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I've been asked how parents can homeschool without a teaching degree.

 

My question to those of you who went to college and got teaching degrees, what did you learn in college that you use as a homeschooling parent?

 

Please be honest. Is there some sort of class out there that makes the question "How can you teach w/o a degree?" a valid question?

 

Or did you learn basic psychology, sociology, get brushed up on your own math and reading comprehension skills, and learn about child development? I've always thought teachers mostly learned the above and also how to deal with problem children in their classroom. Or maybe you also learn about different learning styles and how to teach to them.

 

Basically I want a solid answer to give to others of why I don't need a teaching degree. Is a teaching degree useless in the homeschool setting because individual teaching is a different animal from group teaching?

 

And personally, I have complete confidence that I DON'T need a degree. I just want an educated answer to give others. I also am not afraid to accept that there might be something that teachers are taught that I have not been taught, but I'm curious about what it might be.

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Teaching was a second career for me. I found my real world experience to be much more helpful. While some classes may help with technique, so does a teacher's manual. I did take classes on how to arrange my classroom, bulletin boards, the history of education, and a class on teaching whole language reading using a book written by a man who wrote that he taught on the college level because he did not like teaching small children (so why are you writing books on how to teach young children?)

 

I believe being a good teacher is a gift you are born with, not something you are made into. I believe the idea that only professionals can teach is bunk. finally, I talk to so many classroom teachers who point out they don't teach. They are paper pushers, use no creativity because the curriculum in mandated and they have to get those wonderful test scores.

 

We went on a trip with our church group yesterday to some caves. A gentleman who came with us is a retired high school geology teacher who would take his students to these caves as a field trip. The trips were eventually canned., Not enough money, the info was in the books, they were deemed unnecessary. He has student he had 25 years ago say the spelunking trips were the highlight of their science studies. And now thst opportunity is gone. He can no longer teach the way he wants to. How sad.

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there are some things that helped me:

 

exposure to different teaching methods. every child is different and the way i learned long division may not work with all my kids. you can also learn these different methods by seeing how different math curriculums teach concepts and doing some research.

 

learning styles. i went to several workshops on different learning styles that were and are helpful. there have been many many books written about learning styles in the last 20 years that one could use to self-educate.

 

the biggest was something i learned during the years of teaching, not in education classes. and that was the ability to look at teaching materials and judge accurately if it would work, both for me and the students.

 

so most of what you get in education course work in college can be replicated by reading, reading, and more reading. experience takes care of the rest.

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I

My question to those of you who went to college and got teaching degrees, what did you learn in college that you use as a homeschooling parent?

 

Absolutely nothing. My degree was in English, and I got my certification to teach secondary students. My high school writing instruction and experience gave me more experience than my college writing instruction. I have to try not to sound snarky when people tell me, "Well, you're a teacher," as if that gives me permission in their minds to home school. I'm always quick to point out that I have friends who aren't certified who I feel are way more qualified than I am based on their natural gifts, hard work, love for their kids, and sheer determination. And you're right, the training that teachers receive in college is intended to be applied in an institutionalized setting. I wasted so much time in college with educational psychology, whole language, classroom management, and bulletin board decoration. All rubbish, if you ask me. Some of my non-certified and non-degreed friends have skills and know-how that I envy. I grew in a lot of ways at collge, and that's where I met my dh. But as far as my academics preparing my for homeschooling? Absolutely not.

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Well, there was a class on exceptional children. If you ever need to deal with a child with special needs, it comes in handy. Honestly, I have learned a whole lot more than the class taught by dealing with my kids. My elementary math course was very informative. It was taught in a manner that really let me feel like a child learning basic math skills. That was an eye opener for me and has probably been the most helpful for me dealing with my dc. I had a class on children's lit. that, okay scrap that I didn't learn anything helpful there. :lol: A phonics/reading class...Nothing you can't pick up with a decent phonics program. An art class for teachers. That one I DID use. It had a cool book with lots of art projects for kids.:D

 

Honestly, there really wasn't anything that I learned in college education courses that I use in homeschooling my children past basic knowledge in subject areas. The hard truth is that I really didn't learn anything in them that helped in in teaching in a school setting either. Practical experience is the only thing that really helped at all. I have learned far more by homeschooling my children that would help me to be a better classroom teacher. Much of that is simply gaining a better understanding of children and parents by having them and being one.

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Teaching was a second career for me. I found my real world experience to be much more helpful. While some classes may help with technique, so does a teacher's manual. I did take classes on how to arrange my classroom, bulletin boards, the history of education, and a class on teaching whole language reading using a book written by a man who wrote that he taught on the college level because he did not like teaching small children (so why are you writing books on how to teach young children?)

 

I believe being a good teacher is a gift you are born with, not something you are made into. I believe the idea that only professionals can teach is bunk. i

 

This is absolutely the truth.

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I did not learn anything about learning styles of children. I had one developmental psych class that was supposed to teach classroom management. I learned more on how to use a a textbook to teach a class, what kind of texts were available and how to implement a lesson plan out of a textbook.

 

Now, my degree is in music ed and I am certified to teach k-12, any music subject, from band to elementary music. In most states I am allowed to teach one subject out of my field. Even though I am "qualified" to teach band (my major was violin), I know NOTHING about how to teach beginning band students!! I did have to take class lessons on 2 band instruments, but that is not enough. I could direct a band if they student already knew how to play.

 

I have learned more on how to teach a child from homeschooling than I ever learned in college. I sometimes wish I could go into a ps and teach the dc the methods use in teaching at home.

 

When my oldest dd started ps in the middle of 2nd grade (financially had to let her go so I could work), I quickly learn that I knew more about teaching reading and all the methods available than the reading specialist. I have studied and poured over methods because she struggled so much. I could easily identify when the teacher was using a text that was above my dd's grade level.:lol:

 

If you study how to teach your dc, believe me, you will probably know more on how to teach a dc that a certified teacher. Having a "certificate" has helped me none. Reading WTM, Charlotte Mason, Teaching the Trivium, Ruth Beecheck, ect.... has taught me more that I even knew existed when it came to educating a child!!!

 

Again, I say that if you study! Many parents just buy a pre-made work text, give it to their child and consider their part done. Obviously, parents who hs in that manner never learn anything about teaching a child.

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"I believe being a good teacher is a gift you are born with, not something you are made into."

 

I would like to strongly disagree with this--I learned a LOT in my student teaching about classroom management and a lot by trial and error as a classroom teacher on my own. I think I was a much better teacher after a few years than I was at first. Also, as I learned more content-wise (from lots of reading!) I was a better teacher.

 

(However, back to the OP: there was nothing from my certification that helped my in homeschooling because it was all (1) classroom management and (2) dealing with special needs.)

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You have posted an excellent question that merits a lengthy discussion. My response is two pronged a personal anecdote and a suggestion for dealing with the query of educating without a teaching degree. I read Dumbing Down Our Kids by C Sykes http://www.amazon.com/Dumbing-Down-Our-Kids-Themselves/dp/0312148232 in trying to find out why the local parochial school refused to deal with gifted students. What I read turned me around 360 degrees on the whole question. I had no idea what was actually taught in teaching colleges nor what was required of students in college to aquire the degree. Please read this book if you have not it is astounding. The thing that astounded me was that most of the coursework to obtain said degree is not in substantive subject matter but rather classroom management , teaching techniques founded on dubious conjecture and worse. To be a "master "teacher in Iowa merely means you have taken actual coursework in the subjects you are certified to teach. As a philosophy and theology student I was required to take more courses in actual subject matter as opposed to practicums and management courses that comprised most of the coursework for those in the education department. Thus, a teacher who is certified to teach English may well have subject matter expertise as well as tons of classroom management, lesson planning courses etc but it is certainly not required. It is entirely possible to have a certified teacher know nothing about the specific subject matter they are teaching. Troubling indeed. I am qualified to teach classes at a Law School and undergrad philosophy but cannot, due to the" licensing" of teachers lecture in a high school in civics or government class despite the fact that I have more coursework and expertise than any high school teacher of those subjects in our metro area. Likewise there are teachers locally who have a masters degree in the subjects they teach and they are simply amazing. It is a crap shoot in terms of what the license covers. Licensing is an ugly triumvariate of the teachers colleges, the state licensing boards and the teachers unions notably having nothing to do with basic competency in the subject matter being taught. I would strongly suggest you look online at state and private university and college requirements for a teaching degree and see how little of the requirements are about subject matter expertise. If you think for a moment that a history teacher would have 18-27 hours in specific history coursework you are in for a big surprise. It varies from state to state but licensing is in no way tied to expertise. I love John Gatto's idea of expanding licensing to professionals in their field, to do away with the mandatory filler courses and permit those seeking to teach to spend their time on coursework pertinent to the subject they wish to teach. Sadly a great deal of time is spent on behavioural issues as well and the money wasted is beyond my capacity to grasp. Oddly enough I still support public education available to all. I just want to take it in a direction that others say is not possible. I truly believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn world mythology, world history , literary criticism , calculus etc but to have individuals who are truly competent and passionate requires a massive overhaul , a burning of the village to save it approach. The licensing requirements exclude many of the best and brightest as it is nearly 90 hours of needless filler that is mind numbingly dull , repetitious and simply mandated because "we have always done it this way." Rant over-"Talk amongst yourselves," as Linda Rich would say.

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"I believe being a good teacher is a gift you are born with, not something you are made into."

 

I would like to strongly disagree with this--I learned a LOT in my student teaching about classroom management and a lot by trial and error as a classroom teacher on my own. I think I was a much better teacher after a few years than I was at first. Also, as I learned more content-wise (from lots of reading!) I was a better teacher.

 

(However, back to the OP: there was nothing from my certification that helped my in homeschooling because it was all (1) classroom management and (2) dealing with special needs.)

 

I agree with it. Yes, you can learn techniques, management, and content; but it does you no good if there is not a natural talent for teaching underneath. Practice and learning can make you better, but if it is something that you have no real talent for it will not take you very far.

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While I am not a certified teacher, I would like to comment.

The most important prerequisite for teaching is having yourself mastered the knowledge or skills. While this may be accomplished by having a degree (but is certainly not guaranteed), it is also possible to gain the knowledge by research and reading.

 

Lawana

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Well, there was a class on exceptional children. If you ever need to deal with a child with special needs, it comes in handy. Honestly, I have learned a whole lot more than the class taught by dealing with my kids. My elementary math course was very informative. It was taught in a manner that really let me feel like a child learning basic math skills. That was an eye opener for me and has probably been the most helpful for me dealing with my dc. I had a class on children's lit. that, okay scrap that I didn't learn anything helpful there. :lol: A phonics/reading class...Nothing you can't pick up with a decent phonics program. An art class for teachers. That one I DID use. It had a cool book with lots of art projects for kids.:D

 

Honestly, there really wasn't anything that I learned in college education courses that I use in homeschooling my children past basic knowledge in subject areas. The hard truth is that I really didn't learn anything in them that helped in in teaching in a school setting either. Practical experience is the only thing that really helped at all. I have learned far more by homeschooling my children that would help me to be a better classroom teacher. Much of that is simply gaining a better understanding of children and parents by having them and being one.

I was never offered a class for special needs children but, they were always taken to my class! It always baffled me as to why special needs teacher always thought I had some sort of knowledge on how to teach a special needs child. I didn't mind the special needs children, I just thought it odd that my class was pretty much the only class they went to outside their class.

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I've got a BSE music ed. That's basically a double major in ed and music. The ed classes I had were pretty pointless as far as HSing goes. I am completely fascinated with philosophy in education - that class was anemic! After I graduated, and had a baby (he was a graduation present LOL) I devoured CM, Montessori, and more...and thought "Why don't they teach this is college???":confused:

 

The music classes for elementary age were helpful, and I do use things I learned with my own dc. I don't plan out lessons (yadayada), but I pull out concepts and songs and games when the mood strikes. I have a good handle on the progression of learning concepts for kids......my babies were born cooing in tune LOL!:tongue_smilie:

 

I didn't take most of the teaching reading and math classes, and I don't think that has harmed me or my children in any way. I know they pushed sight-word reading, and I would have had to have spent a good deal of time overcoming that one.....fuzzy math isn't my style either!

 

It was my student-teaching experience that hit me hard and got me thinking. I had an awesome-wonderful supervising teacher! She gently let me see the good, bad, and ugly of school life. Even in elementary MUSIC she had to teach to a test!:glare: This woman is a music genious, and a fantastic educator - FABULOUS in the classroom!!!! Her hands are TIED by a state test!:rant: Now, if she had the freedom to plan her own curric, write her own test.........

 

Why do we even train teachers if we don't let them teach????????

 

I say - yes, parents need some sort of training/education in order to teach their own children. However, the best place for that training and education is NOT NOT NOT at your local college in the ed dept. Math, science, music, history, literature....those degrees are more valuable to HSers imVho.

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Well, I never got my teaching degree, but came close. I changed majors right before I was to get my student teaching requirement started. Nothing I learned in these classes came close to preparing me for teaching my own children. I came to realize later that all my educational related classes were really indoctrination classes. Everything I learned about homeschooling my children came from my own self-education through many means: books, homeschooling conferences, parent meetings in our homeschool group, and, more recently, online networking. The only thing that my college degree did for me was teach me about researching and how to find things out for myself. Not one scintilla of content proved to be helpful. Now, many people don't even need a college degree to figure it out.

 

Whenever I get that question, I often say that homeschooling is an extension of parenting. They don't require advanced degrees to parent our kids. Both are jobs that you grow into. My learning about homeschooling has taught my children a valuable lesson in itself - that learning is a life-long endeavor. It does not stop when the bell rings. If there is something I don't know well enough to teach, I either learn it, learn along with the kids, or find resoures to fill that need. The world needs more autodidactic learners!

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I don't agree with the earlier posted [red-highlighted] sentence, as a "standalone" sentence.

 

I don't believe that I was born with some "gift for teaching." Teaching well has been an acquired skill, strengthened and refined as each teaching year goes by and I learn new skills and viewpoints. I was not "born", I was "made." There are many things for which I lack an "innate knack", but which I have learned well enough to do creditably.

 

This is absolutely the truth.
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I have a teaching degree and, honestly, it didn't help me one bit as a parent/teacher to my children. Day by day living and learning, experience, the Bible and the Lord have been the best teachers. It's just a piece of paper that gets you a better job, imho. Your real learning happens every day and with each situation in life. You don't get a "grade" in life, it's an ongoing journey that requires dedication. When school was over for me, so was my dedication. Life is not like that. My experience might be different from others. I'm glad I have my degree because I think I would feel less secure if the time ever comes that I have to work. I feel that it would help me get a better job. I don't personally think a teaching degree teaches you how to teach, experience does. The degree just gets you in the door with some knowledge. I think being a self-learner and "student of life" is better than any degree you could get. Some of the smartest people I know do not have a degree, but are leaps and bounds above me.

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Well, I never got my teaching degree, but came close. I changed majors right before I was to get my student teaching requirement started. Nothing I learned in these classes came close to preparing me for teaching my own children. I came to realize later that all my educational related classes were really indoctrination classes. Everything I learned about homeschooling my children came from my own self-education through many means: books, homeschooling conferences, parent meetings in our homeschool group, and, more recently, online networking. The only thing that my college degree did for me was teach me about researching and how to find things out for myself. Not one scintilla of content proved to be helpful. Now, many people don't even need a college degree to figure it out.

 

Whenever I get that question, I often say that homeschooling is an extension of parenting. They don't require advanced degrees to parent our kids. Both are jobs that you grow into. My learning about homeschooling has taught my children a valuable lesson in itself - that learning is a life-long endeavor. It does not stop when the bell rings. If there is something I don't know well enough to teach, I either learn it, learn along with the kids, or find resoures to fill that need. The world needs more autodidactic learners!

 

:iagree:

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IMO, the short answer is no, a teaching degree does not help you be a better homeschool mom.

 

I received an elem. ed & learning disabilities degree from a small private college. I remember one (or two, at the most) methods classes in the main subject areas (math, language arts, science, social studies, and arts) which were supposed to teach me how I was supposed to teach those subject areas. Then there were the "teacher job" classes--how to write lesson plans, classroom management, etc.... which were very boring and even as a student I would think, "This is so impractical...a real teacher has no time to write these detailed lessons plans" or "This 'behavior system' sounds nice, but in a real classroom it would never work." I was mostly correct in my assumptions. There were other classes like psychology, child development, education theory, history of education, etc... that were rather boring at the time, (although now I would probably find them more interesting) and I didn't find much of a practical use for them in classroom teaching.

 

What did prepare me for classroom teaching was the amount time I was required to spend in real, life classrooms that gave me a taste for what teaching was actually like.

 

I would say the only benefit I got from classroom teaching now that I'm a homeschool mom is that I know the amount of time that is wasted in a school setting. I certainly don't intend to replicate that at home, but it does let me cut myself a little slack when I feel like we didn't do enough schoolwork today.

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I have a Master's in Ele Ed and 5 yrs of classroom experience, but I don't think I'm a better hs teacher because of it. I know many hs parents that I think are far better teachers than I am, and most of them are high school graduates who care deeply about their family and have chosen to invest time and effort in the process.

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I'm glad to have had so much reading methodology. My second son has struggled a bit learning to read, and it was helpful to know what is 'normal,' what is a problem, and what not to worry about too much. I knew a lot about various remedial approaches, and was able to choose what would be best for his needs.

 

I'm glad to know about various approaches to teaching math. I loved some of my math methodology classes, and learned a lot about teaching strategies. It may have been easier for me to choose curricula since I had already seen a lot of it.

 

I also have a large stash of fun assignment ideas -- writing ideas, tons of math extension activities, lots of science lesson plans, and lists of books, etc..

 

Of course, all that info is available to any homeschooling parent who wants to find it. I emphasize that to nay-sayers every time they tell me, "well, of course you can homeschool, you're a REAL teacher."

 

If a parent wants to do a good job, all the info they need is there for the taking.

 

I'm pretty sure I've had less stress and worry than I may have had otherwise, since I already knew what was 'normal' and what is generally expected in a regular school. I'm a worrier, so I'm pretty sure I would have worried more without my teaching background.

 

I think it has a lot more to do with the commitment level of the teacher (parent or traditional school-teacher) than with the 'stuff' a teacher did in an Ed. program.

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I've been asked how parents can homeschool without a teaching degree.

 

My question to those of you who went to college and got teaching degrees, what did you learn in college that you use as a homeschooling parent?

 

Please be honest. Is there some sort of class out there that makes the question "How can you teach w/o a degree?" a valid question?

 

Or did you learn basic psychology, sociology, get brushed up on your own math and reading comprehension skills, and learn about child development? I've always thought teachers mostly learned the above and also how to deal with problem children in their classroom. Or maybe you also learn about different learning styles and how to teach to them.

 

Basically I want a solid answer to give to others of why I don't need a teaching degree. Is a teaching degree useless in the homeschool setting because individual teaching is a different animal from group teaching?

 

And personally, I have complete confidence that I DON'T need a degree. I just want an educated answer to give others. I also am not afraid to accept that there might be something that teachers are taught that I have not been taught, but I'm curious about what it might be.

I haven't read the rest of the thread yet, but basically my answer is this:

 

College and teaching experience taught me to deal with pushy parents, absurd administrators and how to wrangle 30+ children in a classroom. College and teaching did not prepare me for teaching one child in a one-on-one setting.

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Off the main point, here...

 

Interesting that some of you say you learned classroom management in your certification program... I feel strongly that I did NOT. I learned that the hard way -- with 34 students my first year teaching. It pains me to remember that year.

 

Eventually, I was pretty good at the management, and even came to enjoy the challenge. I had some great mentors and also attended some excellent training-- but all that came on-the-job after my certification.

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This is a great thread.

Out of curiosity, are there any hs parents who are not teachers who are considering getting their teaching degree?

I ask because I am seriously considering getting my MEd. Not because I want to teach in the classroom, but because of the uncertainty in the hs laws. To my surprise when I went to speak with the dean of the Education Department at the school I am considering, there are three more hs moms starting the program, and another was in speaking with her just before my appt. I met her as she was coming out.

Any others?

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I have to answer short and quick. I haven't read other's more involved replies.

 

My question to those of you who went to college and got teaching degrees, what did you learn in college that you use as a homeschooling parent?

 

A little here and a little there.

 

Or did you learn basic

 

  1. psychology,
  2. sociology,
  3. get brushed up on your own math and reading comprehension skills
  4. learn about child development
  5. how to deal with problem children in their classroom
  6. learn about
    different learning styles and how to teach to them

 

 

 

  1. yes
  2. yes
  3. ha, ha, ha, ha : basic proficiency in subject areas was the last thing they wanted from degreed teachers
  4. yes
  5. somewhat, but not really
  6. yes: this was all the rage when I was getting my degree

 

 

Is a teaching degree useless in the homeschool setting because individual teaching is a different animal from group teaching?

 

 

Absolutely not. Contrary to what I've seen others say, I find my teaching experience to be very helpful in homeschooling. When I look at curriculum I know what I'm looking at. When my child gets stuck, I have quite a few ideas at my disposal about how to help. etc.

 

However, teaching at home isn't like a classroom in a lot of ways too. I don't think it takes that much adjusting. At least it didn't for me.

 

And personally, I have complete confidence that I DON'T need a degree.

 

Good, because I agree that you don't *need* a degree. I just happen to have found mine to be useful *to me*.

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This is a great thread.

Out of curiosity, are there any hs parents who are not teachers who are considering getting their teaching degree?

I ask because I am seriously considering getting my MEd. Not because I want to teach in the classroom, but because of the uncertainty in the hs laws. To my surprise when I went to speak with the dean of the Education Department at the school I am considering, there are three more hs moms starting the program, and another was in speaking with her just before my appt. I met her as she was coming out.

Any others?

 

I think you would very much enjoy the course work. I'm reading here that many folks found their ed classes useless, but that was not my experience at all. I love thinking about teaching/education and learning from others with lots of experience. I'm considering returning for a PhD in Child Development and Cognition.

 

Homeschooling has made me even more interested in the art of teaching and bringing good teaching to public schools. Now that I've taught in so many different settings, my mind is full of ideas, and I would really enjoy a chance to study with others who have similar interests.

 

It would also be very interesting to return to the public school certification/higher ed setting as a homeschool advocate! My hunch is that my colleagues would be less antagonistic than many on this board would expect. I'm starting with an online class this summer, so we'll see!

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Whenever I wonder if I'm "qualified" to do this, I return to the book The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child.

 

http://www.cmaakicks.com/pdf/55rules.pdf Read them at this link and tell me that you needed to go to college to learn that ANY of these are pretty much a given at your house and have been since your little student(s) emerged from your womb. (I don't doubt, by the way, that this teacher/author is amazing and that he has turned many classroom students around by expecting what is apparently NOT expected in many homes and schools anymore!)

 

THEN, see what the same author has to say in his book The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children and see if you feel unqualified. LOL Even if you don't possess and/or put these to work in your homeschool, you CAN--with or without a degree.

 

(The "Excellent 11" are: Enthusiasm, Adventure, Creativity, Reflection, Balance, Compassion, Confidence, Humor, Common Sense, Appreciation, Resilience)

 

The point is that using any of your talents, learned or God-given, in a classroom setting will look VERY different from the way you apply them in your homeschool. To some degree or another. ;) Most Flo or Joe Schmoes could figure that out...but I don't suggest putting it that way to your friends. LOL

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It would also be very interesting to return to the public school certification/higher ed setting as a homeschool advocate! My hunch is that my colleagues would be less antagonistic than many on this board would expect. I'm starting with an online class this summer, so we'll see!

 

I've thought this same thing. As a "less seasoned" college student, I remember just wanting to check the box that the class was completed, and not really absorb what was being taught. Plus, with less real life experience, I was more prone to being swayed about whatever trends, opinions, or perspectives that a particular professor thought were important or "right." (I remember one professor was all about "whole language" and at the time I agreed with her. Several years later....not so much.)

 

Lately I've been considering going back to school just because I think I'd appreciate it so much more, and I'd have more ammunition and guts to confront a professor who thought theirs was the only right way to do things. (Although the other (normal) college students would probably just want me to shut up we could finish class and go home!)

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This is a great thread.

Out of curiosity, are there any hs parents who are not teachers who are considering getting their teaching degree?

I ask because I am seriously considering getting my MEd. Not because I want to teach in the classroom, but because of the uncertainty in the hs laws. To my surprise when I went to speak with the dean of the Education Department at the school I am considering, there are three more hs moms starting the program, and another was in speaking with her just before my appt. I met her as she was coming out.

Any others?

 

I've thought about getting an MEd... but that's mainly because I'm surrounded by PS educators-- not because I think it will help HSing or because of the uncertainty of the laws...

 

I do think it could be helpful to have it for career purposes post-hs years....

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I learned nothing. And, believe it or not, I went to a University for my credential that is highly acclaimed, cutting edge, etc. etc. I learned what I needed to know about teaching from actually being in the classroom and gaining experience. That's what's helped me know how to homeschool.

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This is a great thread.

Out of curiosity, are there any hs parents who are not teachers who are considering getting their teaching degree?

I ask because I am seriously considering getting my MEd. Not because I want to teach in the classroom, but because of the uncertainty in the hs laws. To my surprise when I went to speak with the dean of the Education Department at the school I am considering, there are three more hs moms starting the program, and another was in speaking with her just before my appt. I met her as she was coming out.

Any others?

 

No. That seems like an awfully expensive, and likely ineffective insurance policy. I lived in PA for 5 years and although there was a private tutor law in effect (a certified teacher can teach without oversight from the state or local disctrict), it didn't apply to teachers who wish to tutor their own children! I know of some people who did it that way anyway, but I know of at least one woman who was challenged in the courts by her district. So unless you plan to make teaching a career for pay some day, a MEd is a likely to be a waste of money and time.

 

Barb

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I leaned how to write a lesson plan, create objectives, and design a pretty bulletin board. I learned how to use manipulatives, create folder games, and read I'll Love You Forever to a bunch of children (and undergaduates). I learned how to obsess over paperwork and a passionate desire to complete a whole textbook.

 

I did learn some good things while I was actually in the classroom student teaching, but I have had to unlearn a lot. Plus I never learned the most important joy of just letting kids learn. That came later with my own children.

 

Don't sweat it. You aren't missing anything.

 

Jennie

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I learned nothing about teaching in my college education classes. I learned a bunch of theoretical garbage that doesn't work in a real-live classroom, and I learned a pathetically tiny amount of classroom management. When I tell people I homeschool they automatically assume that my degree helps me a lot. It doesn't. My English lit degree helps me, but my education classes haven't helped me at all. I honestly don't think you can teach how to teach. You either have it in you to do it, or you don't -- it's not something you can't learn in a classroom (hence the not-so-great teachers out there!).

Edited by jujsky
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I have a MEd in early childhood special ed. It was heavy in child development courses. I do believe that those classes helped me as a parent and teacher. At least when I compare myself to my friends. I had/have a much better understand than others I know about some stages of development and what is a phase and what is not (so I didn't stress over some things with my kids that others did). But I also spent time as a developmental specialist in a center for children with developmental delays doing evaluations and such. I learned as much there as I did in college about what is typical and not so typical.

 

However, my BSE in elementary ed was a joke. I came out of college not knowing how to teach reading. I was told lots of theories of how children *might* learn how to read but never was I told what a phoneme was (or any of those other reading terms that are vital to teach reading IMO). My Math for teachers class never taught method. We just had to do all kinds of math because the instructor believed that once we knew how to do the math we could teach it. The same was true for Science for Teachers. I actually stopped attending that class because no method was ever taught. I had been a science major for 3 years before switching to Elem ed and the science was so easy after that so I just attended on test day.

 

My best education came in the classroom after I graduated. Talk about trial by fire LOL. I learned that Positive Behavior Management only worked for the few children well trained at home. I didn't have time to make those elaborate units because I was so busy filling out all those needless forms and making sure what was in the textbook was on the list of skills I had to teach because they were on last years standardized test.

 

I will say though that I did learn how to write lesson plans, how to read TM and adapt to my student, and how to write clear goals and objectives.

 

I have learned more methods of teaching as a homeschooling parent than I ever did before. I have also met homeschooling parents that have way more knowledge of education, techniques, and all that than I have learned yet.

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Thank you for all your replies!

 

Some of you said that there were a couple of things that helped, but most of you said that it was the actual experience of teaching that taught you how to teach.

 

Anything else I need to know it appears I can get from reading.

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I leaned how to write a lesson plan, create objectives, and design a pretty bulletin board. I learned how to use manipulatives, create folder games, and read I'll Love You Forever to a bunch of children (and undergaduates). I learned how to obsess over paperwork and a passionate desire to complete a whole textbook.

 

I did learn some good things while I was actually in the classroom student teaching, but I have had to unlearn a lot. Plus I never learned the most important joy of just letting kids learn. That came later with my own children.

 

Don't sweat it. You aren't missing anything.

 

Jennie

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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I learned nothing about teaching in my college education classes. I learned a bunch of theoretical garbage that doesn't work in a real-live classroom, and I learned a pathetically tiny amount of classroom management. When I tell people I homeschool they automatically assume that my degree helps me a lot. It doesn't. My English lit degree helps me, but my education classes haven't helped me at all. I honestly don't think you can teach how to teach. You either have it in you to do it, or you don't -- it's not something you can learn in a classroom (hence the not-so-great teachers out there!).

:iagree::iagree:

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Of course, all that info is available to any homeschooling parent who wants to find it. I emphasize that to nay-sayers every time they tell me, "well, of course you can homeschool, you're a REAL teacher."

 

If a parent wants to do a good job, all the info they need is there for the taking.

 

I'm pretty sure I've had less stress and worry than I may have had otherwise, since I already knew what was 'normal' and what is generally expected in a regular school.

I think it has a lot more to do with the commitment level of the teacher (parent or traditional school-teacher) than with the 'stuff' a teacher did in an Ed. program.

 

:iagree:

It is far more helpful to be a self-educating person than to have an MEd. I did learn a lot from my classes, but not much of that has really been applicable to a homeschool setting. My educational media class was helpful last year when I did the fair booth for my son's 4-H club. :D (Would you believe I actually earned graduate credit for learning how to use a laminator and an Ellison die-cut machine?) :001_huh:

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I was a public school teacher and so far there are very few things in MY education (Edu major, Linguistics major, Spanish major...I loved school:D) that help me homeschool. With that being said, here they are:

 

I have more confidence

 

I have a better understanding of what kids are "supposed to learn" at what age... ie. 3rd grade-multiplication, or "benchmarks" if you will.

 

My education itself didn't necessarily help me become a better homeschooling mom, but seeing kids day in and day out and what they "learn" or don't learn for that matter and at what age.

 

Teaching also showed me what was normal (mixing up B's and D's for a while) and let me know I was on the right track.

 

Other than that.....? I don't think anything.

 

HTH

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Okay, you guys are joking, right? There aren't REALLY classes on designing bulletin boards, are there?

 

(Understand, I mean no offense... I just think you're yankin' our chains. It couldn't be an entire class, could it?)

 

Well, yes. It may have changed since I got my credential in the early 90's. but we learned how to arrange the furniture in our classroom to make the best learning environment, I took bulletin board classes (not the whole thing but we did have sessions on it) classes on how to use office equipment like the ditto machine. My continuing ed requirements were met by taking make and take workshops put on by The University of Phoenix. We spent the entire time (usually all Friday night and all day Saturday) making themed bulletin board and learning centers. They provided the materials and we chose from their selection.

 

This all was in CA. I don't know what other states require. The school district I taught in grew rapidly and they recruited from colleges in Washington, Minnesota and OK. People from those states got more classes, but still covered what I did in addition to other things.

 

BTW, I did take some meaty classes, but I felt some of this stuff was just thrown in so I could meet requirements somehow.

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My question to those of you who went to college and got teaching degrees, what did you learn in college that you use as a homeschooling parent?

 

Please be honest. Is there some sort of class out there that makes the question "How can you teach w/o a degree?" a valid question?

 

Or did you learn basic psychology, sociology, get brushed up on your own math and reading comprehension skills, and learn about child development? I've always thought teachers mostly learned the above and also how to deal with problem children in their classroom. Or maybe you also learn about different learning styles and how to teach to them.

 

I am not very far along on my homeschooling journey (my eldest is 4). However, I have long thought that most of my teacher education courses were not particularly helpful. I got my degree in English Secondary Education.

 

The topics/subjects I found most helpful in the classroom were Educational Psychology, child development, and gifted education. I crashed a class once when one of my favorite teachers from middle school was the visiting lecturer. I learned far more from her in that semester than I did in most of my other required courses. In addition to the content of the course (teaching of reading, I think), she relayed useful classroom management tips(some of this often ends up being just good parenting-type tricks), her philosophy of teaching, interesting anecdotes, and her vast breadth of knowledge accumulated over 30 years of teaching.

 

My required "methodology" courses were pretty well useless (e.g., I didn't learn any useful methods for teaching expository writing, so I had to wing it when I started actually teaching--I did not have an open and go curriculum where I taught; the teachers had guidelines for what needed to be learned in the course of a year so I got to pick, choose, and develop the rest myself). My speech class was actually more helpful, oddly enough. We did discuss learning styles and how to best teach towards those styles in my methodology courses, but we also did that in my educational psychology class.

 

I was a secondary teacher so I cannot speak for the methodology courses for elementary education; I have wondered if they would've had more useful courses than what I received.

 

I think gifted teaching (the kind of teacher I aspire to be :)) is the result of caring a great deal about the subject at hand, caring a great deal about the people you are teaching (and whether or not they learn something), a desire to maximize the learning experiences for your students, and the ability to organize and present information clearly, concisely, and meaningfully. A gifted teacher exudes enthusiasm for learning, treats her students as individuals, does her best to creatively meet challenges, has the flexibility and awareness to recognize a teachable moment and use it, reflects upon her teaching and analyzes where and how s/he could improve, and builds upon students' prior knowledge to help them learn and think independently.

 

I don't think stuff like that comes from "some sort of class" but from experience and the individual teacher.

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I would actually say - YES! I am more confident about what I am doing than several of my homeschooling peers. I think it comes from just being involved in education longer. I started working in an afterschool classroom at 18, so I have a lot of experience working with children and have seen lots of different techniques (I have 11 years classroom experience in all). I actually had some outstanding professors and fantastic classes in college. We learned how to teach reading without using the Basal reader (we were told to throw them out); we were taught that kids need time to express themselves in different ways; we were taught a lot of child development... But honestly, I think the most important aspect of being an elem/early childhoood education major and how it helps me homeschool is simply that I have experience. I am very comfortable teaching, I can draw from those 11 years of experience.

 

I would not recommend that anyone who is homeschooling to go back and get a degree. But I do not regret having my degree. I loved having a classroom whether it was 36 inner-city kids or just 4 advanced English students in a Private School. But my favorite class consists of my three children learning and growing in our home.

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I would not go so far as to say absolutely nothing! I learned a lot getting the teaching degree (and the school counseling degree), but I do agree that actually teaching and collaborating with other teachers taught me more. However, I am very thankful for that foundation I received in school from which I built what I learned in practical experience.

 

I loved teaching (and counseling) and miss it terribly. Sometimes in the Spring I start looking at openings and seriously consider applying.

 

The one thing I will say though is that I do not like the WAY the schools teach. Before NCLB I had the freedom to teach the way I wish I had learned. For example, when I taught high school History, I taught outlining daily. My 11th graders had never done it! I taught them other things that were not "just the material." Then NCLB came along and I had very little time to get in everything demanded of me.

 

Fortunately, soon after NCLB I also completed my Counseling MA and went into the counseling office.

 

But, overall, homeschooling is FAR different than public school teaching.

 

Dawn

 

Absolutely nothing. My degree was in English, and I got my certification to teach secondary students. My high school writing instruction and experience gave me more experience than my college writing instruction. I have to try not to sound snarky when people tell me, "Well, you're a teacher," as if that gives me permission in their minds to home school. I'm always quick to point out that I have friends who aren't certified who I feel are way more qualified than I am based on their natural gifts, hard work, love for their kids, and sheer determination. And you're right, the training that teachers receive in college is intended to be applied in an institutionalized setting. I wasted so much time in college with educational psychology, whole language, classroom management, and bulletin board decoration. All rubbish, if you ask me. Some of my non-certified and non-degreed friends have skills and know-how that I envy. I grew in a lot of ways at collge, and that's where I met my dh. But as far as my academics preparing my for homeschooling? Absolutely not.
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Really? I have all of my education classes, credentials, and MAs from CA and I have never taken a class in what you are talking about. We did cover learning centers, but I think it was only mentioned and briefly discussed.

 

Dawn

 

Well, yes. It may have changed since I got my credential in the early 90's. but we learned how to arrange the furniture in our classroom to make the best learning environment, I took bulletin board classes (not the whole thing but we did have sessions on it) classes on how to use office equipment like the ditto machine. My continuing ed requirements were met by taking make and take workshops put on by The University of Phoenix. We spent the entire time (usually all Friday night and all day Saturday) making themed bulletin board and learning centers. They provided the materials and we chose from their selection.

 

This all was in CA. I don't know what other states require. The school district I taught in grew rapidly and they recruited from colleges in Washington, Minnesota and OK. People from those states got more classes, but still covered what I did in addition to other things.

 

BTW, I did take some meaty classes, but I felt some of this stuff was just thrown in so I could meet requirements somehow.

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I have my BS in Early and Middle Childhood Ed from Ohio State--graduated in the mid-80's.

 

I learned the most in my methods classes--but I was steeped in the whole language method of reading, the process science stuff (little content, discovery-based, whole to part), and some other rather faddish educational philosophies. I did get a lot out of my classes (and yes, there was an entire credit of learning about audio-visual machines) but, when it came time to actually teach in the classroom, I found many teachers just opened the TM and followed what it said. We never explored different actual Teacher Manuals, or compared curricula--things I do constantly when I'm planning for homeschool. While student teaching, I realized just how much was dictated by the school, and that the teacher couldn't always do what was best for her class. I particularly remember feeling bound and helpless when asked to implement a learning center in a science class during my teacher training--the class I was assigned didn't use learning centers, and I couldn't seem to integrate my college course information with the reality of the school to which I was assigned. THere simply wasn't time in the day, and they were a "desks in a row, teacher lectures" kind of class. I felt very frustrated. In my homeschool teaching, tho, I have been able to take some of what I was taught were the "best Methods" and apply them--but then I ran into the fact that it's different with one child than with 20, esp when it comes to group work and discussion, which was all the rage when I went to college! lol

 

I did learn how to write measurable objectives and a scope and sequence. I did learn about ages and stages, Piaget and Kohlberg, and some policy history, all of which was particularly helpful in homeschooling, but didn't hurt.

 

The one thing I notice now, tho, is the amount of internal conflict I have with the idea of schooling in a brick and mortar school. I truly never want to teach elementary school. I don't feel qualified, I've been sucking in a lot of anti-school rhetoric, and I am not sure I believe in the public school philosophy anymore. It's hard, because it's scary to think I am not prepared to have a career in anything else, and now I don't think I can do what I did for so many years, after Nature Girl stops homeschooling. I know my skills can

translate a bit to tutoring and such, but I don't think I'll ever teach in a b and m school again and feel completely comfortable.

 

A degree is nice, but you will not get as much information from it for homeschooling as you will from teaching, living with, and loving your own kids.

Edited by Chris in VA
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I don't believe that I was born with some "gift for teaching." Teaching well has been an acquired skill, strengthened and refined as each teaching year goes by and I learn new skills and viewpoints. I was not "born", I was "made." There are many things for which I lack an "innate knack", but which I have learned well enough to do creditably.

 

However, the fertile soil to plant the teaching seeds may well be inborn. Some people are shy for life. Some people are so self-centered they would be terrible teachers. Some people have to have silence to work, etc. etc. I think, in general, teachers have to be hopeful, social people (I don't mean parties....I mean enjoying the company of others). A strong streak of curiosity would help, too, as well as some orderly thinking. I believe some of these traits are inborn.

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