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Who Learns More?

  • Terri Camp Home school author and mother
  • 2002 7 Jan
Who Learns More?

Before I home schooled my kids I had this thought in my head that I would always have to know more than they in order to properly instruct them.  I decided that even though I was seriously lacking in some education areas, like math, I knew enough to teach my five- year-old, so I dove in head-first.  I wondered though how I was going to keep up with the children’s increasing need to learn more than I knew.


Isn’t it peculiar that we allow fear of the future to sometimes hamper us in our walk with the Lord? I kept expecting the day to come when the kids would look at me and say, “Mom, you just aren’t smart enough for me anymore.”


After home schooling for a couple of years though, my thinking changed.  I realized that I was learning right along with the children, and they didn’t even know it.  But they would be able to catch my excitement as I learned something new.  As time passed I decided to use my lack of knowledge to my advantage. 


If I was feeling a bit burned out in our home schooling, I would think about a subject or topic that I wanted to study.  Then we would all study it together.  This would fuel excitement in my children as well as show them that learning is a life long endeavor.


I often comment that being a home-schooling parent enables me to fill in the holes that were left after my own formal education was completed. Hopefully I will have made such an impact on my own children that they too will home school their children, then they can also fill in any holes they may have.


As our schooling progressed I realized my children would learn a lot more than I ever did.  They would also learn more specifics and hold onto them longer.  Just yesterday my eight-year-old son,  John, said to me, “Mom, what two rodents emit an odor?”  Of course I responded that it was a skunk and an opossum.  He looked at me with disbelief, “How’d you know that?”  The kids love to try to stump me with new information. 


I hesitated as I thought about the best way to respond.  My ego wanted to simply tell him I’m just naturally smart and know everything.  But my conscience took over as I said, “You told me a couple of months ago.”  He smiled at the thought that he had taught me something. My kids teach me things all the time.  I am so blessed to be able to share so much of their lives and minds with them.


In the past couple of weeks I have learned from my children many things.  David talked with me at length about the Tessla Coil.  Christi taught me several commands that make computer work and web creation simpler.  John has shared with me several important facts about animals.  Cathy shared new information about horses.  Erica even informed me that 5 plus 5 is indeed ten.  Oh, I guess I already knew that.


Not all that my children teach me is educational in nature.  They often show me in real life applications many spiritual truths.  Briana has shown me how vital music should be in our lives.  Whenever there is a down time in our house, Briana quickly requests to play music.  I allowed her to choose what she wanted.  As she sat quietly singing along, John came down the stairs.  Within a moment, he was dancing around and praising God with his entire being.  I thought about his freedom to express his feelings for the Lord.  Is that something I taught him?  Or is it something I have not “untaught” him.


Another thing the children have taught me is that there are many times that I must get out of the way so they can learn all that the Lord would have them learn. I have had to allow them to make mistakes so they would be able to learn without me.  I even had to allow them the opportunities to take responsibility for much of their own education, even though I’m considered the teacher. 


I have to walk with the Lord as He walks with my children. 


In addition to devoting herself to her husband and the eight children she home schools, Terri also enjoys writing and speaking to offer encouragement to women in an effervescent, humorous way. Visit her Web site at or e-mail her at