As a mother, you wear so many hats every day, and I take my hat off to you for what it takes to do it! I know it isn’t easy.

If you’re wondering when you’re supposed to just be Mom and when you’re the Teacher, keep reading (or tune into the podcast episode at On the Marc Homeschooling — this blog post is adapted from the episode).

 

Hi, I’m Marc Ries, MD of Love2Learn curriculum and host of On the Marc Homeschooling Podcast. I’ve been in homeschooling for over 20 years and am the dad of two girls who were homeschooled throughout by my wife, Ivana. They never attended a mainstream school for a day in their lives. They went on to complete their Cambridge AS-Levels and both are now, by God’s grace, happily married and following different career paths.

I also lead an amazing team of people at Love2Learn, a modular curriculum with a broad, rich, and varied subject offering. Our curriculum supplies photo-rich, full-colour, living books that cater for auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic learning styles. Click here to check it out.

You will always be Mom

I believe the answer is a simple one: you are always, and never stop being ‘Mom’, you just happen to also teach your children at home.

If I look at the teaching in the Bible in Proverbs 31, in terms of God’s design for a mother, I see that a mother is designed to be the central nurturer of her family. Now please don’t interpret what I’m saying in any way as a sexist statement… It is God’s perfect design.

As we can all testify, when Mom is happy, everyone is happy, but when Mom is not happy, no one is happy, not even the dog, cat, or the budgie! That’s just how it works.

Who chooses the homeschooling material?

Closely aligned to this point is the question, “Who should be the most comfortable with the resources and material being used to homeschool, the child or the mother?”

After consulting with, guiding, and advising homeschooling families for more than 20 years now, I am absolutely convinced that the person who needs to be the most comfortable with the material used to homeschool, is in fact not the child, but the mother.

I am not saying that a child’s needs and opinions are irrelevant in the homeschooling process. Obviously, no loving parent is going to make a decision that is harmful to their child, but ultimately, a child’s opinion is subservient to what their mother knows and deems to be in the child’s best interest.

Who drives the homeschooling journey?

The reality is that mom is the one — especially in the early days — who is going to need to drive the homeschooling. If mom is not excited and fired up by the material she’s working with, she will struggle to get her child fired up. That’s just the practical reality of it.

It’s tantamount to taking on a job that you dislike, just for the increased income. You can be assured that in time, the money will no longer cut it and won’t make up for the hours of dissatisfaction you have in that environment.

Mom, you are a natural teacher

Any discussion regarding being a mom and being a teacher will be incomplete if we don’t also address the debilitating fear many moms have when contemplating homeschooling, namely, “How can I homeschool my children if I’m not a qualified teacher?”

Firstly, let me remind you that teaching has always been a natural part of parenting. Who was it that taught your child to use a spoon, button-up a shirt, tie their laces, make their bed, say “please” and “thank you,” etc.? Most likely, it was you!

Secondly, research has clearly demonstrated that when it comes to homeschooling, there is no advantage to being a qualified teacher.

Research is on your side, Mom

In the research, two groups of homeschooled children were given the same battery of standardised Mathematics, English and Science tests.

The first group of children emanated from homes where the mother and/or father was a qualified teacher, while the second came from homes where neither mom, nor dad was a qualified teacher.

In the final analysis, the good news is that the two groups of children performed almost identically! But not only that — here’s the kicker — both groups performed substantially better than their mainstream school-going peers!

 

Qualified teachers may struggle a bit more

Over the years as I’ve interacted with parents who are qualified teachers, many of them have shared with me that in some ways, they find it almost a disadvantage to be a qualified teacher because they tend to replicate the memory of the classroom at home and the lack of joy in doing this is very evident!

At Love2Learn we always encourage Moms to avoid importing the “school” into the home, but to instead aim to put the “home” back into schooling while maintaining a good quality standard of education.

Motherhood first

The role of being a mother is one of the most important roles that God has assigned — uniquely — to a woman; therefore, it is not to be supplanted just because you also happen to teach your child at home.

In my next On the Marc Homeschooling podcast, I’ll address the question, “Whose advice should I follow when it comes to deciding what material I should use, to homeschool my child?”

At Love2Learn, we are passionate about bringing life to learning, seeing families restored and generations impacted. You can reach us by email with a question of your own, at info@love2learn.co.za, or download our FreeHomeschooling Handbook” by visiting www.love2learn.co.za

May God Bless you with wisdom and discernment for the journey that lies ahead.

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