I am my girls' best teacher.
Wanna know how I know?
Quick recap if you are new here: I taught public school for 11 years. God changed my heart and our family a LOT in the course of 3 or 4 years and I prayed fervently for God to bring me home. He did. We are now a homeschooling family. Something I NEVER thought I would be doing. Being home seemed an impossible thing to ask for.
And now I have trouble watching others teach my kids. Let me explain.
Sweetheart and Little Bit were taking karate. Sweetheart is STILL taking karate, but Little Bit hung up her gi after the first time she was expected to spar. She was not a fan.
So the parents sit there and watch the class. Sweetheart (and Little Bit) were both a bit lost for the first few classes, understandably. I think I've heard the teacher say to them, "Don't look at your mom! Look at me!" about a hundred times. Why do they keep looking at me? They didn't know what to do, and so they looked to their parent. I think that's how it should be, by the way. And I hear that I should expect them to look more to their peers as they get older. Is that true? Do I have to let that be the way things play out? Don't worry, I'm not suggesting they sit at my feet until they are adults....I just mean, can't parents have such a relationship with their children that they don't necessarily depend on their friends only but on their parents as well? I'm just asking. I think that may be psychology talking.
So anyway, it's totally frustrating to sit there and watch my children be confused and listen to the instructions that are being given to them and see that they still do not understand. I KNOW if I could just say one thing to them, it would all be clear. I even know what that one thing is. I know better than their karate teacher. Not about karate, mind you, but about how to teach my children.
And since I am the one teaching all the subjects to them, I know what they've learned. How different that is from when Sweetheart was in public school and I would wonder what she was learning all day! The backpack didn't offer any clues, and she was full of information as most children are when their parents question them about their day at school. But now....
At our mid-week small group meeting last night, my girls were the only children there besides a 12 year old girl. It was very strange--our small group is normally crawling with kiddos. So instead of leaving the room for a children's lesson, the girls sat with us. I had Sweetheart open her Bible and read along with the story. It was from Acts 14 when Paul and Barnabas healed a man and the people in the city thought they were gods. Our ears perked up when we saw that they thought Barnabas was Zeus! I bumped Sweetheart, whose eyes got wide. We've been studying Zeus in history and so she very well understood this story. No one else would have known that. I'm not saying that's bad-it's just that it is so much easier to help your child make connections when you know what they are learning.
We are the only homeschooling family at our church and I think people look at us and think, "Well, Brenda was a teacher, so I'm sure she does OK." Karly and I dealt with that myth here and here. You can teach your child. You are the parent. They are probably already looking to you. You will be involved with them and know what they are learning. There will be no gaps as the new teacher next year tries to figure out what they know and don't know.
Homeschooling just works.