Every homeschooling mom needs several key people she feels comfortable calling on when the going gets tough.
You've got your curriculum, consumables, and manipulatives. Books line the shelves, and your supply drawer is stocked. So far, your year is going along smoothly. But could it be your homeschooling toolbox lacks the most valued resource of all, human resources?
A veteran homeschool mom is one who has been through the tough times of fielding grandparents' questions and the stares of nosy neighbors. She has survived phonics, the phoenix, and sesquipedalophobia (uhm...hello? Fear of long words! LOL). She can handle your occasional freak-outs because she has been there. She made it--you will too.
A mom like you. I've talked quite a bit on this blog about my friend Sandy, and I'm sure some of you feel as if you know her (and some of you do! LOL). But it has made all the difference in the world to have a friend right here on the journey with me. There is no one who understands you like another homeschool mom. She knows what it's like! She knows what you do all day, and she knows why you do it. While there's no doubt that cyber friends are great, the fact remains that you need to connect personally--with a real, face-to-face support group of homeschooling moms who can actually look in your eyes, hug your neck, and sit across a table from you. And your kids need their kids.
A team of community advisors. Check out this list:
- The public librarian. Public libraries know homeschoolers well these days! Connect with a local librarian and get the help you need to pull together enrichment supplies for your studies.
- Your pastor. When my family announced plans to homeschool, we were considered radical by the sweet church we attended who had never really known anything about homeschooling. There were lots of questions, and even some "tsk-tsk's" from well-meaning folks who thought we were "cheating" our children, LOL. One Sunday, our pastor was using a sermon illustration from the life of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He paused and mentioned that O'Connor was homeschooled during the early years of her education, looking in the direction of my husband and me with a smile. In doing that, that precious man put his stamp of approval on our choice. Very cool.
- School teachers. There are a lot of school teachers, both public and private, who will serve as great resources for you. I certainly learned that when Danya and I were wading through Latin. Having a few teacher friends also helped when we headed toward senior year and college entrance exams and all the mind-boggling stuff that goes with that.
- Grandparents. From coaching baseball to teaching languages and economics, my kids' grandparents have been very involved and so supportive of our decision to homeschool. I've been so grateful for their support, from the first day to graduation day!
This post has been submitted to Helpful Homeschool Hints.