How does someone become an excellent educator? It is the ability to learn, modeling for children a love for learning. If you have a willingness to learn, you can sit down with your child and together you can learn anything. You don’t have to know it already. You don’t even have to get it right the first time. It’s even okay to have a wrong answer every once in a while. Thomas Edison didn’t get the light bulb right the first time. We too will struggle in our quest for gaining knowledge. This is where we learn humility, perseverance, and how to make wise use of our time.
As living beings with a limited amount of time on this earth, we all have to make choices as to where and how we spend our time. Having the ability to learn and making the wise choice of how to help your child learn do not always coincide. For example, growing up I was on the swim team and still have a great love for swimming. However, at the time my daughter needed to learn how to swim, I also had a two-year-old son. Attempting the feat of watching him around water and teaching my daughter to swim at the same time did not seem like the best idea. Instead our family chose to pay for swimming lessons where someone else could teach my daughter to swim, and I could spend that time focusing on my son while still watching her swimming lessons at the same time.
For you as parents, you will constantly be faced with the same choice. Which subjects or areas of life will you teach your child and which ones will you choose to find someone else to teach them. Perhaps you want to teach your oldest algebra, but it will mean lots of time studying the material yourself and you still have younger children at home you are teaching/caring for at the same time. Making the choice to hire a tutor or have your child attend a math class or *gasp* put them in public or private school may very well be the best option. The end goal of learning algebra is still achieved.