Many of us that choose to teach our kids at home carry a secret shame with us. Especially those of us who do not work outside of the home. Plain and simple, we don’t feel like we are working in a career or even gaining and growing skills that would translate to the workforce. Perhaps it is because of how society views those who homeschool. They look at homeschooling moms and dads and say “They are just staying home and parenting, not doing anything special or useful. Now, go get a real job and get off my lawn while you’re at it!” Or, perhaps it’s because we don’t always see the value of what we do day in and day out.
The thing is, when you compare what we do as part of homeschooling our children, it all compares vary favorably with what “real” teachers do. First off, let’s look at some of what “real” teachers in schools do as part of their careers.
- Arrive early and leave after kids go home.
- Create daily lesson plans to meet weekly, monthly or yearly goals.
- Do actual teaching in front of the classroom along with one on one interactions with students.
- Training to add new skills and to keep up with latest practices, technologies and curriculum.
- Grading papers and tests.
- Some even do after hours tutoring, coaching school sports or debate teams or drive buses.
(Plus a bunch of other responsibilities, tasks and challenges that no one ever sees or appreciates.)
Now, if you look at that list as a homeschooling parent, you do every single one of those and then some. How much time do you spend preparing, teaching, growing your skills and knowledge, driving them around, coaching them in various sports, etc. and every other part of homeschooling? Don’t you think that qualifies as a career?
To be a teacher in most school systems requires a college degree of some sort. Guess what? Many of us homeschooling parents also went to college and got degrees. We both did here at the School of Mythicalify. Some homeschooling parents have even achieved advanced Masters or Doctorate degrees. We also realize that having those degrees didn’t really prepare us for homeschooling just like in the “real” world.
Additionally, look at the job skills you are forced to utilize to run your homeschool. You have to delegate well in order to be successful. You have to know how to manage the schedule of your workforce (students). You have to work well with different styles of learners. You must know how to encourage, reward and challenge your workers to keep improving. You also have crazy good problem solving skills and have learned to be unbelievably patient and flexible with difficult situations. Finally, you have to do all this while also managing another business (your home).
So, please see the value in what you do. Please, do not sell yourself short. What you do is a very worthy career choice and you should not be ashamed of it. Now, if we could just find a way to improve our pay, vacation time and benefits packages. Who do we talk to about that?