It was September 2003, and nearly every single one of my son's friends started kindergarten then.
No problem, right?
Well, it was no problem other than the fact that Jarrod didn't have any friends who lived within a half hour of us who weren't also now going to school.
Annnnd, it was no problem other than the fact that I no longer had any friends in the area with kids his age who didn't have them in school.
When I started homeschooling, the only other homeschooling mom I knew was the mother of the teenage girls from church who babysat my kids periodically. That was it.
I was the odd one out. I didn't have anything to contribute to conversations about school lunches, the PTA, or homework.
I knew I was lonely, but I didn't realize at the time I was missing three crucial kinds of relationships that would have made my first year homeschooling better and easier.
This is the person (or people) who believe in you and what you’re doing. This is the person who stands steadfastly by your side through thick and thin.
When things aren’t going so well, the cheerleader is someone you can feel safe confiding in. Your cheerleader isn’t going to blow smoke up your ass, but he or she will either calm you down or pump you back up.
On a personal note, my mom and dad are my two biggest cheerleaders. Neither one of them was terribly enthusiastic about the idea of me homeschooling, but both of them were very enthusiastic about making sure I had their full support regardless.
It wasn’t long before they became vocal advocates of homeschooling. In most recent years, my mom and dad have evolved into the cheerleaders for this blogger. This blog would not have been possible without them.
This is the person who has been there and done that, got the t-shirt, won the trophy, and is now in a position to help you get your own t-shirt and trophy.
The good news is there is no shortage of possible mentors out there for you. Homeschooling tends to become a passionate endeavor for those who commit to it.
Most veteran homeschoolers I know are very generous with their time, energy, and wisdom when it comes to helping other homeschoolers.
The most important thing you can do when you’re looking for a mentor for homeschooling is to vet them well. You want a mentor whose vision, beliefs, and experience resonate strongly deep in your soul.
If you find my message resonating with you, consider taking advantage of one of my remaining free, 15 minute coaching consultations by clicking on the link below. There's not much I enjoy more than being able to connect with other homeschoolers and help where I can.
This is the person who is new to homeschooling or struggling with it right now, right alongside you. The one you can call on and hear, “You too?!” The one you can count on to show up at your house with a pink drink from Starbucks and a bag of Rolos on a tough day. The one who knows when to ignore “I’m okay” because you’re really not.
The one who will laugh with you, or at you if she’s a really awesome friend. The one who will cry with you. The one who will distract you. The one who will let you do the same for her.
Building a tribe is really important. Homeschooling isn’t something you want to do alone.
If you don’t already have a tribe, or you just want an even bigger one, you can join my group, The Self-Directed Homeschooler’s Hub.
Now, three things:
I'm a married, homeschooling mama of three who is passionate about self-directed learning.
Before you buy this booklet, you need to know that I am an unabashed proponent of self-directed learning and that will be reflected in everything I share about my own experiences as a homeschooler.
I’m giving this disclaimer so you aren’t surprised by the clear bias I have toward unschooling.
I want you to know, upfront, what you’re getting and what to expect from me. The advice I give and the questions I ask you to ask yourself are all valuable and valid no matter what style of homeschooling you ultimately embrace, though.
About the Author
Becky Ogden has been homeschooling since 2003, and graduated her oldest in the spring of 2017. In her early years of homeschooling, she too struggled with feeling overwhelmed and inept. In trying to do right by her children, Becky found herself embroiled in battle after battle with them over their schoolwork. Until…
Until she found a better way. One that empowered her children to self-direct their own educations. One that respected their autonomy. One based in “right on time” rather than “just in case” learning.
Without many veteran homeschoolers around to serve as mentors, Becky had to muddle through it on her own. She spent hours of time in research and reflection.
In the years since then, helping other homeschoolers find their own way and solve their problems has become a source of great joy for her.
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org