by Dawn Spence, SPED Homeschool
Am I the best teacher for my child? This is a question that I still ask myself all the time. I know it is driven by two things: guilt and fear. Guilt that I am not doing things perfectly and the fear that I never will.
Well, I am right. I am not doing it perfectly and I never will. But that is okay. I am learning that my kids don’t need a perfect mom or teacher. Instead, what they need is for me to keep going and never give up on them or myself.
Homeschooling is a journey of trial and error and finding out what works. Sometimes it is trying five different math curriculums before you find the one that is the right fit. You made the effort to try each of those options and didn’t give up. This is what makes you the right person to homeschool your child. You kept looking and searching. No one loves your child like you and wants him or her to succeed like you do. You make it your mission to wake up every morning and help your child to do better, to learn something new.
Teaching special needs children can be tiring when your child is not catching onto a concept you have been teaching for weeks. But you have the gift of not moving on because you are homeschooling and can set the pace based on the needs of your child. I would think I was failing my child because she was not learning to read or learning a new math concept, but I realized in the midst of that struggle that I am the best teacher for my child because I push her on, and we work through it together.
My daughter has a learning disability and remembering things for her can be a struggle. We keep trying and working through lessons until she gets them. My heart takes it personally when she is not learning, and the fear comes when I start to think I am not teaching her what she needs.
Momma guilt is real. Anyone can teach your child, but it’s your heart’s pursuit to teach beyond the struggles that will make your child soar. Just the other day, my daughter reminded me of this exact thing. While she was playing, she looked up at me and said, “Momma, thank you for believing that I am smart.” I melted. Then, I prayed. “God, let me see [that] teaching my children is not about me being perfect, but having a willing and open heart to teach them the best I can each day.”
So yes, I am the right teacher for my child, and so are you.
Dawn is a homeschooling mom to her three children, a son in high school and twin daughters in junior high. Before becoming a homeschooling mom, Dawn worked as a teacher and special education teacher for 10 years. She taught second, third, and fourth grade for seven years, and then was blessed to teach PPCD and children with Autism in an ABLE unit.
Dawn is now the SPED Homeschool Teaching manager, a department coordinator of her local co-op, and has been a speaker for online and in person conferences.
This article was originally published on October 18, 2018 on www.spedhomeschool.com. Reprinted with permission.