Should Strangers Teach Your Children?

It is often the case that we voluntarily give up our rights to someone else, perhaps without even realizing it. When it comes to educating and molding our children, this is one of those times. When our children go to public school we wake them up at 6 am, have them scarf down a meal, rush them to school, pick them up at 3 pm, take them to afterschool events perhaps, then come home for them to do homework, have dinner, and go to bed. This leaves us very little time as parents to communicate and bond with our children since the percentage of our time with them versus someone else’s is extremely low. Additionally, we are giving up our right and ability to teach and handing that responsibility over to someone we do not know. Is this okay? Here are a few reasons why we should consider whether or not allowing other people to teach our kids is in their best interests.

1) We may not be aware of what they are learning and it may not be something we want them to learn. We all have different things we value both educationally and otherwise and the criteria we have as parents with a vested interest in our children is not often met by a stranger without that same vested interest. If no action is taken as parents to step into our children’s education, it is left up to someone who may not share the values we hold dear for them. When we allow our children to learn at school, we are relying on whatever the government wants to be taught. What if we do not agree with how subjects are being interpreted? It is hard to teach anything objectively. Even school subjects like history are taught with individual opinions and perspectives. For example, who was right, Abraham Lincoln or Robert E. Lee? Depending on how we view the world will change what we think about issues like this. Should we let someone else teach any form of sex education to our sixth graders? Though these things may seem insignificant and can be taught objectively, it is not easy to do so and what our children are hearing at school is what will stick with them and become normal to them. If we are not in control as parents of what is taught and how it is taught then we may have no clue what our children are learning and the results may devastate our families. We wish to impart whatever lifestyle beliefs are the best for our family and it can be a great hindrance if our children are spending more time hearing the opinions of strangers rather than their own parents. It is our joyful task to enrich them with what we hold dear. Should we allow someone else to define what should be dear to our children?

2) Teachers are not able to devote the time our children need. This is unfortunate and perhaps unintentional. Often many things seem like a good idea in theory but when it comes right down to it, the application is not so easy to produce. Due to the number of students going to school to learn every day, it is simply impossible for one teacher to give each student the type of support and help needed. Instead, there is a standard set for each child and if he comes above or below he does not receive the support needed. Our children thrive not only on time being spent with them but also on having someone there to be lovingly involved in everything they do. Additionally, each child has their own pace and a schoolteacher is incapable, as much as he might desire it, of giving what is needed for each one. When our children feel they have someone continually there who cares about their success they feel it! Our kids are always proud to show us their drawings, their attempts at writing their name, their ability to count to ten, etc., all because they know we care and will help them improve. If we are not spending the time to oversee our children’s development and growth in every area then we are truly missing out on a wonderful experience and they may grow up lacking the skills they need.

3) We cannot as easily instill what we want to instill in our children when others are teaching them. We all have a lifestyle that we choose to live by. It is very natural that the more strongly we incorporate that lifestyle into our lives the more desire we have to incorporate it into our children. By being around us, our children get to soak in our values and they become aware of what we view as important in life. The more we expand our time with them, the more they will see, understand, and be influenced by us. Unfortunately, if our time with them is less than the time they are in a classroom setting at school or with friends, the influences they receive there will likely be greater than the influences they receive from home. Friends can teach as much as teachers! Provided teachers and friends match our ideals and preferences for our kids there may be no problem, but the influence of both is often not what we want for our children. As the time at school increases, the values of school increase as well, leaving the home values to do nothing but decrease. Of course, our children can still pick up on what we desire for them at home but it is less probable that it will sink in as deeply as it would if they were in our care all day.

These are just three of the many reasons we should think about what is best for our children’s upbringing and what style of schooling is going to achieve the goals we have for them. It is helpful to ask yourself what your goals are for your children. When we understand fully what we want for our children we have a better understanding of how involved to be, and what will hinder or help our family’s goals. If we are truly concerned with where we want our children to end up in life, we will make sure they are getting what they need from us and taking out what they do not need from others. If we are not aware of what they are learning, how can we make sure they are getting what they need? Our children are a great gift and they are just waiting for us to help them thrive.


By Brittany Wyatt