Monday, June 17, 2013

Mentoring New Homeschooling Families

First and foremost I want to state that I do not believe I am a professional or perfect in the homeschool world. But over the past two years I have had the opportunity to mentor a couple of families that were just starting their path into homeschooling. We starting homeschooling Grace almost 8 years ago. Over those 8 years I have done a lot of research, talked to many other homeschooling families, attended conventions and seminars, read many homeschooling blogs, and have tried an incredible amount of curriculum and materials. This doesn't make me an expert, just well versed in what is available. Occasionally I will come across a parent that is looking for guidance. Let's face it, homeschooling can be scary in the beginning. There are so many questions to be addressed.

  • What curriculum should I use?
  • How will my children develop friendships?
  • Is it legal?
  • What if my child struggles?
  • What is a letter of intent and where do I send it?
  • Do I need to go to a convention every year?
  • Which standardized test should I use?
  • What is a unit study? Do I have to use textbooks? Where do I get the textbooks?
These questions can go on and on. I have had multiple opportunities to meet and talk with new homeschoolers and address some of these questions. I belong to a homeschool support group that holds a Homeschooling 101 seminar once a year free to our community. We try at that time to answer as many questions as possible as well as let the mothers and fathers know that they can do this. That is what our support group is all about. Yes, we do have field trips, parties, etc. but the main focus of our group is to support the parents. 

A year ago I had another opportunity pop up with a young single father that wanted to homeschool his son. We met at the library and talked over many points. Over the course of a month I talked with him over the phone and met a couple more times to guide him through the process of filling out forms and choosing curriculum. Today I am meeting with another mother that has started homeschooling her high school aged son. This time we are meeting for lunch and going over a plethora  of questions she has about the high school years and what opportunities are available for her son in the community. 

My point today is I feel blessed to be able to homeschool my daughter. I want to share that with other families that are considering going down the same path. They need to know that yes, at times it is hard, but it is also so worth it. They also need to know of all the choices that are available to them. I also want to encourage the families that are homeschooling to take on a similar role in their community to do the same.


Leslie said...

That's wonderful that you are mentoring others! It is sweet to be able to help those who are just starting the journey, isn't it?

Michele said...

Good for you! I wish I had found someone to guide me and answer questions when we were starting 15 years ago. You will bless far beyond what you can even imagine, I am sure.

Annette said...

Mentoring is something so often not done, and needs to be done more. :)

Annette @ A Net In Time

Wendy62 said...

Having mentors is a blessing. Equally, the privilege of being a mentor is a blessing, too.