Some states require homeschooling parents to have a high school diploma or GED, but many states have no educational qualifications for homeschool parents. If some people we encounter knew that this was the minimal amount of education legally needed to homeschool, they might roll their eyes and think homeschooled children are merely sliding by with the bare minimum. Why homeschool when you could have a highly educated teacher provide quality education for your children? A teacher with a degree, who has been trained is integral.
There is just something about a college education that makes people feel safe. I don’t know what it is. If someone has a degree in something then they are automatically an expert in that field. You walk into an office of someone with several degrees hanging on the wall and suddenly the level of respect for them goes up. Should it? Maybe, they did work for it. But maybe not. Maybe the teacher your child would have if you did send them to a school is simply there for the paycheck to pay off their college debt. Yes, there are teachers out there who love what they do and desire to impart to their students but you are not guaranteed that when you enroll your child in school. It’s always a fear in the back of a parent and child’s mind when entering the school year, “will we have a wonderful and kind teacher this year?”
People who know me well know that yes, I did go to college and yes, I do have a degree. When I said I was going to homeschool, many responded, “well, you can do it because you are trained.” Well, if you’ve been to college, it certainly doesn’t mean you know everything. Especially if you went right out of high school. My priorities certainly weren’t in order then and even though I somehow made it through and graduated, the degree that I have doesn’t mean much without the experience.
I was tempted at first to quickly let strangers and skeptics know that yes, I am qualified to homeschool because I have a college education. I felt like it would silence any further questions, and it usually did. Now that I have been homeschooling for several years, I am realizing that my education is not what qualifies me, nor should it be the determining factor of what qualifies you.
If you want to know what qualifies you to homeschool your children, think about what you would want in a teacher if you were looking around for one.
Would you want a teacher that cares about your child’s individual needs?
A teacher open to search for the appropriate resources if they aren’t fully versed on a particular topic?
A teacher willing to listen to and thoughtfully answer your child’s questions?
A teacher who uses unique and creative methods to teach a topic if traditional methods aren’t working for your child?
A teacher who is willing to find out my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
A teacher who will challenge my child to go above and beyond the status quo?
Think about the questions that are important to you and then ask yourself if you can be that for your child. Degrees aside. Education aside. Can you guide your child in love and compassion? If so, there are plenty of resources like the Homeschooling Handbook available to help you in your journey. You don’t need to be an expert. You can give your kids what they need and so much more with help from other homeschooling families. If you have already committed to homeschooling then I believe you are qualified. You have already taken the hardest step, just keep on going, one day at a time.