Of course, all parents teach their children. We shape, influence and instruct our kids in countless ways. And I respect the energy and commitment that most parents bring to raising their own.
But some parents take it to a whole 'nother level. For reasons as varied as the wind, there is a certain sort of parent who chooses to take on the responsibility of their children's academic education. Traditional methods of schooling have their pros and cons, but this breed of parent steps away from the status quo. Whether they are pure homeschoolers or members of a co-op or players in a public parent partnership program, the essential truth remains that these people boldy take full responsibility for their children's learning. Our culture typically calls these people 'homeschoolers' but I believe that title trivializes their role as entrepreneurs and downright revolutionaries. For lack of a better term, I'll call them 'parent educators' and I salute each and every one.
At first glance, it seems reckless to claim that an ordinary mother and father can properly educate their own. After all, isn't that why our society has given the task of educating our young to the government? Doesn't education require the vast resources, highly specialized social environments, state-of-the-art curricula and fleet of Professionally Trained Educators that only an established institution can provide?
Perhaps. But in many families, parents are ideally suited to teach their own. Despite all their best intentions, no teacher can invest the resources and the attention in a child as a parent can. No teacher can know a child's strengths and weaknesses, insights and idiosyncrasies, energies and growing edges as a parent can. And no teacher, no one at all, can love a child as only a parent can. The parent/child bond provides a rock solid foundation upon which a customized education can be built, and the parent is uniquely qualified and biologically invested to do the job.
If you love to learn and you enjoy hanging out with your kids, you have what it takes to succeed.
Being a parent educator is the most exciting and rewarding job imaginable.
Carpe diem. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.
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