The other day I was reading a mom’s response to a mom who was seeking advice on how to learn to teach her own children.
“You do not need to be taught how to teach your own children. It should come naturally”
I was shocked by this mom’s superiorly demeaning response to this mom who was vulnerably brave enough to ask for guidance.
What does this mean exactly, “teaching your children should come naturally”?
This raises a ton of questions for me:
When you receive your child, you never need to read a book or attend a parenting group? That by giving birth, or adopting, you naturally know how to teach them through all of their upcoming encumbering changes? The day you become a parent are you able to automatically sync up intuitively with your kids?
Being a mother, teaching your children, can come naturally for most. Especially, in the early years when they haven’t much opinion other than “I love you mommy”.
However, most kids after 10 and almost all after 12, will harbor some type of opinion different than their parents. This stage of raising kids can make a parent long for the potty training years. . . almost. How are you going to teach to a child who does not see your point to learning something?
What about when a parent has pulled their child out of “send away” school and begins to see gaps in their child’s understanding of a topic that was previously taught, are they supposed to naturally know how to go back to diagnose and assess where to fill in those gaps?
Most parents are great at encouraging a child, but what about one who has felt demonized for his lack of “getting it” and has shut down?
If you have never reached that moment with your own children, consider yourself blessed; but are you a source of wisdom and encouragement to that other mom in your circle? What about the children in your community’s co-op that you volunteered to work with, is it natural to know how to teach other parent’s children?
For those parents who travel extensively with their children, how do they connect the unexpected learning experiences into a previously planned lesson? Is simple to craft questions that will encourage deeper cognitive learning and then pull together an evaluation of those new add-ins?
What happens when the subject you do love doesn’t match your child’s enthusiasm for learning, but is instead met with hostility? What do you do then to inspire them? Is it you that’s failed in teaching the curriculum properly or your child in learning?
Does every parent have a love for every subject and a natural proclivity to teaching them? Is relying solely on the daily to-do check lists from your curriculum actual teaching? Do all questions and evaluations test for where the knowledge was stored, or if the learning can be applied?
I have always wanted to be a teacher. My dad regales anyone who will listen about how I used to teach my stuffed animals. My husband, who has known me since I was 17, tells me that I have always enjoyed the psychology of teaching others how to teach.
However, teaching has never come naturally to me. The love of teaching certainly does, but the skills to teach have taken decades to hone and perfect. It is those mastery skills that I have strong desire to pass to parent-teachers, because like me, they share in the natural love of teaching.
Learning to teach your own children is a badge of honor where you learn to take the reins and become adept at diagnosing problems, reaching the unreachable, and cultivating the unmotivated with an internal desire to learn.
Understanding the mind, brain, and body of your children is the most enlightening experience. When we learn to teach it is like being able to see a finished picture of a 60,000 piece puzzle before attempting to lay the first piece.
It is why we, at Teaching Your Child, encourage parent-teachers to master their craft of teaching and equip them with the tools to know how to grow and strengthen those developing synapses through questions that are cognitively challenging; developing avid learners that can apply their learning to life.
At least once in your journey of homeschooling, you will experience the inexplicable phenomenon where once enthusiastic learners become apathetic, and beautifully crafted lessons will have odd missteps that go awry. It is for this reason that we feel that it is imperative to learn how to become independent of someone else’s idea of planned lessons and evaluations.
It is though learning to teach, not just following carefully laid out step by step instructions of curricula and gathering interesting Pinterest lessons that you learn how to handle these situations.
If your child is a seed, and you are the planter, teaching is the soil and care that goes into planting that seed. Any small seed could grow in darkness between the hard, rigid cracks of cement, but it doesn’t flourish there.
Learning to teach is the only way to help your children flourish.