Can anyone teach?
Many people used to believe that home education wasn’t even possible without a teaching qualification. Now that we’ve all had a taste of home education during Lockdown 2020, maybe even you will agree that you don’t need to be a professional teacher to teach!
The conditions during Covid 19 were highly unusual. If you are among the group of parents now considering giving up multiple school runs, the mundane task of packing lunches every morning, and the uncertainty of deciding whether your child is fit for school that day or not, then be aware that your job is going to get easier! With plenty more resources online and in real life, the situation is never going to be as intense as Covid 19 Lockdown 2020.
So, what does Teacher Training teach you?
- Large Groups & Discipline: Teacher training teaches you how to handle a large group of approx. 30 children.
- Large Groups & Learning: It teaches you how to facilitate personal learning in large groups.
- OK To Cry: It teaches you that it is normal to cry after a class because the children (or other teachers!) have been mean to you. Many other teachers have testified to this, after completing their teacher training in schools.
- Write a Useless Lesson Plan: It teaches you how to write a totally useless lesson plan. This is because they teach you using the format your university requires which is nothing like the format your new school will require.
- Mark Assessments? It’s supposed to teach you how to set and mark level assessments. Even though this practice still boggled my mind when I had to do it for real in an actual school.
- Wait To Go To the Loo: It definitely teaches you how to go all day without time for a cup of tea or a loo break. You train yourself to do these incredibly unhealthy things so you can keep up with all the other teacher duties you have to keep up with. For example, teach a class at one end of the school, attend your playground duty at the other end of the school and then teach a class straight after break back at the original end of the school, all without being late, and preferably turning up before the students do. This is why I appreciated kind teachers so much. Kind teachers would make sure you got a loo break and would even make you a cup of tea if you were on playground duty. But yes, as you can tell, this skill isn’t required when home educating your own children!
Anything you need to learn as a teacher at school, you’d also need to learn as a teacher at home. Take maths for example, the concepts are the same as what we’ve been taught but the method is likely to be different. I’d advise buying an online pack to deal with maths at home or to invest in a maths tutor if you’re not confident teaching your child yourself. This is the same for any subject you’re not comfortable with.
Surprisingly, teachers do pick up subjects that they’re not entirely comfortable teaching your child at school!
Choosing to outsource teaching when you’re not happy with the standard you are delivering is a luxury schools can’t afford!
My point is, that even qualified teachers are expected to teach subjects they have no knowledge of. When I did my PGCE, you had to have a degree in your main subject and at least an A Level in any other subject you wanted to be qualified to teach in. Then as soon as you’re qualified, the school has free reign to ask you to do anything. You are asked to teach things you didn’t even get a GCSE in!
- Subject Knowledge: You only learn about your subject specialism in depth. This is rarely the only subject you will end up teaching on a daily basis!
As you must be aware, many schools employ teachers who are currently in a graduate training program or still students on a teaching course, these people are no more qualified than you! As class sizes increase, indeed the need to split classes up to keep numbers low also increases. More and more teaching assistants are asked to teach whole classes.
If teachers in schools are learning as they go along and getting through half the time, what makes parents, who have just their own children to focus on, any less qualified? I have far more time as a home educating parent to research topics than I ever did as a full time teacher.
Now all myths have been dispelled and you know, you can teach. What should a home educating parent focus on?
Get some help!: Choose something which agrees with your budget and rest assured that the qualifications and education your child receives will be recognised worldwide. Here are two courses that I’ve purchased recently. These include affiliate links that if you purchase, will provide me with a little bonus for sharing. As always, I never share products or experiences with you that I do not fully advocate and use myself. So I hope you’ll click the links and learn more about what these education systems have to offer for yourself.
- Get Some Fresh Air: The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to make sure you and your children get outdoors every day! It is super important to leave the house regularly to look after your body and mind. To get a regular weekly dose of the best of what the outdoor world can offer, join a local forest school group. I have always been a huge advocate of outdoor learning. Now I’m a Forest School Practitioner trainee and now know, more than ever, that so much of your success as an educator lies in exploring the great outdoors throughout the whole year. In this way you can experience the wonders of the four seasons with your children and marvel at how much you will learn to grow your child’s knowledge on a holistic level. Forest School incorporates learning about the Earth, and at the same time teaches literacy, maths, science and a whole lot more! Not only that, Forest School acknowledges that children learn in different ways. Whatever the strengths of your child, know that they will be nurtured in an outdoor learning environment.
- Meet new people: Make a huge effort to meet up with like-minded people at organised homeschooling events. Even though there are currently restrictions on numbers, make it your job to find out about the safe and affordable activities there are in your area. Challenge yourself to use public transport or drive further than you usually do to make the most of the facilities and organisations open to you. Holidays are usually easier to plan for homeschoolers, as you can now travel during off-peak times. Make the most of reduced fees and entry fees all the way through the year!
- Join an online community: The hardest thing is to homeschool on your own. You will always be second-guessing the decisions you make. When you decide to keep your children at home, the responsibility to educate them in a responsible and fair way is huge. Join forums, buy a course or two. There are mind-blowing options available online at the moment.
As home educators you are in fact facilitators. All you will need to teach your own children is a bucket load of enthusiasm and the ability to research anything you don’t know how to teach. This is why systems such as LoveLearningOnline are so valuable. Not only do you have everything you need to teach at your fingertips, you have a whole community who is travelling the same journey as you, ready to answer any questions you have got.
There are, of course, many FaceBook groups you can join. Just search ‘your own town, city and home education’ into the search bar and you should have a fantastic choice. Many of these groups are super informative and it’s usual for a new home educating parent to ask for advice or company on trips etc from like-minded parents.
Still not convinced? Meditate on it, consult your Higher Power. Take your time to make the decision. Ultimately, don’t worry about what others are doing. Do what’s right for your family.
If, like many of us, you like the idea of homeschooling but your work schedule or personal circumstances won’t allow it, choose to supplement your child’s education at school. Supplement it with clubs, groups and systems to enhance their learning and be confident in the fact that you are doing the best for your child as well as circumstances have allowed.
The Upshot: These last few months have helped us to see homeschooling in a new light. Many parents have to admit that it’s not nearly as impossible as they might have first thought. Though, never as intense as Lockdown, families may choose to opt into homeschooling for the foreseeable future.
As a teacher, I’m the first one to admit that you don’t need to be a teacher to educate your children in the best way. In fact there are many things teacher training teaches us that won’t really help us teachers educate our children any better than the average parent!
Don’t forget to get yourself and your children learning in the great outdoors, find like-minded people and above all, enjoy the journey.
If you find it’s not a good fit for you and your family, don’t fret, do your best and supplant your child’s school education as best you can on the evenings and weekends.
How has your homeschooling journey been during Lockdown 2020? Let me know what has worked for you? What are you happy to see the back of?
As always, I love hearing from you guys!
I hope you go forward always making the right decisions for your family, no matter what.
Let’s strive to be a community who is always there for each other.
That’s all from me for now.
Peace and Love,