We don’t need no stinking license!
One of the most liberating experiences of homeschooling is the realization that you have the freedom to teach your children according to their own interests, needs, and maturity. It’s way different than a modern cookie-cutter educational style that assumes that physical, emotional, and psychological development are exactly the same for every kid of the same age. As homeschoolers, we can also tailor their education to be in tune with our values and morals, not society’s. That reason is a huge part of why we homeschool.
One of the things I hear from dads that don’t homeschool is while they have an interest in teaching their kids, they feel that because they work outside the home, they don’t have the time for it.
Fathers that work outside the home can still be active participants in their children’s education, even if their time for “homeschool” is limited.
Remember, homeschool is always in. You don’t have to have a lesson plan or a huge chunk of time in order to help educate your kids. You don’t need to teach from a curriculum, or know everything about everything before you can teach them. You just have to be aware of those teachable moments, and use them to help your kids learn about the world around them.
When you talk to them as if they were little people with brains like sponges instead of just little kids, that can set the tone for teachable moments.
I’ve found that some of the most profound lessons come from our daily experience, and not necessarily a planned activity. Field trips are awesome for homeschoolers, but just taking the time to connect with your child every day is more powerful than any day-trip they could take.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Be the teacher you wish you had
- Wackiness can be a virtue in a straight world
- Mistakes are how we learn
- Surprises are cool
- Tell them there are no wrong answers, just misplaced questions
- Make a fool out of yourself while trying something new
Teach the things you wish that you could have learned
- TV is advertising, not education (“but I saw it on TV”)
- History is full of revisions
- Most free stuff is not
- The sun neither comes up nor goes down.
- Statistics can be interpreted any way you want
- Science is mostly best guesses
Teach with every question they ask of you
- “What does that piece do?” (Shop class)
- “What’s war?” (Politics, Economics)
- “Why does that man have so many tattoos? (Art)
- “How come that man is sleeping in the alley?” (Economics, Sociology)
- “Why can’t we just buy it?” (Home Economics, Psychology)
- “What’s global warming?” (Environment)
Teach what you’re passionate about
- I love trees, so we identify trees by their leaves and seeds wherever we go (Botany)
- Ditto with birds (Biology)
- Rocks as well (Geology)
- Cooking (Chemistry)
- Gardening (Horticulture)
So go ahead, be a homeschool superhero.
You’ve already got the skills.