Building Your Support Network: Veteran/Experienced Homeschoolers
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I remember as a young teenager that it was a treat to get to stay up and watch David Letterman. My favorite part was always his Top 10 List. And so, as a nod to good memories and since it is rather late as I write this, I want to share with you my Top 10 List: Why I Need Veteran Homeschoolers In My Life.

10. They are willing to answer an endless amount of questions about homeschooling.
9. They give honest answers, even if they themselves have struggled in homeschooling.
8. They are willing to listen and brainstorm new approaches to learning/teaching when I am struggling.
7. They celebrate the successes in my family’s homeschooling, even the littlest ones, with me.
6. They share their curriculum experience with me but never pressure me to use only what they like.
5. They laugh with me, not at me, when I share some of my less than stellar homeschool mom moments.
4. They don’t judge my children or me.
3. They pray for my family and for me.
2. They see me as more than just a homeschool mom.
1. They encourage me and redirect me to the Lord.

Throughout the past 8 years of homeschooling, I have been truly blessed by friendships with homeschool moms who have homeschooled longer and even graduated several children. I remember always thinking how wise and knowledgeable these women are. I am always amazed at their composure and patience in homeschooling. And, as our friendships grow, I am thankful for their honesty about their journeys.

These veteran/experienced homeschoolers are gracious when I ask a million questions. They answer honestly and don’t shy away from sharing their not so perfect moments. They share their own struggles and even ask for my thoughts or for prayers. They see value in the experience I have and in my opinion.

They are willing to share ideas when we hit a wall in learning and encourage me to keep trying and not give up. Then they are there to celebrate the successes…even the littlest ones. For example, I remember being very frustrated when my daughter was determined she wasn’t going to learn to read when I was teaching her. She was going to do it by herself or not at all. There were tears, hers and mine. I remember a friend encouraging me to just set the reading aside and not worry. That was very hard for me to walk away from reading. When I stopped asking my daughter to practice reading, she decided on her own she wanted to do it. Within 2 weeks of picking it back up, she was moving successfully along. And her attitude had changed entirely. Had my friend not encouraged me to take a step back, I may have made our reading experience worse. And, as we progressed, my friend always took the time to feel my joy.

Before I had found the right fit for our homeschooling curriculum, these same women would let me peruse their curriculum if I felt like I needed to find something else. If they didn’t have the curriculum, they knew someone who did. But the best part was that there was never pressure to select what they had. They knew and understood that it had to match my children’s learning style as well as my teaching style.

There is also something amazing about how these experienced homeschoolers see me as more than just another homeschool mom. They genuinely care about who I am as a person, who I am outside of homeschooling. They want to know about my passions and who I was before I became a homeschool mom. And, they encourage me to make time for myself.

These friends see me at some of my most vulnerable moments and never once do they judge me or my children. Rather they pray for and with me. They constantly encourage me to trust in the Lord. I am ever so thankful for that.

And, they laugh with me. We spend a lot of time laughing together about our ups and downs. We can laugh because we understand each other. I have to admit, aside from the Lord’s strength, the laughter is what keeps me going on our homeschool journey. To find joy in all of it, that is a great lesson I have learned from one very special veteran homeschooler. When I need to laugh, she is the one I call first.

As you build your support network for homeschooling, please don’t underestimate the value of connecting with veteran/experienced homeschool parents. What may start as more of a mentoring relationship could quite possibly turn into one of your sweetest friendships. And this I know from personal experience.

Meet the Author

Debra Schroeder - blogger at Jesus is My Hashtag


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