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3 Good Reasons Why Homeschool Parents Might Not Teach Their Children

"Why wouldn't someone teach their own children in homeschooling?" said a sweet, well-meaning Mom to me recently.

This Mom has been homeschooling three children for many years successfully. For her, homeschooling meant Mom teaching at home. From her tone, I guessed she was offended, even disgusted, at the idea of homeschooling without a full-time stay at home Mom-Teacher.

I wanted to say to her, "Please be kind to those who don't choose to teach their own children in homeschooling." I say this because when homeschool moms find out that I stress the difference between being the "principal" and the "teacher" in homeschooling (meaning that you can be responsible for the scope and sequence of your curriculum without doing all the teaching), they often wrinkle their noses with some kind of attitude.

However, there are many reasons why parents would choose not to teach and here are a few reasons why:

1. Single parents have to work.

This situation usually means that they are the sole breadwinner in the household, but feel convicted to homeschool. Typically their children are a bit older and can work independently with online classes or other curriculums. Sometimes they sign up for local co-op classes one or two days a week. Be kind to these parents who are often in a scramble to manage their homeschooling in the midst of running a business.

2. Both parents have to work.

There are many reasons why parents might choose to homeschool, but do not quit their jobs. The conviction to homeschool is independent of the means to do so. Many homeschoolers reach out in faith and/or passion to make homeschooling happen. In these cases, one or both parent might work from home and be supervising minimally, as in the situation above. It could be that parents work two different shifts. With careful planning, this can work well.

3. Parents lack the education for a particular subject or grade.

At some point in homeschooling, parents will begin to fade as teachers, typically. Teaching high school math and science intimidates a lot of parents. But in any case, there is an end point in which each parent begins to feel the inability to truly teach a subject. Unfortunately some parents are homeschooling without much formal education and want help sooner, rather than later.

So let's work together to support each other in homeschooling and wrinkle our noses a little less often. Those of us who are blessed to stay at home and teach our children need to understand the choices of others and could perhaps consider asking for helping teaching too. There isn't just one right way to homeschool. You only have to do what your local state requires. Homeschooling is about flexibility and thinking outside the box.

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