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Q: How will children learn everything they need to know – like math, science and reading – if they aren’t taught?
A:
Children are curious, independent, active, self-directed learners. They are born that way and remain that way if school hasn’t conditioned away their natural curiosity about the world. They naturally learn by exploring, questioning, experimenting, figuring things out, making connections, getting ideas and testing them, taking risks, making and correcting mistakes, and trying again. This takes time and space (both physical and psychological).

This drive to learn motivates self-directed learners to “study” academic subjects in the same way it propels them to learn how to walk and talk. Parents and other adults play a major role in this process, supporting, encouraging, enriching the learning environment with appropriate resources, modeling behavior, celebrating good ideas and accomplishments, sympathizing about errors, pointing out possibilities, and generally presenting the riches of the world to their children. They must also be careful not to meddle in their children’s learning. For most of us, our own highly directed formal education gets in the way and makes us want to “play school.” But children learn eagerly when their parents create a supportive, stimulating learning environment, then trust their children to learn.  

Typically, a child's curiosity, and love for life and learning, will lead her to most, if not all, of the things we call "subjects" ... and much more ... although probably not in the same segmented way or in the same order as taught at school.


Q: Do I have to be a teacher to home educate?
A:
In  most locations, you do not have to be a teacher. And, in fact, teachers often struggle with life learning because it is so different from schooling. There is usually a period of deschooling required for the parent as well as the child. As a home educating parent, it is not necessary - or even desirable - for you to teach your child in the conventional manner. If you have been capable of providing a loving, nurturing environment for your child since birth, you have what it takes to help your child learn what our culture considers to be more academic sorts of things, such as math, reading and science.

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