Saturday, 5 September 2009

Are You A Teacher?

"Don't you have to have a degree?" "Are you a teacher?"

No, no, no!

You might be surprised by how many teachers home educate, but it's certainly not a requirement. Enthusiasm and commitment are far more important qualifications than a degree and PGCE.

A couple of years ago I had a conversation with a newly HEing dad who was fretting that he couldn't get his 15 year old son through his physics GCSE. He had just been pulled out of school and as he was in the midst of his exam year, they didn't feel they had the opportunity to relax and find their way. Dad felt that he had to be at least 2 steps ahead of son in the syllabus in order to teach him. When I suggested that it might make it a more pleasureable experience all round if they learnt together, his eyes lit up. He had never considered that he didn't need to know everything, that he could show his son that it was ok that he didn't. You could see the liberation right there in his eyes.

We were at a fantastic science workshop a little while ago that we were sharing with a couple of school groups. It was great stuff, exploding custard it was called which of course captured our imaginations. Apart from the great content of the workshop, it was a fascinating experience watching the reactions of some of the teachers. The chap who was running the workshop explained that science was all about messing about (experimenting) and that not knowing things was what pushed scientists to make new discoveries. He then came out with a classic line: "Remember children, no one knows everything, not even your teacher. If they say they do, they're lying." Well, I'm sure you can imagine some of the reactions! Personally I found it incredibly refreshing because he was spot on, but it's not something many people will admit to. No one knows everything, and if they pretend they do then they are not to be trusted!

Home education has taught me so much more than I could ever have imagined. It's not just something that the children do, it's truly intergeneration, life long learning. It's great!


  1. No one knows everything and that is only going to get exponetially more true. How can people imagine it possible in this era of such rapid tecnological advances. We truly cannot begin to imagine what sort of future our children will inhabit.

  2. Excuse the spelling, I can pass as someone who can spell but rapid comments on blogs expose the fact the dyslexia is never cured, lol. It is other people's opinions as always that make it a handicap though, people who would presume that because I cannot spell I am unintelligent, an error that still abounds in schools. Yet another reason to home educate.

  3. Well, this myth that we can't learn unless someone teaches us has to one day be debunked one day surely? I mean, millions of adults sit on google, day in and day out, looking up answers to questions , which range from how to work out their taxes, to what animals live in the depths of the Amazonian rainforest, and everything in between! The internet population is doing this by the second. So why do we suppose our children can't or won't? My dd is doing sociology igcse at the moment. This week she is looking up keywords that she needs to learn. Why ask me? I'm not a sociology lecturer. Instead she goes on google and finds a trusted site and within moments she has the information that she needs at her fingertips from professors at top uni's. She has access to the best minds in their field at her fingertips. I would say this is a very efficient way to learn. Once you have helped your child to do their own research and helped them understand that in their searches online they should remain discerning and should double check any facts they come across, well the world really is their oyster!

  4. The forthcoming NHERI study on the performance of home-schooled pupils in the US on standardised tests found a statistically significant difference between children whose parent/s are certified teachers and those whose parents aren't. The former group did slightly *worse*. (Yes, you read that correctly.)