Friday, March 9, 2012

Education about Education

I've mentioned before that it's downright fun to talk about homeschooling with others, purely to see their reactions. Apparently, to many people, only nutters home educate. Well, I have met a few of those ;) but they aren't the average homeschooler. Or at least I don't think so. Not the crowd I hang around, anyway....

When I mention that we homeschool, quite a few people seem generally interested and are very supportive, and often want to know more about it. But I have seen others wrinkle their nose, or say "Oh, that's nice" and then casually change the subject. Apparently, homeschooling can be quite taboo!!

But one of the most discouraging reactions I've received is this - "Oh, well, you used to be a teacher, so it's ok!"

Technically, that's true. I use the term "teacher" pretty loosely, because in all honesty I didn't last very long in the profession. However, I do have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in middle school math (thankyouverymuch), and was 'certified' by the State to educate young, impressionable minds. Scary, huh? :) LOL My State certification has since expired, but lucky for me (and for everyone who ever went to college), my degree has not.

But there are quite a few people out there in the Real World who think home education is a joke. That only those who have been deemed "worthy" by the State (any of the 50 will do, I guess) should be allowed to teach children. Such thinking goes hand in hand with the belief that said education couldn't ever possibly take place outside of a State run school building (again, any State building will do).

Well, guess what? As one of those former so-called "qualified" educators, I'm here to tell you that my college education was grossly inadequate. Most of what was used on a day in day out basis in the classroom was obtained by on the job training. And trial and error. And mentors. NOT from my college education.

And for those who think that my education ABOUT education has helped me in my homeschooling?? Not so much.... Not once have I thought at the end of the day, “Wow! I am SO glad I took that methods class in college! It certainly helped me teach my son about the Pythagorean Theorem!”

Um…. No…

It’s true that I already know most of the things that I’m teaching Drew right now. (Gosh, that sounded arrogant… didn’t mean it to come off that way! I think most of us could handle a 6th grade curriculum.) But there are some things that I have forgotten over the years, so I’m “relearning” it right along with him. I feel I’m setting a good example for him – that we all forget things over time, but that education is important and you’re never too old to learn. And I’m sure it won’t be very long until I’m teaching him things that I’ve never experienced before. And again – I’ll be setting a good example; most importantly HOW to learn new things.

Anyway, I’m not qualified to homeschool my son because I have a college education, or because I was previous “certified” by the State, or because I spent time in a real, actual classroom. I’m qualified because I’m his Mom. Because I know him better than anyone else (with the exception of my husband – who also participates in homeschooling!). Because real life applications of learning are the best way to retain information. And, most of all, because it’s FUN! :)

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