Although it can be fun and interesting to research the options and go to conferences with your peers, I would recommend that you also talk to homeschool moms whose students have graduated. The more you can talk with, the better, as it helps to gain a variety of perspectives. Here are three questions to begin with.
No matter what curriculum you use, homeschooling is a deeply personalized journey. What it looks like and how it feels will be based on each family’s unique blend of talents, interests, knowledge, skills, learning styles, and personality types. Moms who are just getting started and looking for the “right way” to homeschool sometimes feel a bit frustrated trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. Is there a good way to figure out the best options for your family?
First, you need to know that there is not one single right way to homeschool. If someone tries to tell you there is, you’re welcome to smile politely, respond noncommittally, and ESCAPE! Although it can be fun and interesting to research the options and go to conferences with your peers, I would recommend that you also talk to homeschool moms whose students have graduated. The more you can talk with, the better, as it helps to gain a variety of perspectives. Here are three questions to begin with:
- What is the most delightful memory you have of homeschooling?
- What was the worst mistake you made when homeschooling?
- What do you wish you had known while you were homeschooling?
These three questions can be the start of a great conversation, and help guide you toward things that matter, rather than toward the latest curriculum fad. If you find an older woman who shares your values, the conversation could even become the start of a deeper mentoring relationship. I think you’ll find that answers to these questions will vary, but there will be common threads that will help you grow in discernment.
If you want to seek counsel from graduated homeschool moms, here are a few things to consider:
- Look for a mom who loved learning and enjoyed the homeschool journey, NOT someone who did not understand the value of education or regarded it as a tedious chore. Attitudes are contagious and can be discouraging.
- Learn from moms who won’t tell you to do what they did, but will help you figure out what is right for your family.
- Talk to women who homeschooled through hard times, and learn from their stories.
- Learn from mommas whose children seem comfortable and happy in her presence.
- Spend time with women who encourage and uplift you, rather than those who leave you feeling discouraged or discontented.
- Talk with moms whose homeschool graduates have something you’d like to see in your own.
- Seek out spiritually beautiful older women who model the character traits you would like have at their age.
Wise counsel from older women and trusted friends can help you navigate the homeschool journey with joy. If you don’t know others who homeschool locally, you may find wise counsel through the pages of well-chosen books, online support groups, or through other means, so no matter where you are, reach out and ask the things you’d like to know. It could be the beginning of a blessing.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise . . .