“You used to be a teacher! Well, of course you’d choose to homeschool your children then!”
“You’ll be a great homeschool family with your background in teaching!”
I’ve heard many statements like these as encouragement when I shared my choice to homeschool my children. At first I agreed, why wouldn’t I homeschool when I have a teaching certificate I’m not even using?!? Well, for one thing I have only taught high school and college. But most importantly, teaching in a classroom in NO WAY translates to teaching your own children at home.
Actually, my teaching experience has given me quite a handicap.
Before I made the choice to homeschool, I read many homeschool blogs and a few times it was mentioned that ex-teachers tend to have expectations that make homeschooling more difficult at first. I definitely see why now!
Just because you know HOW to plan for a school year doesn’t mean that that plan means anything.
I have only been homeschooling my children for two months and I have already changed the WAY I homeschool about three times, maybe four. I have rewritten our daily schedule about ten times and I have changed curriculums twice. In 2 months. Everything I thought I knew about planning meant absolutely nothing. Nothing. Good thing I used pencil in my beautiful teacher planner!
One of the best reasons to homeschool is to be able to create a curriculum and schedule that is personalized to your child. I predict that I will change the WAY I homeschool probably another four or five times this first year. I’ll rewrite our schedule a dozen more times and probably find another curriculum that I think will be perfect for my son! And it’s all okay. All that matters is that I’m taking this time to find what works for our family.
There are so many more factors at home.
Good factors. Like FREEDOM.
Freedom for my children to get a snack or take that break to swing in the backyard. Freedom for us to move that reading to tomorrow or do another math lesson today. Freedom to do math in the living room and science in the kitchen. Freedom to answer those immediate questions about what I just read or to stop and tell me that joke he just thought of. No desks. No teacher-driven lectures. Freedoms that I didn’t know how to account for as an ex-teacher.
Freedoms that I find myself fighting against BECAUSE I was a teacher. Because in my head I’m thinking, “No, we need to move on!” “We can’t just stop now!” “Don’t lay down on the floor when you’re doing your math!”
But it’s amazing. I can stop. I can repeat. I can explain. I can cuddle. I can make that fort at lunch time.
Every day I have to UNdo my teacher reactions, thoughts, and motivations. I have to train myself to see how homeschool is NOT school at home. It is life learning. It is cultivating a love of learning! For me, it is redefining what teaching is.