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Friday March 1st 2024

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What I Learned as a Homeschooling Parent: Mark and Helen Hegener

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What I Learned as a Homeschooling Parent:

Mark and Helen Hegener


"We've learned we don't have all the answers."

Today, Parent at the Helm is thrilled to share with you one more answer to “What do parents learn from the homeschooling experience?” This answer comes from a couple who has done much to support and encourage the growth of homeschooling across the country and even around the world with their wonderful publication, Home Education Magazine, as well as many published books.

I’m also happy to take this opportunity to let you know that Home Education Magazine plans to be up and running as normal sometime this month. If you haven’t visited the updated, upgraded, updazzled website recently, it’s time to get back there (just use the link above!).

Without further ado, I give you Mark and Helen Hegener.

Mark and Helen Hegener on Being a Homeschooling Parent

We’ve learned to trust our children and ourselves. Trust is not easy to come by, and it’s made even harder by schooling, which teaches us not to trust ourselves or our own instincts and feelings, but to rely on expertise and authority instead. Schooling utilizes a top-down chain of command, a hierarchical student-teacher relationship, but homeschooling doesn’t need to replicate this hurtful pattern. Homeschooling encourages the development of a loving relationship based on caring and trust between parent and child, and this is the best possible environment for real learning to take place. Real learning – such as how to talk to other people about minor and major things, how to determine what needs doing and the best way in which to get it done, how to find one’s rightful place in a confusing and complex world, how to truly live a life filled with goodness and worthiness and love.

While this learning is happening to our children, similar learning is happening to us as parents. We begin to question long-held assumptions about children and learning and our own place in the puzzle. We begin to see that what we were told about certain things like education and earning a living and what’s worth doing with our lives is not necessarily true, and we find ourselves searching for answers to questions we thought we already knew the answers to.

As parents for over twenty years now, we’ve learned that we don’t have all the answers. Sometimes our children have better answers than we do, especially as they’ve grown older. We’ve taught them to think carefully, and to consider several angles and approaches to a situation when necessary, but we’re not as good at it as they are now. We’ve learned that being open to new ideas, new ways of looking at things, is a valuable approach in life, but old habits and old ways of doing things can be difficult to let go. Our Children are helping us learn to let go and embrace new ways of seeing, hearing, feeling.

Important Clue to Homeschooling Success

We’ve often quoted an old saying, whose author we’ve long forgotten, that goes something like this: “We can teach our children to have courage, faith, and endurance; they can teach us to laugh, to sing, and to love.” In the final analysis, these lessons are probably the most important ones.

Homeschooling Book of AnswersYou can read much more wisdom like this by dozens of the most respected voices representing over 500 years of homeschooling experience in the timeless Homeschooling Book of Answers edited by Linda Dobson.

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2 Responses to “What I Learned as a Homeschooling Parent: Mark and Helen Hegener”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Linda, Helen, and Mark. I’m thrilled to see that a new issue is coming. May it be followed by many, many more.

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