The following is an article written at my request from a wonderful homeschooling mom in America, Christina K. Here's an excerpt of what I wrote to her (for the sake of context):
People have this misconception that only highly educated parents have the right to homeschool. I understand from HSLDA statistics that there is no positive correlation between student achievement and parent qualifications in the homeschooling scenario. Hence I'd like to set the fallacy straight, for the sake of parents who may be caught because of a lack of qualifications or fear to begin homeschooling because of it.
So, dear Christina, I'd sooooo appreciate if you could spare the time (whenever you're free) to contribute an article for my blog on this aspect. Perhaps just tell us how your daughter's journey into academic subjects has been and your role in this process?
And here is her wonderful, godly testimony of what the Lord has done for her and her family, for taking the Lord at His Word!
Christina K. writes:
Regarding the fallacy of a parent needing to be 'qualified'...nothing could be further from the Truth. God's Word is very clear about PARENTS being the teachers. If we were not qualified, I believe that either the Lord would not bless us with children (not meaning that everyone without children isn't qualified, please don't misunderstand) or He would have clearly stated in His Word that the state or church should be given our children for academic instruction and other training. This is not the case, therefore, the idea of a parent NOT being qualified is absurd and a lie from Satan himself.
Children belong with parents, period. Scripture is full of places that command us to teach, train, and admonish our children. It is, also, full of places that command the children to hear, listen, and obey their parents.
Suwei adds:Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
In our personal situation, I (our children's primary, academic teacher) am a high school dropout. Yep, it's true. I barely finished the 10th grade and quit school altogether after the first couple of weeks in 11th grade.
In my personal situation, there were many reasons for this, which I, at first, included in this writing but have since determined that the reasons are irrelevent. For me, however, and for many others, institutionalized school was not challenging in many areas, too much too fast in other areas, boring, stifling, etc... and a great place to fellowship with friends, keep up with all the current fads, be influenced and pressured in ungodliness and focus on anything else but learning.
True learning, for me, didn't begin until I began homeschooling my own children. What a delight it was to learn the things I had forgotten and was never taught! I still find such joy in learning right along with our children!
Homeschooling, though, at first, may sound intimidating, is not hard. There are so many wonderful options out there. And even if there weren't any options, God's Word is truly all we need.
However, in aiding homeschooling parents, many of the curriculum out there can be quite student-centered and self-teaching, allowing the child to, almost, homeschool himself! One of the great advantages of homeschooling, is that we are able to enjoy it with our children, go at a pace that is good for them, focus on things they love to learn, and instill a love for learning so that as they grow older, they love to learn and are able to be self-taught.
That is the case with our eldest.
In her younger years, we approached homeschooling in a relaxed manner, taking our time to learn and to enjoy, and now she continues to love learning.
She is 15 and will be graduating next year, at 16.
Her all time favorite subject is Chemistry, which she took an advanced course of this year. Also, "for fun", she took pre-calculus! Do I know anything about advanced Chemistry or Pre-calculus? No way. But I did delight hearing her tell me all about it this year. Because she enjoyed learning in the past, she was able to enjoy now.
Will all of my children squeal in delight to take advanced Chemistry and pre-calculus when they are 15 years old? I seriously doubt it and I'm not counting on it. However, I am persuaded that they will, indeed, love to learn and because of that, they will be able to learn what they need to and what they desire to, not just during their school years but all of their life.
What a blessing that will be!
As far as academics and man is concerned, I, in many ways, am not "qualified" to teach my children at home. But I do not live by man's standards, I live by God's.
My children were born into our family, not into the public school, the private school, the church, or the Christian school. They were born/given to us, at home. God Himself qualified me to teach our children. It IS our job, our God-given responsibility, to teach, train, and admonish them, whether we choose to 'step up to the plate' or not, we will one day give an account to what we did with the blessings that He entrusted us with.
Oh, may we seek to please and serve Him only and not man. I encourage you to prayerfully answer God's call to teach your children at home. For thousands of years throughout history, parents have taught their children at home.
We CAN do it, if we choose to.
He will enable us to do His will.
~ Christina Kwife to her U.S. Marine, highschool dropout, and joyful, homeschooling mama to four precious children
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ~ Philippians 4:13
"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57
***some beginning recommended reading***
(I do not endorse 100% of the content in each book. Use your own discernment when reading.)
Home Educating With Confidence: How Ordinary Parents Can Produce Extraordinary Children by Rick & Marilyn Boyer
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dr. Raymond & Dorothy Moore
How DO children surpass their parents in their educational attainment?
Did you catch it from Christina's account? It is to build into the child a love for learning. That is how the child will be able to take his learning into his own hands and even surpass the parent, beyond where the parent can lead them academically!
Don't stifle the love for learning with lots of study and work and work and work at an early age. That will make learning such a chore and something they are compelled to do (from the outside.)
Encourage them, keep it interesting, keep the learning at their level of ability. And the work load manageable for their age. When they take an interest in a certain subject and they want to find out more, do it together with them. Or give them the tools with which they can find out more on their own.
Pray for them that God give them a right attitude towards school work.
It does occur to me too, that if a child is surpassing a parent's educational attainment, then that means that it is no longer a "teacher-centered" (homeschool) setting but more of a "student-centered" one.
As in the case for Christina's 14 yr old daughter, Ally, who is doing advanced Chemistry, a subject that Christina herself knows little of. The girl works mainly on her own with occasional phone calls to a real Chemistry person on the phone to ask questions or clarify doubts. They order home experiment kits for experiments.
But I do observe that it is mainly run by Ally herself. That really flies in the face of "classroom" convention but it works! Not an expert teacher running the whole show on behalf of the "passive receptacle" student.
My eldest is 8 yrs old. I don't have all the answers as to what he'll turn out to be academically, but this is wisdom I'm gleaning from my friend Christina, and I'll take it to heart and remind myself to love God first, put matters of their little hearts first, the heart attitude... and the rest will take care of themselves.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.