Abandon the Island
The famous John Donne quote says, “No man is an island…” That is true of homeschooling as well. We need the fellowship of other homeschoolers for the exchange of ideas, for gentle redirection when we get off-balance and for encouragement. If you are the only homeschooler in your church/area or are facing disapproval from family and friends, it is especially important to make the effort to build a support system. Online homeschool email groups or message boards, homeschooling social media sites, local co-ops or classes are just a few of the places to actively seek out people who can encourage and advise. Your support system might be even be a non-homeschooling friend who is willing to listen over a bowl of soup. If you are more of an introvert and joining a physical group seems overwhelming, try the online support group route. You can stay fairly anonymous and “lurk” until you are ready to join the conversation. Finding your best support group fit might require exploring more than a few options but it will be worth the effort.
Are you a veteran homeschooler? There are so many new families that would love to be tucked under your wing for a bit of mentoring and guidance! Reach out those just starting out with a kind word, a brief phone call or simple email. Doesn’t have to be anything time-consuming or overwhelming. The year of my youngest son’s cancer diagnosis became so difficult that we ended up starting over again in the middle of the school year. I was very discouraged, partly from holding myself to unreasonable standards that I could not maintain in a crisis situation. A very dear veteran homeschool mom gave me just a few words of encouragement that bolstered my spirits to be able to face the remainder of the school year with new courage.