Inherently students trust you. This is exceptionally true in most home school environments. You have a relationship that is deeper than that of most teachers and students as you are also parent and child. From time to time, however, we begin to break down this trust. Our children begin to feel more like the sum of their abilities and failures – judgment runs wild, emotions run high and doubts run amok. As you build out your educational philosophy and even more as you practice it day to day, you must keep trust in the forefront. Repeat “You are important,” “You are valued,” “You are smart.”

Ever sat in a room where someone questioned your abilities to accomplish the task? How long did it take you before you began to also question? Now, flip it. When was a time when someone believed in you? They trusted that you could figure it out? People rise to the level of trust in the room. Think of trust as a giant game of limbo, do we really want our children or ourselves to have to contort themselves to try to bend under a bar just inches from the ground or do we want to hold that bar high where everyone knows they will be able to make it under?

In home school environments, trust must run deep rather than wide. Where in traditional schools there links between teachers, administrators, students, parents and the community, home school situations whittle this down a bit as the teacher is the parent who is also the administrator. In many ways this whittling down further complicates the trust balance. You see – you must trust yourself and your partner must also trust you. You must trust your child and your child must trust both of you. It becomes a family affair in the deepest sense. Everyone is a part and you are in it all the time. Trust must abound so that learning can to far. No one wants to stunt the growth of your own child. Set the bar high, apologize openly, let grace be given freely, listen to one another and remember “You are important,” “You are valued,” “You are smart.”