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One might assume the answer to this is a resounding yes, however there are few parents who are truly up to the challenge of being a student themselves. With this attitude you can easily give up and get scared that you’ll never be able to go the distance. I hope to be a voice for why continuing with your education will grow virtue in you that will keep you committed to homeschooling forever.
What does continuing your education look like? Am I thinking you should go back to college on top of teaching your kids? No! I don’t want or need you to go anywhere to continue your education. When I say, continuing education, I am suggesting that while you are teaching your student how to read you are reading a book like, “How to read a book” by Mortimer J. Adler. While you are teaching math you can spend time working through a Khan Academy lesson, which is free, and while memorizing a timeline you can work though any of Susan Wise Baurer’s books. Your students subjects are the spring board for you and continuing your education.
As a parent you know children do what they see more then doing based on listening. Therefore it is imperative to model for our kids learning. We want them to see us struggling through hard math problems only to find resolution and peace at the end. Virtue is cultivated when we as the parent are doing hard things. We can engage with them more deeply when we have read the books and spent time pondering the deeper questions we will ask them to think on.
I know reading anything outside of text books is daunting and you may have every moment of your day accounted for with teaching, laundry, meals, clean up, and outings. What I am suggesting will require you to make time for your own learning. It can happen before anyone wakes up or after everyone goes to bed. Podcasts and audio books can be listened to while you are doing everyday tasks. Slowly you can start checking off your own book list while you maintain the house.
Community is a great place to cultivate your education. Grab fellow parents and read the same book. You can discuss it at lunch, online, or through other events you are together. Norms and Nobility by David Hicks is a fantastic book on Classical Education, however it almost needs fellow readers to help pull each other along. You can find community in person through a co-op or online with a group. We want our kids to talk about what they are learning and by watching us share they might pick up on the joy of learning.
Personally, I have been blessed to be a part of a Classical Community for 8 years. I have tutored many classes within that community and because of my decision to tutor I have made myself accountable to learn. I knew without accountability I might drift off into my own thing unplugged from my kids education. Preparing to tutor Latin, Logic, Pre-Algebra, classical lit., and famous astronomers keeps me on my toes. I have found places like ClassicalU.com to help me build a copiousness within those subjects. I read endlessly and actively look for places I can chat with others about what I am reading. My days have the same hours as anyone else but I have made my own education a priority.
A regularly asked question is, “whether I will continue educating my kids through high school or will I put them in at that time.” My answer to that is, “How could I let anyone else get the fruit of all my hard work?” I am invested in their education down to the last sentence in every novel they read. I am intimately involved and that gives me confidence to continue all the way through.
We know the benefits of homeschooling our kids, now I hope I have shown you why you should care to continue educating yourself. Growing in virtue and modeling for your kids how to learn is the best way to stay committed to homeschooling.
Let me know in the comments how you have continued educating yourself.