I’m the Homeschool Mom Without an Education Degree

Isn’t it interesting that a homeschool parent’s qualifications or lack thereof can cause objections to homeschooling? For whatever reason, there’s this notion that only those with a background in education are truly capable of teaching and training children and teenagers.

Here’s the thing, I am that homeschool mom without an education degree. I am that parent in question and I want to shout it loud that it can be done and done well.

I’m THAT Homeschool Mom — the One Without an Education Degree

So, if you find yourself feeling a little unqualified today, listen up. I want you to know why I don’t let it hold me back and why you shouldn’t either.

I’m THAT Homeschool Mom —
the One Without an Education Degree

It doesn’t happen often anymore, but I know what it’s like to have a family member or friend from church insinuate that I’m doing my kids a disservice by homeschooling them. I also know the pressure of feeling the need to defend myself to a stranger who’s barreling down and discrediting the homeschool lifestyle we’re privileged to live.

I know those things well. When those moments come, they come hard and fast and I have to remind myself quickly that I am enough and I’m the best choice for educating my kids – even without an education degree. Here are the other truths I hold on to in those moments:

My Qualifications Are Relative

It never crossed my mind that some could deem me unqualified to teach my own children when we began our homeschool journey back in 2009, especially since the only disqualifier was that missing education degree.

Granted, I’ve not had someone challenge my personal qualifications or abilities, but I’ve had my share of conversations about why homeschool parents should and shouldn’t be allowed to educate their children.

I’m THAT Homeschool Mom — the One Without an Education Degree

When those conversations occur, I admit that an education degree can be helpful at times when you’re homeschooling. However, I also point out that it shouldn’t be required because parents are teachers by default. Well before preschool or kindergarten age, parents work with their children to teach all that’s needed in each stage of development.

Some of those cases involve verbal instruction, some involve leading by example, and some rely on watching within arm’s reach as children learn on their own.

Indeed, parenting and teaching are often one and the same even when there’s no formal training.

Parenting & teaching are often one and the same -- even when there’s no formal training. #ihsnetClick To Tweet

No one objects to parents teaching their own children anything and everything needed before preschool age. But somewhere along the way, parents have been duped into thinking they aren’t qualified to teach their own children beyond that point.

It’s nonsense and I reject it.

As a parent, I am perfectly qualified to teach my own children because I’m a capable person. I can think for myself, learn new things, and guide my kids through all their stages. I don’t need to turn them over to “the experts” simply because my kids are of the compulsory age for school enrollment.

I Can Learn What I Need to Know

I don’t have to have an education degree to homeschool because I can teach by learning with my children. The best part is that I can learn as I go and learn what I need to know in the season I’m in. I don’t have to be an expert on every subject on every level.

It’s encouraging to know that I don’t have to know all the answers in order to homeschool. I don’t have to be an expert in astrophysics, calculus, or 18th century literature. Those things are nice, but I don’t have to be well-versed in any of those things in order to homeschool.

In fact, I can homeschool without a degree because what I’ve learned or not learned doesn’t always matter. What I’m learning now matters more.

A willingness to learn alongside my kids provides them with a powerful example. It shows them that I’m teachable and that I’m ready to stretch myself in ways I never planned.

Is there a better posture for learning than this? I doubt it.

Classroom learning and Homeschooling Aren’t the Same

The concern with qualification isn’t usually about qualification at all. It usually comes down to the fact that some people simply don’t believe that legitimate education can happen outside of a classroom.

In other words, they don’t trust what goes against their idea of normal.

That said, I admit that I would seek further training if I had plans to teach in a classroom with twentyish kids each day. Despite being perfectly qualified and capable of teaching my children according to my beliefs about education, I would need training if I wanted to teach all of yours according to a government-sanctioned structure.

I am THAT Homeschool Mom -- the One Without an Education Degree

I can be that homeschool mom without an education degree because I’m not educating my children with the government’s public school model in mind.

I don’t need that degree because the methods and philosophies that come with an education degree don’t align with my own.

In the end, what good is this blessed education degree if it only prepares me to teach in a traditional classroom?

So, yeah, I absolutely am that mom homeschooling without an education degree and I’m okay with that.

What about you? What encouragement would you share with other homeschoolers who feel unqualified to teach?

This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s I am THAT Mom linkup. Grab some coffee and take a look:

I'm THAT Homeschool Mom ... the One Without an Education Degree

8 thoughts on “I’m the Homeschool Mom Without an Education Degree

  1. I have an education degree but I don’t believe it makes me anymore qualified than any other parent. My degree is in Early Childhood Education and I think it helps me feel more confident in my decision to let my children play more than “learn.” Everything I was taught in college talked about how important play is across all the developmental domains. However, when I got into the classroom to do my student teaching and later as a sub teacher I realized how little control teachers have over their classrooms. This saddens me and was one of the things that pushed me into looking at homeschool. The worse place to sub was kindergarten, which is all day, no centers for play, and the children were given worksheets to practice estimation. I wanted to throw the lesson plan out the window and let the kids explore measurement with blocks, themselves, whatever they could find, anything but a worksheet. But I knew that the teacher was as bound to her lesson plans as I was.

  2. Excellent post, Emily! And you’re so right. Every teacher I’ve talked to about this says that they spent the majority of their time in college being trained in classroom management. And that isn’t something that homeschool moms need to know how to do.

  3. I love this and thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts. I am also a homeschool mom with no degree and felt intimated about it, but when God called me to homeschool it was more about HIM and HIS best for our family, not my degree or credentials. God is so good, we are going into our fifth year of homeschooling!! And I love it (most of the time) 😉 Teaching all three children now: 8th, 3rd, 1st <3

  4. i have gotten that comment about being under qualified.. I feel like i am way more qualified to teach my own kids than anyone else on this planet. I know the ins and outs of my kids personalities and their limits and if they are acting out because they need to move or if they are just being silly goobers.. my son oh my goodness if he was in school i can’t even imagine the trouble he would be in. He is constantly moving.. hes a 7 year old boy they get what 15-20 minutes of recess 30 if they are lucky but its probably split up..!! he is literally moving ALL DAY it makes even me crazy sometimes haha! he is also more stubborn than a rock.. he would be labeled the trouble kid in class for not being cooperative and probably being rather disruptive… i don’t want that label for my kids when i know how his mind works..

    1. I totally agree. There’s no one who knows your kids better than you and what’s more is that there’s no one who loves them more than you. Those are the very reasons to be the one to teach them! And those things that would get your 7 year-old in trouble are the things that make homeschooling such a great choice. Kids don’t have to be disciplined for the things that make up their personalities. 😉

  5. Very encouraging. I do not have a education degree either. There are some subjects that I really really struggle with!
    One thing that stuck out the most was that you are not educating the kids with the governments public school model in mind…. That was probably the most encouraging thing I have read in a looooong time…. Thank you!!

    1. You’re so welcome, Ellen! That’s something I point out frequently when asked about my qualifications. It helps to remind others that our goals as homeschoolers don’t necessarily reflect those of the public school model.

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