The day my daughter (who was four years old at the time) asked me to begin homeschooling her, I broke out into a cold sweat. I’ve always been a problem solver, so when I’m faced with an issue, I immediately look for a way to resolve the problem. In the case of my daughter’s request, I was the solution. However, there was a slight problem – I wasn’t sure I could begin homeschooling my child.

Do I Have What It Takes?

Now, if you take into context all of my education, my professional background and experience, and my natural ability, most people would say, “Tiff, you got this!”, but I was so worried about letting her down. I knew I had the ability to teach her, but would I enrich her? Would she be challenged, engaged, and inspired? Would she change her mind next week (after all, she was only 4)?

I also wondered if I would be using all of my education and experience in the best possible manner, if I chose to step away from working as a college instructor and begin teaching my daughter Pre-K and Kindergarten. What would people think? Would they say I was wasting my skills and talents? Would I feel less productive or even worse, look like a failure?

She Thinks I’m Enough…And I Am

I sat in that space for a few days, and then on day four, I asked my daughter one simple question, “Why me? Why do you want me to teach you?” Her response was so direct and clear, that it jarred me a bit. She said, “When you teach me I learn, I have fun, and I get to spend time with you.” Yes, this was the response of my four-year-old, and at that moment I couldn’t believe I’d ever thought teaching her would make me less than. I was ashamed that I worried about what others would think, so I took the worries I had, figuratively balled them up in my hands and threw them in the trash.

Each day as I’m actively involved in my daughter’s learning process – every sight word, counting exercise, reading activity, and craft – I am so thankful that she wanted me to be her teacher. As a result of my daughter’s willingness to ask for what she wanted, and my courage to step up and meet her need, I get to approach each day with a child-like excitement and experience the true joy of living and operating in my purpose.

Dr. Tiffany McKinnon-Russell is the Founder of Thoughts Of a Homeschool Mom, a blog and resource center for new and existing homeschooling families. Connect with Dr. Tiffany today at

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