As a homeschool parent, one of my absolute favorite things about this lifestyle is that I get to learn alongside my children. I feel so fortunate as a homeschool parent that I get to explore those subjects in depth and truly develop a love of learning that I never had before. I am also grateful for the gift of time to stop and explore things further when my children or I get excited about a particular subject. We may or may not have taken a lengthy detour learning about the Vikings and spent far less time on other areas of ancient history. I had no interest in science, and now, thanks to homeschooling and my children’s enthusiasm for the subject, I have found it to be one of my favorite subjects to teach and learn.
I am consistently surprised by new concepts and ideas I know nothing about. I also have to relearn math concepts before introducing them to my kids. For example, did you know that there’s a species of jellyfish that’s biologically immortal? Or that there’s a town in Spain where they have a tomato-throwing festival every year? The thing is, we all have gaps in our education. Maybe your teacher was really into the Civil War but didn’t teach you much about the American Revolution. Maybe you aced your science classes but never learned how to cook. And that’s okay! I love that learning is a lifelong journey that doesn’t stop once we leave school. As homeschool parents, we can model that love of learning for our children and show them that education isn’t just about getting good grades or passing tests. It’s about exploring the world around us, asking questions, and constantly seeking knowledge. Whether you are 5, 15, or 50… learning never stops.
There have also been moments where my children’s questions have stumped me, and we’ve had to turn to Google for answers. I enjoy that my kids get to see that I don’t know everything. Sometimes (often), they know more than me about many topics. Some information has even changed since I went to school, and my children have the opportunity to teach me! How cool is that?? My children observe that I am not dumb, nor am I ignorant. Instead, they observe that information is evolving and made available in new ways and evolves as you learn and grow and even as you age. So many resources didn’t exist when we went to school. It’s incredible how much easier it is to access information. If you have a question or want to know about something, quickly searching on your phone or computer can bring up a wealth of information. Not only is there more information available, but there’s also more variety in the perspectives and resources you can choose from.
I remember struggling with math concepts once I got past the basics in elementary school. That was a significant roadblock in my educational journey, and I lost momentum and confidence. I couldn’t keep up, so I fell behind. As a parent, I’ve been blown away by the many resources and approaches available for teaching math. It’s been bittersweet to realize that my education was limited, and seeing the open doors before my children and I is exciting. It’s incredible how much easier it is to understand something when you have multiple ways of approaching it and the time to really explore and master it.
Homeschooling is all about creating a love of learning and a sense of curiosity in our children. By embracing the journey of discovery and learning alongside our kids, we’re setting them up for a lifetime of intellectual growth and exploration. So if you find yourself learning something new and unexpected, embrace it and enjoy the ride! Don’t be afraid to dive in the next time you come across a bizarre piece of history or an obscure science experiment. You never know what you might discover. Finally, the next time you question yourself and wonder if you have what it takes, remember that the goal is a lifetime love of learning and that the journey never ends. The best part of all, you get to learn and grow together! Happy homeschooling to you as you learn alongside your children, the second time around.
Kara Parkins, Parent Support Advisor