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The Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: Smarter
8/7/2015 7:31:13 AM by: Susan Lyttek

Probably the most obvious benefit, blessing or bonus of becoming a homeschool parent is that by teaching your children daily and consistently, you yourself will become smarter.

Conventional teachers will frequently comment how much their students teach them or how the requirements of education keep them learning. Homeschooling, too, affects the teacher in the same ways. This post will address four of them. Do what you can to apply all of these to your homeschooling experience (trust me, you can’t avoid most of them) and your brain will thank you for it.

  1. Repetition. By teaching your children, at varying levels, the facts that you convey will become engrained in your mind as well. Things that you first learned as a student just to pass or move on will suddenly become accessible and understandable—especially as you teach it for the third or fourth time. And if you help your child memorize something through repetition that you never knew growing up, chances are good that you’ll memorize it, too. That’s how I learned the books of the Bible.
  2. Fluency. By teaching ideas and concepts that you covered in school, but may have struggled with, they will become more familiar and relatable. For instance, Geometry has never been my strong suit. I prefer Algebra. But after taking it once and teaching it twice, the Pythagorean Theorem makes sense and I can teach it. I can also explain why the predictable variations of the 30-60-90 and the 45-45-90 triangles work. This is a strong contrast to my school years where I just plugged in numbers and hoped for the best.
  3. Expanding knowledge base. While homeschooling, I had to learn new facts. Sometimes it came from one of their questions that needed an answer. When 5-year-old Erik demanded to know how civilization began, I learned about Hammurabi and his code. I had no recollection of ever learning that in school. Sometimes, it was simply the next stage in curriculum that taught me something new. After they finished Biology, my highest science, I learned Chemistry and Physics along with them. Likewise, whenever I supervised their research for a paper or tried a new teaching method to help them master a skill, I learned.
  4. Recognizing limits. Many of the things I’ve learned have shown me where I am not wired. I can struggle enough to sort of grasp and explain high school Physics, for instance, but I will never be completely comfortable with it. Working with those concepts feels like I’m trying to assemble a house, using only straws, while keeping my eyes shut. However, language use and algebra have become clearer over the years. The more I learn, the more I realize that I still have to learn, and the more I know that I was not meant to know and understand everything.

Thankfully for the ultimate smarts and understanding, we have an infinite God! (Next week… Wiser)

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