Last Friday was Co-op. We are still trying to get the rhythm of co-op days. It changes up our routine. That isn’t a bad thing exactly, but it can be a little tiring by the end of the day. This session was going particularly well, that was, until the very end.
We had just finished letting all the kids play during open gym time. While the kids played, I had a wonderful time chatting with the other moms. I was leaving the church with my own children and another mom who had her kids. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone was leaving at the same time and within earshot. Which is what made what my daughter said next so awful.
“Why are all these moms here?,” Averie said. I gave her a sideways look, not knowing quite where this is going yet. “What do you mean? I answered. Why do all these moms come here and teach classes? It’s not like they are teachers or something.” Sometimes my daughter can be harshly honest, so I asked her calmly. “Honey, what does being a teacher mean to you?” “Well, a teacher has to be trained. That’s what makes a teacher,” She said matter-of-factly.
I try not to let the statements of a five year old hurt my feelings but she did, nonetheless. My husband and I chose this lifestyle over a more convenient and prosperous one. We know it’s best for our kids and we wouldn’t change it for the world. I know she has an innocent, yet curious mind, that wasn’t trying to be hurtful. Which is how I know when that mind has been fed with someone else’s opinion.
I was kind of on the spot, I don’t know if anyone overheard her comment. I didn’t want to offend anyone but honestly I had to put it out of my mind, we needed to talk. I explained that being a mom that homeschools is different than being a teacher at a school. I began earnestly, “This is a calling for me Averie. I feel that God has called me to homeschool my children. When I am very passionate about something, that passion will drive my success-which will then be your success.” She chewed on that idea for a while.
Later, my husband spoke with her and learned that this actually stemmed from a conversation that another child had with her, which came from this child’s parents. I am not going to try to go talk to them, unless of course they bring it up to me. I do however, want to clear the air.
No, I don’t have a teaching degree but I do have a degree in nursing. Did you know that one of the roles of the nurse is a educator? That aside, I actually don’t need a degree to teach my children. It’s just a perk. In the state of Michigan, if you’re homeschooling for religious reasons, then a degree is not a requirement. Shut the front door, right?
Yes, there are moms and dads that homeschool their children without having college degrees. You want to know what else? In the homeschool community, the parents’ educational background doesn’t change a thing. Homeschooled children’s test scores remain in the 80th to 90th percentile regardless of whether or not the primary educator (mom or dad) has a degree or finished high school.
If your children attend school, that is when having a degree or not having a degree causes a problem. Public school students whose parents have degrees test in the 63rd percentile and those students whose parents have no degree, test in the 28th percentile. Mothers who homeschool, that do not have a high school diploma have children test 55 percent higher than public school children with the same background. You can read the full article here.
For a state by state list read here.
The facts aside, one has to wonder why the educational background is not a factor when the parents choose to homeschool. After all don’t we need proper training? I’ve actually talked with several homeschool moms who are former teachers. To be successful at homeschooling, they have needed to un-school ther perspective first. After all, it is not school at home, it’s a way of life.
We are called to this lifestyle, driven by our passion. We dedicate ourselves to this calling. We have particular standards that are customized to fit our children and their individual gifts. We see the bigger picture and want the absolute best for our children.
No, I don’t have a teaching degree but as Charlotte Mason puts it, “A mother is qualified by the Creator Himself, to become the sole agent in the development of her child.” So to you moms without degrees, if you’ve been told you’re not qualified to homeschool, you are more than qualified because our Creator has called you to it.
Is God calling you to homeschool?