Enough: Do I Have What it Takes to Homeschool (You do)
Am I smart enough to homeschool? (I never had good grades in school…)
Am I qualified enough to homeschool? (I’m not a certified teacher…)
Am I patient enough to homeschool? (I lose my temper just about every day…)
Does any of this sound familiar?
Whether you’re considering homeschooling or have been homeschooling for many years, we all have doubts at one time or another about taking on the enormous responsibility of homeschooling a child.
At some point, almost every homeschooling mom wonders: Am I really the best person to be educating my children?
Yes, mama. You. Are. Enough.
You are smart enough, qualified enough, and patient enough—because His grace is enough!
God can work with anyone willing to cooperate with His grace. It doesn’t matter what our lives have looked like up to this point. If the Lord placed a calling on our hearts to homeschool our children (His children), then He will provide all we need to educate them according to His will.
In fact, you are the very best person to teach your child anything—because you love your child infinitely…and because God has prepared you for this task:
For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. Ephesians 2:10
You are Capable Enough
We taught our child to speak, to listen, to crawl, and to walk—mostly, without even realizing it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children “depend on parents, family members, and other caregivers as their first teachers to develop the right skills to become independent and lead healthy and successful lives.” 1
As a parent, we are our child’s first teacher.
Beyond the practical skills taught in the early years (such as holding a cup or dressing oneself), the British birth cohort’s 70-year studies have shown that significant predictors of future success in children include “talking to and listening to your kids…being emotionally warm…reading to them daily… [and] maintaining a regular bedtime.” 2
As parents, we do this from the time our child is born.
Having taught our child every skill and behavior from birth to age four, why do we believe that we can’t move on to teaching reading and writing and mathematics in Kindergarten?
You and I can do it!
You are Smart Enough
Numerous research studies prove that, overall, homeschoolers score higher on standardized tests than other students.
That’s a fact.
And check this out:
Studies also prove that in comparing homeschooled students to public or private schooled students, “there [is] no difference in the students’ total reading, total math and total language scores based on the teacher certification status of their parents.” 3
Think about it.
There are “no significant statistical differences in academic achievement between those students taught by parents with less formal education and those students taught by parents with higher formal education.” 4
So whether you or I failed high school algebra or were held back a year in elementary school has no direct correlation to a child’s academic success.
You know why? Because homeschooling is about the intimate relationships we have with our children.
We know our child better than anyone else.
We are our child’s biggest cheerleader.
And we can give our child what is needed, to grow, learn, and become.
Our devotion to our child’s education—and our faith in God—are enough to help us make the best decisions for our homeschooling.
You are Good Enough
In her infinite wisdom, Holy Mother Church repeatedly affirms all of the above.
In Gravissimum Educationis, Pope Paul VI teaches, “Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators [emphasis mine].” 5
By the very nature of God blessing us with the gift of children, He has designated us to be the primary teachers of our children.
And as the Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:10, our entire lives have prepared us for raising our children.
Whether we choose homeschooling or not, and whether we teach all subjects at home or outsource to online or in-person tutors, moms and dads are the ones given the authority by God to make educational decisions.
The Best Person for the Job
And not only are you and I good enough, but we’re also the very best person for the job!
If through prayer and discernment, we have chosen to homeschool right now, and we rely on God’s grace, then He will equip us, one day at a time, with all we need to give our child the education that he or she needs.
In fact, Paragraph 2223 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church agrees:
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery—the preconditions of all true freedom…Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. 6
(But Not Perfect – And That’s Okay)
We all know that we’re not perfect. In giving that “good example,” we often fail. However, failure can still lead us to being the best for our children.
By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them. 7
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
It’s a given that you and I don’t have to be perfect to homeschool! (Thank goodness!)
Even with homeschooling families who have gone through significant struggles, I have seen God do amazing things. (Have you, too?)
And I’ve watched ordinary homeschooling families (if there is such a thing) raise the most incredible adults. (Have you seen it, too?)
In my own family, it’s beautiful to watch each of my children grow into who God created them to be—despite my daily failings!
It doesn’t take Superman or Superwoman to homeschool.
It takes ordinary men and women with faith in a super God who believes we can do it.
Mama, you are enough.
God knows it.
1. “Early Brain Development and Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. Jessica Stillman, “A 70-Year Study of 70,000 Children Says This Is the Secret to Raising Successful Kids,” Inc.com, https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/scientists-followed-thousands-of-kids-for-70-years-this-is-biggest-takeaway-for-parents.html (accessed August 29, 2019).
3. Christopher Klicka, “Academic Statistics on Homeschooling,” Home School Legal Defense Association, https://hslda.org/content/docs/nche/000010/200410250.asp (accessed August 28, 2019).
5. Pope Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis, The Holy See, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_gravissimum-educationis_en.html (accessed August 28, 2019).
6. Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Holy See, http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a4.htm (accessed August 28, 2019).