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Six Tips for Developing Your Skills as a Homeschool Teacher
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Teaching is counted as a spiritual gift (Romans 12:7), but the Bible also tells us to display integrity and gravity in our teaching (Titus 2:7)—that we take it seriously. Our children deserve teachers who are learning and growing. Whether we consider ourselves a great teacher or a terrible one, there are many ways we can build up our “professional” skills.

1. Read informational books about subjects you are teaching. This might include anything from a light history book about the time period you are studying to a highly academic book about teaching children to read and write. Read anything that looks like it may answer your questions in areas where you struggle. Even a little bit of knowledge about learning styles and educational methods will make choosing a curriculum so much easier.

2. Read how-to books about the subjects you are teaching. The most obvious book is a teacher’s edition (which should be a lot more than just answers in red). I will admit that I don’t teach directly from a teacher’s edition very often. I do, however, read large sections and refer to them quite often. Especially with the younger children, I am more prepared for the teachable moments and can appear incredibly creative because I’ve used those books as a guide.

3. Spend time with other teachers. Make friends with some other homeschooling parents (or even teachers if they are supportive) and talk homeschooling with them. I have received so many tips over the years from other homeschooling parents. I love sharing ideas and encouraging homeschoolers. It’s part of the reason I am a HomeWorks Consultant. Lots of homeschool parents love to share! Just choose wisely the people you listen to. Look for good fruit in their lives and the lives of their students.

4. Invest in yourself. Go to a homeschool conference; it doesn’t have to be a large one. If you need to travel, try to go with other homeschool parents. Discussing the ideas and the things you see will help you remember what you’ve learned. If you can’t go, see if the conference offers recorded CDs. You may still be able to listen to that particular speaker from the comfort of your home.

5. Take a class. Are you interested in photography or crafting or financial wellness? Anytime you invest in yourself, you have a skill you can pass to your children. Classes don’t necessarily need to be something you also want to teach your children. They will see your love of learning and emulate it. Lots of classes are even available online.

6. Teach your children, not your curriculum. A curriculum is an absolutely wonderful tool—one that I don’t want to be without! But there are days when children have questions or misunderstandings not covered in the curriculum. The curriculum doesn’t address heart issues or how to help your tearful daughter when she doesn’t understand her math after the first explanation. It also doesn’t hand your child an extra book or take them a bit further in a subject that may have ignited a spark of passion. For those things, they need a teacher.

Cynda Moore, HomeWorks Consultant
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Mother to five students – Grades 3, 6, 8, 10, 12 – I have a graduate this year!


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