This is a momentous week for me. Today my daughter is beginning to homeschool my oldest grandson, who is five years old. I am so excited for them as they begin their adventure!
While my daughter is among the most fearless young women I know, she still admitted to being a little nervous about taking on the task of home education.
Having been homeschooled herself, she is looking forward to having fun making homemade volcanos, working on art and crafts, and playing with math facts.
She also remembers that being homeschooled allowed her to get the academic learning done early in the day, leaving lots of time to play outdoors, imagine, and be creative.
She is excited to be able to give her children the same rich, positive experience.
She knows that her own homeschool teacher (me!) didn’t know everything, admitted ignorance regularly, and wasn’t afraid to go to the dictionary or some other source to get information.
Not sure you have what it takes to homeschool? We have ways of finding out what we don’t know, so why worry? You don’t have to be a know-it-all to teach!
With all that said, though, it is still only normal that she should feel a little apprehensive.
Teaching is a tremendous responsibility. It is right up there with parenthood in terms of its impact on the formation of the lives of children. Combining parenthood and teaching is even more formidable.
Do I know enough to teach? How do I know what I should be teaching? Where do I find out? What if I get my facts wrong? Knowing what to teach can be daunting.
And teachers aren’t just responsible for the content of what they teach. There is also curriculum sourcing and record keeping and, in the case of homeschooling parents, keeping up with all the everyday tasks that you used to do in the time that is now taken up with helping your students memorize addition facts, phonics rules, and French conjugations.
So, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, start by taking a deep breath and relaxing!
Trust that you will learn alongside your children. If you have been homeschooling for a while, you know exactly what I am talking about. Teachers are always learning.
I would guess that in your journey as a homeschool teacher you have learned way more about…. ummm, say,… blue whales, or maybe Ancient Mesopotamia, than you ever thought you would need to know.
In the same way, you will likely learn a few things when you decide to teach French in your homeschool. A good curriculum takes away your worries about what to teach. Having lessons laid out systematically, with plenty of review along the way, makes learning easier and takes away the pressure of planning what to do next.
You will learn alongside your children, equipping yourself to teach as you go along. Both you and your students will be left with the valuable experience of learning French as a second language.