Friday, August 05, 2005

Is this statement true?

A person can only teach what they know.

Having home educated for nearly 12 years, I have come to realize that I am less a teacher and more a student learning right along with my children. I often hear the argument from parents that they can't homeschool because they don't think they know enough. They don't feel qualified.

Must a teacher know something before they teach it? Sure, in a general sense that is true. (A mother who cannot read would find it difficult to teach a child.) But I am not as convinced that we must know the material for our child to learn it. A mother can learn right along with her children and both profit greatly from the experience. She doesn't always have the wear a "teacher's hat" for her children to learn a subject.

I NEVER had a history course. It's true. I am a college graduate who never had a studied US or World History. Before high school it was Social Studies which is not quite the same. My high school history teacher died (we had a series of useless subs) and I never took it at the University of Michigan. And yet, I think that my children have a better grasp of history than they do math. And that was my strength. Amazingly, my knowledge of history is very strong now because I have learned the material right along with my children. And my enthusiasm for the subject made their interest greater. I think they might have actually profitted more from my lack of knowledge.

One day, my daughter and I were chatting about how she felt about being homeschooled. I asked her if she thought there were any holes in her education. She confidently said,

"Yes, and God's going to help me fill them as I educate my own children."

Hmm, on second thought, maybe that statement is somewhat correct after all.

But let's rephrase it slightly,

A person can only teach because of WHO they know.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

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