Jun 5, 2015
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What do I NEED to Teach?

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When parents decide to home school, one of the first things many wonder is what do I need to teach? Or am I qualified to teach?  The teaching is one of the things parents are most afraid of when it comes to homeschooling. Don’t let fear rule your life! You are the most capable person on Earth to teach your child. You have been teaching your child since birth. You have already taught your child to walk, talk love, get along with others, pray, feed themselves and many other things I’m sure. Nothing changes when your child reaches school age. You are still more than capable.

You Need to Teach The Basics

In today’s society, the “rush” to put kids in school is starting earlier and earlier, but studies show that many children aren’t ready for the rigors of formal schooling until age eight to ten. At this point, they are better able to handle the physical, mental and social demands. Until this age, the only thing a home school parent really needs to teach are the basics. The basics include things like the alphabet, how to count, shapes, colors, how to tie their shoes, ride a bike, how to write numbers and their names, how to read. There are also some foundational skills in addition to Reading and Early Math Skills that a child will need to know. These are:

  • How to find and organize reliable information
  • How to think and communicate clearly
  • How to discern world view
  • How to make thoughtful, reasoned decisions

These are all things a parent can teach in the safety and comfort of their own home, or while they are out and about in their community. The bonus is the parent can teach these things with little to no “extra” curriculum or money. Most of these things can be learned through play and daily life experiences

Is Curriculum Necessary? 

As a child gets older parents may invest in a curriculum or purchase learning tools. Again, these are all things that add to a child’s education. They aren’t always necessary. For me, having a teacher’s guide in math was essential, as I am NOT the best at teaching math…. For another parent, they may not need a manual because they are a math whiz. Some parents may be great at creating their own curriculum and unit studies. Some (like me!) may need a curriculum to help guide their child’s learning.

Homeschool parents, be encouraged, you actually NEED very little to homeschool. But, sometimes having extras are a great bonus!


Misty Bailey is a married homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

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