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Why You Don’t Have to be Both Parent and Teacher in Your Homeschool

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Are you wondering how you can be both parent and teacher in your homeschool? The good news is, you don’t. You’re a parent, and that makes you a teacher.

Written by Bethany Ishee of BethanyIshee.com.

Have you considered homeschooling, but you aren’t sure how you can be both the parent and the teacher to your children? Are you a new homeschooler who is wondering why your kids won’t listen?

It’s a common question. Homeschooling parents want to know how they can be their child’s teacher while also being mom or dad.


But here’s the fact that homeschoolers don’t always tell you: You can’t be both parent and teacher in your homeschool. No, it’s not because it’s impossible to teach your children. It’s because the two never were separate, mutually exclusive roles.

Parents Are Already Teachers

Children are born to parents that guide and teach. I’m sure you never considered needing a walking instructor to teach your child to take his first steps. You probably didn’t need a health teacher to tell your children to brush their teeth or look both ways before crossing the street.

You did these things because teaching is a central role of parenting.

Yet, we somehow have been led to believe that once a child turns 4 or 5 or 6, it’s time to turn over our role as teacher to someone else. We think our children need someone with training and certifications, whom we deem better equipped to teach them to count and read.

But we’re parents. We’ve been teaching and guiding our child for years, so what changes? Nothing. Because as a parent, you have what it takes to teach your child.

But Parents Aren’t Teachers

Yes, this contradicts everything I just said, but hear me out. As homeschooling parents, we shouldn’t (and can’t) divide our lives so that sometimes we’re the parent and other times we’re the teacher.

We are both. Always.

These roles aren’t separate and well-defined. They are interwoven and infinite.

Are you suddenly no longer a wife or husband when talking to your mother? Of course not, you’re both a wife and a daughter, or a son and a husband.

The same is true of homeschooling parents. We are parents who also help our children learn Algebra. We might be changing the baby’s diaper while also reviewing state capitals with her older sibling.

This multitasking is what makes homeschooling special. We live life with our children and learn alongside them. Learning isn’t isolated, and we don’t have to outsource it to someone else.

Children Know We’re Mom and Dad

Have you ever noticed how your children seem to hold it together in public to then have a meltdown at home? Why? Because they know they’re home. It’s a safe place to breakdown and have a moment when they are not their best.

So even if we’re capable of shifting gears and putting aside our parenting role to tackle the “school” day, our children aren’t.

We can’t put the parent and child relationship on hold. It’s always there and will always be present, no matter whether we’re cleaning the kitchen, watching a movie, or practicing handwriting.

Is this a negative? No, it’s one of the most significant benefits of homeschooling. Children have the opportunity to learn at their pace with people who love and care about them.

What could be better?

[Homeschooling]…recipe for genius: More of family and less of school, more of parents and less of peers, more creative freedom and less formal lessons.

― Raymond S. Moore, School Can Wait

Home Isn’t School, and You Are a Parent

I’ve often wished we could stop using the term homeschooling. It’s a complete misnomer. Home isn’t school, and school isn’t home. But we have to give learning without school a label, and I guess this is what stuck.

Your home isn’t a school, and that’s why it’s incredible. You are a parent and not a teacher, and that is what creates homeschool success. So stop worrying that you won’t be able to be both parent and teacher.

You already are.

New to homeschooling? Connect with other homeschooling parents on the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers Facebook page or follow us on Pinterest.



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