Are you their teacher?

I get this question a lot in different iterations and it always gives me pause. I don't think of myself as their teacher just because I'm the adult/parent in the homeschool relationship. We don't have a traditional school or even a kitchen table school. I don't set out books and worksheets which they toil at for x hrs/day after which time we are free to play.

teach (tch)
1. To impart knowledge or skill to
2. To provide knowledge of; instruct in
3. To condition to a certain action or frame of mind
4. To cause to learn by example or experience
5. To advocate or preach
6. To carry on instruction on a regular basis in

I feel that I am the facilitator. I bring in things I think they'll like. I see something that excites me and I share it with them. I find books they like and check them out of the library. And yes, I do help them work out spelling words or math problems, but it's more of a mentor, a "why don't you try this", or "our language is screwed up and it's not spelled that way, sorry." I help them in their learning, which they are already doing.

facilitate [fəˈsɪlɪˌteɪt]vb (tr) to make easier; assist the progress of

Of course, while I may ruminate on the answer privately (or here in the blog,) with only a moment's pause, I answer, "yes" to the "are you their teacher?" Why? Because it's easier. It's more acceptable. It's hard to explain that I don't feel my children need teachers. Especially difficult to explain this while knowing that this route isn't for everyone and I don't have anything against teachers. In short, it's too complicated and too personal so I take the easy way out. It's like answering "fine" to "how are you?"


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