Can we talk about parents not being qualified to teach their children?

Being a trained teacher involves a lot of things. It’s a skilled profession that takes study, and preparation, and ends with a hard earned qualification. But it’s important to understand that a good deal of that training relates to skills that apply specifically to a school setting. That apply to managing large groups of children, and delivering curriculum and testing schedules on time with results a school’s administration expects.

If that’s not what you’re trying to do - and, as a home educating parent, it’s not - most of those skills just aren’t necessary.

I think if you asked teachers what it is that slows down or prevents children’s learning the most, they’d tell you it’s the schedules, tests, expectations, and pressure that get in the way of them working closely and patiently with their students.

And if you asked them what the ideal learning scenario would be, I don’t think they’d talk much about the teaching side. I think they’d talk about children being ready to learn, being open to learn, and the physical and mental environment they’re in being conducive to it. Which, of course, is clearly reinforced by what we know about the brain. By what we know about how children best learn.

Researchers know, and teachers know, that long-lasting knowledge and skills are not gained just because we decide to deliver them. They are gained when a person is ready to receive them. When, ideally, they’re actively seeking them out.

So, let’s agree: the most critical factor in a child learning at home is not how qualified their parent is to teach.

It is knowing who their child is and what makes them tick. It is knowing when to push forward on something and when to ease back. It has having the time and space to do that. It is that beautiful synergy between a child ready to explore something about the world, and a parent in tune with how and when to open the right doors so they can.

*That* parents can do. *That* parents are qualified for.

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