Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Homeschool thoughts...Are you a teacher?

Greetings to all,

This past weekend while I was at an event, I was introduced to someone in my neighborhood. When they heard my name they said, "Oh, you are that homeschool lady". I was very pleased to hear this is one of the things I am known by. This gentleman then proceeded to ask me, "Are you a teacher?".


Now, I shall preface this by saying in years past, meaning my early homeschool years, I would have answered him by saying no. I may have then gone into all kinds of apologetics as to why I can homeschool my children. Then I might have gone into how the state of Pennslyvania only requires a parent to have a highschool diploma or the equivalent etc. This time I smiled and simply said,"YES!". Of course I am a teacher! We all of us parents are. Some of us do have initials after our names saying we are recognized by the state as teachers, some have dimplomas saying we are, but the rest of us simply have the G-d given right. I am a teacher of this latter sort. When I first thought about homeschooling, I thought to myself that there was no way I could undertake such a venture. Surely I was not capable of teaching my own children. Things would fall through the cracks and what about highschool? But I could not imagine them left to someone else's, particularly societies, ideas and morals. It became a matter of constant prayer. Was this even something the Almighty would bless? One day the answer came to me during a time of prayer. In my mind I saw the many children I had taught to one degree or another throughout my years. Classes I had given, babysitting I had done, etc. and I thought to myself 'well, I did manage to do that'. Then the thought occurred to me that the Holy One, blessed be He, had given ME these children. He gave them to me, and apparently He, who knows all, must have thought I was capable to raise them, with His help of course. So it stands to reason I should be able to teach them. What about things falling through the cracks and what about highschool? We homeschoolers tend to surround ourselves with education and educators. Through the years I have had the privledge of sharing friendships with people who have a deep love or even degrees in Math, Linguistics, Art, and they have been so glad to help us. I in turn have been able to help them in some fashion. We are great barterers! By the time highschool has come, my older ones had already learned to learn, so they needed me only as guidance or to help them find resources. How is it really that much different than brick and mortar schools and what other teachers do? I leave you with these quotes. After you have read them, answer the question, are you a teacher?

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
-- Albert Einstein

The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book. ~Author Unknown

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. ~Carl Jung

"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist.""
Maria Montessori

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room."
Dr. Seuss quotes

The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned this afternoon"

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