You are the teacher!
Has anyone ever asked you what your child was learning in their home school? Did you then feel uncomfortable, stammer a few syllables, and then realise that the only answer you could give involved a few PACE numbers?
Yes, the PACEs have the instruction built in.
Yes, the parent is referred to as the “Supervisor” in the A.C.E. parlance.
Nevertheless, remember that, as the homeschooling parent, you are the teacher.
This is true from the point of view of the Government, and, more importantly, from the point of view of the Bible.
Part of your Job Description
As your child’s teacher, you’ve completed your Teacher Training, right? Of course, we call it you Parent Training, but you already know how to be a parent. Your Teacher Training shows you how to be your child’s teacher using A.C.E.
As the teacher, it’s up to you to teach your child how to use the resource. This includes how to set goals, what to do with Checkups… The teacher sets the timetable, gives permission, makes exceptions, reigns in rowdy behaviour…
As teacher, you should at least be signing checkups every few days, and checking Goal Cards. All of this is covered in the training.
One thing, however, is sometimes taken for granted. School teachers take for granted they should do this. Conversely, homeschool teachers might take for granted that they don’t have to do this.
Your job as your child’s teacher is to know what your child is learning. In other words, take the opportunity to see what topics are being covered. Read the scope and sequence. Better yet, find time to talk to your child about what they are learning. As a result, you could be saved a lot of embarrassment when somebody asks what your children are learning.
Are you happy with what your children are learning?
Does everything taught at the local state school match your own views or philosophy? Do you think parents might be uneasy with some of the things the children are being taught at school? We may feel confident that A.C.E. resources will align with what we want our children to learn. Nevertheless, Christians are diverse in doctrine and practice, and the likelihood of a 100% fit is not high.
A.C.E. resources aim to have universal relevance in the Christian community. Specific content, however, may present differently to how you might have taught your child. This does not mean it is bad to offer alternative views, but we should at least be aware of when this occurs. If dealt with wisely, these differences can be used as opportunities to highlight diversity among Christians. Further, they can illustrate the reasons why your own views may differ.
Communication is always a good idea
Here are some good reasons for talking to your child about his or her work:
- It shows your child that you are interested. They are not just being abandoned to their book work as some other children might be to school.
- There is little that is so rewarding as “being there” when your child is learning. You would consider it a sad loss to miss your child’s first word or first step. Too many parents miss out on witnessing the new light bulbs that go on in a child when they learn something new. Homeschooling gives parents this opportunity.
- Some subjects – particularly some secondary subjects – are aimed at and assume a certain level of maturity in students. You may not feel your child is ready to learn about some of the matters covered just yet. This may even be why you homeschooled in the first place.
- Further, whether a view point is right or wrong, it is one viewpoint. Are you certain that your own viewpoint aligns exactly with the one presented in the material? Maybe this is a good opportunity to make sure. If not, you can talk about it.
Some secondary subjects cover mature themes or theological doctrines that can, in the Christian world, be considered controversial. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you are aware of the material before presenting it to your children.