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You Need a Team

I'll be your coach through all this getting started on homeschooling thing, but you will need a team. You need people who will support you and you need people who are playing the same game as you, so to speak.


Hopefully, you have family around you who can be your support. I know some people don't live near enough to their family. The mom of a friend of mine virtually teaches her grandsons certain subjects. Technology can be a great thing. If your family does live nearby, I hope they will be as involved as possible. One year my Dad did science experiments with the girls. They had a blast together. My parents have always been supportive of homeschooling, which really surprised me! I was nervous to tell them what we were planning to do, but they got behind us from the beginning. Sometimes they have given us money for "back to school" costs (i.e. curriculum), they have attended our Open House events, the girls' concerts, and sometimes when I was sick, they took the girls to their house for the day and made sure they got their lessons done. In fact, I have known grandmas who did all the teaching in a homeschool while the parents worked. Now that's support!

I realize not everyone will have a supportive family. In fact, some homeschoolers really have to defend themselves against accusations and suspicions from family members. The family fears that homeschooling is bogus and that the children really aren't learning anything. I'm sorry that this still happens even though homeschooling is not a new thing. If that is your situation, you will have to find your support elsewhere until your family comes around.

Your Team

Other homeschool families will be your team. We will talk a lot about how to get connected to other families. It's important. When I started homeschooling in 2008, the only homeschoolers I knew were online. I read blogs. I asked questions. Then we got involved in a homeschool support group and I made real-life friends who were also homeschoolers. This support is just as important for your children as you, by the way. After a few weeks of attending our homeschool group's gym days (with 30-50 people at each one), my oldest daughter ran up to me very excited. She told me, "Guess what Mom? My new friend does homeschool too!" I gestured around the crowded gym and told her that everyone here was a homeschooler. Her eyes widened. What a revelation! I realized that she also had not known any other homeschoolers. It's important they they understand they are not the only ones doing what they are doing. Finding friends who use the same curriculum is exciting. It says, "I am not alone!" So it's important for both the parent and the child to occasionally get together with another family to do a history project or a science experiment. Later, when you are sitting at your house doing a lesson, you will both remember that the Thompson family is also doing the same thing-and there is camaraderie in that.

You also get ideas from other families. Just visiting another homeschooler's house will fill you with ideas about how you might set up your own homeschool area. Seeing their routine and how they do things give you ideas and inspiration. And if you are nervous about teaching something, having a co-teacher in the form of another parent can be a big help.

You may find support and other team members in unlikely places. Church members, neighbors, your public school friends may all be your cheerleaders. Stay involved with other people who are not homeschoolers. School is not the whole of your life. Your sons may play on the same baseball team together. Your daughters might take gymnastics classes on the same day. There are a myriad of people to be connected to. For homeschool support, some of them may need to be other homeschoolers, but not all of them. And remember, you are part of other people's team too.


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