Effective teaching does need you to be smart – but not the way you think. One of the things that people have often said to me is that I must be smart, clever or a good teacher to have homeschooled highschool. Teaching my children has nothing to do with what I know as far as content: as far as history, science and grammar goes but rather what I know as a mother.
I know God’s Word – this is the foundation for all learning. God’s word gives us identity and it gives us purpose.
I know my child– each child is different and as a mum I have the opportunity to find out what my child needs – what he needs to succeed in every area of his life.
- Where is his relationship with God at?
- What character flaws does he need to address
- What knowledge and skills does he need
- What strategies will work best for him,
- What are the areas that he will excel in and how do I prepare him for that
I know the importance of character – regardless of my child’s intellectual ability (which is the measuring stick that the system usually focuses on) my child needs the character to reflect and honour God and God’s ways. All the knowledge or skill in the world will amount to not much if your character lets you down.
I know life skills – I may not have it all together, but I have a big picture of what life requires of each of us, and I want to prepare my children for this.
I have a love of learning – and if I can pass this onto my children then I know they will be able to study any subject, take on any task, and excel in any aspect of their life even if we have no idea what that direction looks like at this stage of their life.
It’s not about being smart
As a mum, I don’t just ‘know’ these things – I have had to be a student myself, and study each and every one of these five aspects. As I reflect back on this list how much more important it has been for me to study God’s Word, to study my child, and to learn about character and life skills than it would have been for me to have been an expert in World War II, biology or algebra. As I teach my children from the things that I do know then I prepare them to dig deeper into things that they need to learn about.
This is not to say that I don’t know anything about history or science but it is not the knowledge of these subjects that qualify or enable me to teach my children.
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