The When, The What, and The How of Homeschool Teaching

Do you need to be a certified/professional teacher in order to homeschool? No. Do you need to have any experience in teaching in order to homeschool? Nope. Should you let a lack of teaching skills stop you from choosing to homeschool? Definitely not. Being a homeschool teacher requires a lot of work and personal development but it’s possible if you are willing to learn. 

When to Teach

There will be some subjects that you will feel confident teaching on your own. There will also be subjects that you don’t feel as confident teaching, or that you simply won’t have the time/energy for. That is ok. There is a lot of great curriculum out there for almost every subject. If you followed my 3 Steps To Making Homeschool Work For You then you should know pretty well when to teach and when to find someone to teach it for you.

What to Teach

“So, what should I teach?”. Deciding what to teach is an important step in knowing how to get started with homeschool.

There are 3 important sources to consider when asking the question, “what should I teach?”…

  1. Your state’s homeschool laws: Each state has their own laws regarding homeschool and this includes what subjects they require you to teach.
  2. Your child’s interests and passions: Each child also has their own individual interests and passions for life. They are born with unique talents and ways of seeing the world. Supporting who your children are individually will be one of the most rewarding aspects of homeschooling for you and for them.
  3. The fundamental elements of literacy: Literacy is the foundation of learning. Once a child can read, write, speak, and count, their whole world opens up and the possibilities for learning become endless.

Apart from these three important sources there is a wide variety of things to teach, or not to teach, depending solely on your own discretion.  Make sure you have a strong case for why you will teach something or not before you spend the time and effort to do so.

Don’t burn yourself out, or spend money you don’t have, teaching something that doesn’t really matter. Good teachers do their research! Know exactly what you want to teach and why.

How to Teach

I think the biggest challenge in becoming a homeschool teacher is learning how to teach. Once you face this challenge and overcome it learning how to teach becomes your greatest achievement. In doing so you acquire new skills and a new awareness that you didn’t have before. Learning how to teach really boosts your confidence and increases your abilities to work with people.

How to teach can be broken up into two categories; principles and methods.

A teaching principle is a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth. For example a lot of parents struggle with getting their child to be motivated to learn. So understanding the principles of motivation will enable the parent to influence their child to be motivated, or to help keep them motivated.

A teaching method is a procedure, technique, or way of doing something. For example there are certain steps to follow when learning how to read. When you understand what those steps are and how they build on each other then you can follow the steps and teach anybody how to read!

To become a homeschool teacher you must be willing to learn teaching principles and methods. It is like adding tools to your teaching tool box. The more tools you add the more you will be able to do because you will have the right tool for the job.