When I began my homeschool journey in the summer of 1993, I was pretty confident that I could teach a second grader and kindergartner. I was fairly certain I could also manage a three year-old and 18 month-old while teaching their older two siblings. I was sure I know who the teacher was and who the students were . . .
We weren’t very far into our homeschooling expedition when I realized that I was actually the first student in our little school! This came as a surprise to me, though in retrospect, it shouldn’t have been a surprise at all because I definitely had a lot to learn.
I thought that because I had worked with children since I was old enough to be older than another child and that I was familiar with children’s development, and that because I was literate and knowledgeable about many subjects, that I would be able to teach my children easily. However, getting information to children in a form and fashion that they can relate to is not always an easy or intuitive task. Learning to recognize when my students were getting frustrated and helping them to keep going when topics or skills were difficult wasn’t always easy. I had to hone my skills and to adjust them to each child’s learning style.
My nearly six year-old son was a very active child and one of the primary reasons we took the leap into homeschooling. He literally NEVER sat down or if he did, it wasn’t for a very long time. Teaching him to read involved taping letters onto our carpet and allowing him to jump to each one to say its name and sound. My third child sat sweetly next to me while learning her letters. My fourth child needed a multi-sensory curriculum (we ended up using Sing, Spell, Read, and Write with huge success) while my fifth child thrived using just A Beka’s Blue-Backed Speller. Each child stretched and added to my teaching skills. I was a good student and not only learned what I needed to learn, I retained that knowledge for future use.
In 2010, I got involved with a little homeschool enrichment academy when my two youngest children were teens. They started attending classes there on an a la carte basis. I did the cleaning to offset my tuition and taught a class. Eventually I was hired as the director and now I am the owner of Hill Country Academy. I use the time management, child development, and teaching skills I honed with my own children in our academy. I have come a long way since I was the first student in my homeschool!
Who knows where you will end up with what you learned while teaching your children?