11/03/2016

Can I Homeschool without a University Degree?


 
There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to homeschool your children without having a university degree. Many parents who want to homeschool their children lose the confidence because they automatically think that the ability to teach only comes with having a higher education or specifically a teaching degree. That is far from the truth and I will give you few reasons why.

If you can read, understand, and follow simple instructions; you can teach!
Most curricula available come with table of contents and detailed instructions on how to teach the lessons. All you should do is read ahead of time to familiarize yourself and make lesson plans. So basically, you teach yourself, then teach your children. If you're worried about not being able to answer your children's questions, stop worrying! All you'd need to do is simply research with your children. It's OK not to know all the answers sometimes. Don't children always ask their parents questions anyway? So, what's the difference? Besides, as a student years ago, I sometimes had questions that my teachers couldn't answer right away. And as a former home-room teacher, I certainly did NOT know all the answers! I did exactly what other teachers did; familiarized myself with the lessons, then made lesson plans. It's that simple.

There's a difference between learning theories and having experience.
Just because a person has a degree does NOT automatically mean that he/she can teach several subjects and be an expert at all of them. Even those with teaching degrees and certification have a totally different experience once they start teaching full time. It's good to know the theories, but you will never truly know what teaching is until you start teaching. Also, there are many books available to learn all the 'necessary' theories and many online/offline courses to help your child supplement his/her learning. Do you honestly think that teachers relearn all the subjects/lessons that they teach while obtaining their degree and/or remember everything they learned in school? Absolutely not! The more they teach, the more they learn; and you can do the exact same thing! Just consider the homeschooling laws in your country or state to find out the what the minimum requirement for the educational level is. As far as I know, if you have a High School diplomat (GCSE or A-Levels in the UK, I think), you shouldn't have any issues in most places.

Homeschooling is very different from teaching in a school setting.
School teachers teach their students for few hours in a day and send them home with homework to practice or complete the lesson. Homeschoolers have their children for most of the day (or the whole day), help them prepare for classes (if they are young), prepare meals, clean, and do everything that comes with parenting. Because of the different settings, responsibilities, teacher to student ratio, and the number of grade levels taught, homeschooling should NOT be identical to the traditional school setting. As a parent and educator, you will figure out what works best for your family along the way inShaa Allah, just like you figure out everything else. It may not always be easy, but life in general isn't always easy, and the role of a parent is the most challenging but rewarding role there can be. The only thing that makes it possible is the natural and nurturing love parents have for their children.

No one knows your child more than you do!
There's absolutely no reason why you should put more confidence in someone else while doubting your ability to educate your own children. You have been with your child even before he/she was born. You witnessed his/her first cry, crawl, words, and walk until now (and more to come inShaa Allah). After doing all the research, curriculum selection/creation, and lesson planning, all your child would need from you is love, attention, and patience. Only you (and your spouse) can provide that for your child. Listen, many other parents have homeschooled their children with or without a degree and their children excelled academically much better than their counterparts. If they could do it, you can do it too inShaa Allah. Make istikharah and lots of du'a before or once you make the decision to homeschool. Do lots of research, read blogs and articles about homeschooling, and talk to other potential and/or homeschooling parents to help you boost your confidence inShaa Allah. Just remember, we can plan however we want, but nothing happens without the will of Allah. We're just required to put in the effort and leave the rest to Allah.

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