Am I Qualified to homeschool?

It is quite common to worry about our own abilities. As parents we often find ourselves comparing to others as we strive to give our children the best start. Do you question whether you have the knowledge and skills to homeschool? Are you worried that you don’t have the training?  Maybe you feel confident with the younger grades but are concerned about the advanced courses in high school. You may be thinking about how successful you were as a student and wondering how you can help your children through that process.

The good news is, you share the same concerns that most homeschool parents have had, however, in most cases, your perception about your abilities is simply not true. The following are four potential myths that may be keeping you from beginning your homeschool journey or preventing you from embracing the journey you are already on. Read on to see why those barriers may not be as daunting as you once believed:

Potential Myth #1:  I need to be legally qualified to homeschool. 

In Australia, everyone is legally able to homeschool their children. You will need to gain approval from the Department of Education in your State, but this is a straight forward process. As long as you have a good educational plan, approval will be granted. Each State has a slightly different way of moving parents through the registration process but on the whole, they will require you to provide past learning history, your plan for the year ahead and information on how you will assess the learning. As you may already know, the Euka teaching team provide this service for Euka families.

If you are already homeschooling, you may still be asking this question, am I qualified? The answer is a resounding yes. True learning requires a safe, inclusive atmosphere of acceptance and where better to find this than at home with a parent.

Potential Myth #2:  I do not know how to teach. 

If you are not a certified teacher, one of the barriers to homeschooling for you might be your own belief that you are not qualified to teach. In actuality, you have already taught your children many of the most important things, both academic and non-academic. Teacher preparation programs are necessary for classroom teachers because teachers do need to understand how learning happens in subject areas, but a lot of what teachers learn in those programs deals with teaching within a classroom full of students (e.g., whole-group lesson planning and assessment, classroom management, differentiation). Armed with a great educational program covering the subject areas, you will find the teaching is more about discussing new ideas and topics with your children, rather than lesson planning strategies. In fact, your teaching will become more well-rounded as you find the lessons blend into life. Lessons from Health will creep into food shopping, and lessons from Geography will be used on holidays. Teaching is just parenting with new topics.

Potential Myth #3:  I cannot homeschool my child.  

You have a unique relationship with your children, one that you may not believe can work in a homeschool situation, however, there are children like yours who have succeeded in both traditional school settings and in homeschooling. What you may need to work through are your own expectations for your children as well as what your role as a parent is.  Your child’s personality, motivation level, ability to listen, or interest in school are not impassable barriers. You may simply need support from those who have already walked those paths. Reach out to the Euka homeschooling community to see what works when homeschooling a child with similar strengths and challenges. 

Potential Myth #4:  I cannot do this alone. 

The truth is that you don’t have to “do homeschooling” alone.  There are many organisations and people who can help. Here are just a few:

Homeschool Organisations:
Try joining a local homeschool association or co-op for support, or simply connect with other homeschool parents in your area.  Veteran homeschoolers will know your state requirements and have all been where you are now. They can help with all kinds of advice from filing paperwork to how to structure your day. You might even start your own Euka co-op where you gather other Euka families in your area and complete some subjects together. Science, PE and Art work well as a multi-age group.

Euka homeschool community online:
Make sure you join the Euka Facebook group (official) so you can share and support others who are homeschooling alongside you. We all have good and bad days and sharing with each other is a great way to feel encouraged and empower others.

Self-doubt will happen when you homeschool.  You will wonder whether you are covering it all. You will question whether there is a better way to do almost everything. Rather than fall victim to these kinds of thoughts, you need to focus on the fact that there are no perfect lessons—even for certified teachers—and you need to give yourself the gift of trying again. Most of all, remember that you are not alone: You are on this journey with a beautiful child who can help you along the way. Just listen!