

    But I truly believe I could do it with a Bible and the internet. Alone. Wait--the Bible is online too. OK as long as there is not a power failure, we're good! :)

    Oh-here's the link:

    This CAN be done!

  4. So many parents can benefit from your learning experience! Good one!

  5. Whenever I am asked about how I will teach my boys (insert some advanced high school course here), I reply that by the time we are there, I'm certain the resources will be available. The explosion of options for homeschoolers is incredible. Combined with just using plain old-fashioned common sense and resources of friends and networking, I don't see "obstacles" as reasons not to homeschool. Learning is for life.

  6. Yes! We're getting ready to teach ourselves the piano in the absence of the cash to hire a teacher. Soon, soon. But in the meantime how can we let that beautiful piano go to waste?

  7. Recorders are inexpensive, I think, so...why not learn to play along with her?

    I think children are even more willing to make learning a lifestyle if they see their parent doing it. For instance, my kids see me stretching my limited formal experience to sing with the local Bach choir, and I even torture everyone as I practice the piano! (Completely self taught.) I'll never do what Fifi can do on it, but I learn enough to enjoy the pleasure of a new skill.

    It's good for them and good for me too.

  8. That's great Brenda, you rock!!!

  9. Um, not to dole out her skillz without permission, but Aunt Bossy is an elementary music teacher.

    And they were recently working on recorders. I'm sure if you promise to be her friend forever, she would answer any questions you might have.

    And don't tell her I told you. ;0)

  10. I am amazed by the wealth of resources available. We can find or create exactly what our children need to learn.

    Love is the best motive!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)