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What does my child need to learn?

Are you homeschooling or wanting to homeschool but are worried your child won’t learn everything they need to? Many parents get hung up on what their child needs to learn. They have been told for so long that everyone needs to learn the same thing, that the government knows just what those things are, and that they will accidentally miss one of these things if they don’t send them to public school and it will put their child back in life.

If that sounds silly, it’s because it is, but when it comes down to it, many parents legitimately have this fear. You worry your child won’t learn everything that they need to. But who determines what a child needs to learn? Is it the government? Are they the most ultimate power of wisdom and knowledge? Government is good at creating one size fits all systems because they have too many people to govern. That’s why originally the U.S. leaned on the states and local governments holding more power. Our founding fathers knew decisions needed to be made locally because people and lands are not all the same and cannot be governed as such.

Asking the question of who determines what a child needs to learn is the first step. If you think that the government is a supremely higher power that has all the answers, then you neglect the fact that governments are made up of humans who are very much like you and I, imperfect.

It was in asking this question and critically thinking about it that I realized that God gave my children to me and gave me the mandate to educate them when I rise, lie down, and walk by the way (Deuteronomy 6). But since I grew up in public school and was told my whole life that the “professionals” had all the answers, I questioned if I was “qualified”. How I was qualified to teach them the first few years of life but not the rest did not cross my mind at first. I was already conditioned to think that the government was the higher power. It was not until I questioned who the higher power was that I was able to begin my journey to find out what my child really needed to learn. God was Lord of my life, but I started to realize that I had not really lived my life that way. Once I realized that I should align myself with God’s Word and not what the world told me, I was able to throw away some bad thinking and start to think critically.

What I realized was that God created us each so special. No two people have the same fingerprint! That was not by accident but by design. Each person in this world brings something a little different. God gave us each gifts and talents. He wants us to see that we need each other. Where we lack, another abounds. If I were to send my kids to a one size fits all education system, their unique gifts and talents wouldn't be fostered. If I gave up my God-given responsibility to educate my children to someone else who had a couple dozen other students to teach, then the uniqueness only I could impart to them would not occur. God gave them to me for a reason. I might not be perfect, but I am the one God wants to teach my kids. And you are the one who should teach yours too. Does that mean you can’t resource out and have other teachers? No, but it does me that their education is your responsibility and no one else's.

So how do you know what to teach them? Well, you are the parent so YOU get to decide! What do you think your child should learn? What is important to you? What did you wish you had learned in school? No matter if you go to public school or homeschool, you will always feel like you didn’t learn everything. And that’s okay because learning never needs to end. In fact, if you think that once you graduate college, learning ends, then you rob yourself of future growth. One of the best things homeschooling provides is a love of life long learning. Homeschooled kids more often than not get the opportunity to pursue their curiosities. Lots of times sitting in a classroom and having to follow along with what everyone else is doing stifles a child’s curiosity and they can lose their love for learning.

The great thing is that whatever they miss when they are young, they can learn later. They can also learn on their own time instead of falling behind others their age in a classroom setting. One on one education is always better education and no one gets left behind like they can in a large group. Also, no one will love your child more than you, even the best teachers.

Should you teach your children what is being taught in public schools so your child doesn’t fall behind? Again, that’s up to you. What do you feel is really best for your child? Our society today is trying to strip parents of their authority over their children. They are using lies such as “parents aren’t as competent as the government”, and “what about parents who abuse their children?” If you are reading this and interested in finding out what is best for your child, then you probably aren’t abusing your child. Again, using one answer to solve a small percentage problem, isn’t what's best for the majority. And what I mean by that is we can’t give over our parental authority because there are some bad apple parents.

Why can’t someone just tell me what to teach my child? If you really can’t decide what to teach your child, there are many resources out there to help you. You can choose any homeschool curriculum and they will have already laid out what your child should learn. But how do I know if what the curriculum teaches is enough? Well, you can research to see if there are any topics missed that you want covered and then you can find a curriculum on that topic. But how do I know if something is missed? If you believe the government has all the answers, then you can use your state’s standards or another country’s standards whose educational system is better. Or you can take a deep breath and trust that whatever you missed, they can always learn later when it comes up that they need it. Most likely, however, as you teach your child and take responsibility for their education, you will easily be able to identify areas where your child might need more instruction and areas where they really excel.

Once you spend one on one time with your child and you start to gain understanding of their unique gifts and talents as well as their struggles, you will be able to help foster their gifts while also strengthening them in their weaknesses.

What many will say your child needs to learn are these main subjects: math, language arts, science, history and possibly art, music, foreign language, and athletics. Others might find more importance in focusing on life skills like character, wealth building, and survival or homesteading.

When figuring out what to teach your child, think about what will set them up for success in the future and don’t forget God’s mandate to teach them in everything you do all throughout your days and life. In fact, teaching is more modeling than it is lesson planning. You might think you can't teach because you imagine the teacher you had growing up. But teaching isn't standing in front of a blackboard, it's having your child come along side you to watch you as you model to them the things they need to learn. One on one mentorship has always proven to be the most successful form of learning.

*This article was not written with AI

a dad teaching his son woodwork

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