Back to Homeschool Week, If I had only known...
If only I had known...
that my qualifications to teach my children rested in my parenthood, not in my education degree.
When I started, we had a very rigid schedule and I made meticulous lesson plans. My daughter sat at a desk and I used an old car antennae as a pointer. We had a word wall that took over the entire ceiling of the room we were using as a school room and every bit of wall space was taken over by posters. My daughter was expected to raise her hand to ask questions, to answer them and to use the restroom.

When I first got my materials for the Principle Approach, I turned the seven principles into objectives. To see what I was trying to do, take a look at this. Go ahead, I'll be here when you get back.

I worked as an elementary school teacher in Texas before moving here to Nebraska and I knew my TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). Every lesson plan required them to be written out, with TAAS objectives highlighted to ensure that we were covering the key tested areas regularly. I had a sheet like the one you looked at for every subject. So what did I do when I began homeschooling?

I made up a sheet for every subject that looked just like that. I had one for each subject area with the seven principles as headings and the skills organized under them. My fellow PAers will instantly recognize that I was missing something, but it goes to show just how much we are shaped by our education.

I am not condemning standards or objectives, but this is my home. Looking over that list, what is there that you do not already naturally do in the home environment? Do you need a checklist to ensure that your child "responds appropriately and courteously to directions and questions?" (English 1B) These standards were designed to facilitate the teaching of a room full of other people's children, not to direct the interactions between parent and child.

Learning to let go of my role as the teacher in control of the classroom in favor of a role as a discipler was the most difficult lesson I had to learn. And that brings me to this illustration which I have posted here before. It has always represented my views of education, but has come to mean something very different to me:

As a public school educator, the contents of the pitcher represented my knowledge and the standards I was meting out to the children.

Now it represents to me living water. And as I pour that forth, the hearts of my children blossom.

This post is part of Back to Homeschool Week being hosted by I have to say...Check out some more posts on the topic by following the links she is collecting over there.

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