So your friend is thinking about homeschooling, or she just started homeschooling. You are so excited that you can’t sit still long enough to rattle off all the information she will ever need, EVER.
But just hold your horses! Think back to when you were new to homeschooling. Think about where you are now. Have some perspective.
There are just some things you shouldn’t tell your new-to-homeschooling mom friend.
1. Magical Curriculum and Formulas
Don’t tell her what curriculum is “the best“. This will be very hard because she will want you to tell her what to buy.
But remember that just like every child is different, every family is different too. And what works for one family may not mesh with another. Plus- once you deem a certain curriculum as magical then she will feel like she has to become a slave to the books.
And don’t tell her what method to choose either! Let her get her feet wet and then decide whether she wants to go the way of Charlotte Mason, school-at-home, or even unschooling. Don’t try to win her over to your side.
However, you should share what works for your family, what resources you use, and give her an overview of the different philosophies. And you can be a little biased- just don’t act like YOUR choices are sanctified by God and everyone else is just a putz.
2. War Stories
The fastest way to scare a newbie from doing anything spontaneous or courageous is to make them paranoid. Of other homeschoolers, or the outside world, or the government.
Instead, encourage them. Help them understand the law in your state and how to comply with that. Let them know how they can stand up for themselves in sticky situations.
And get them hooked in with some other awesome homeschool friends so they can get over that socialization nonsense right quick-like.
Just don’t do it. Don’t tell them about the gazillion pinterest boards about homeschooling.
Pinterest can ruin a marriage let alone a noob homeschooler.
I am only half kidding about this. 8-|
4. Hippy Optimism
Okay so this is a hard one too. Because we want to share about how great googly moogly rad homeschooling is. This whole list is hard huh?
Just remember that not all advice is good advice. And know when to speak and when to wait to dole out your giant bucket of knowledge.
Because some people struggle. And some kids react negatively. And homeschooling is just not for everyone. Situations come up in life where homeschooling is just difficult and not the best option.
I pray that new homeschoolers will see the sunshine and flowers. But giving them blind optimism and then turning your back when homeschooling doesn’t work gives us a bad rap of being elitist and, well, insensitive.
Do offer your help and experience when they are struggling. Do show them where to go when they need help. Do share your own struggles. Do pray for them.
Tricky, tricky subject. Don’t tell a new homeschool mom how activities are just the best thing ever and how many wonderful field trips they can do during school hours.
If they ask- tell.
This is what you should do- Emphasize
- relationships over busyness
- a love for learning over academia
- passion over prestige
- quality over quantity
- democratic decisions over controlling schedules
All these don’ts are to prevent the stressed-out, slave to a schedule, grade mongering, zombie kids (and parents).
I will admit- I have committed some of these crimes. But the more experience I have homeschooling the more I realize these:
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble. -Proverbs 21:23
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
and a word in season, how good it is! -Proverbs 15:23