I frequently see the question:
If you could give just one piece of advice to a new homeschool mom, what would it be?
And while I have given many different answers to that question, I think there is one response that I tend to use more than any others. I phrase it differently each time.
But it boils down to ~~
Opinions are all around, but when you start homeschooling it sure seems that absolutely everyone feels like you desperately need to hear what they think. And you get such lovely advice:
- Go buy a bunch of workbooks at the dollar store.
- Homeschooling shouldn't look like a school at home.
- What? Are you c-r-a-z-y???
- Kids don't need workbooks.
- You need to make sure your kids are doing everything earlier than the public schools or you'll let down the homeschool movement.
- What about socialization?
- The only textbook you need is the Bible.
- Relax, don't overthink it.
- Oh, you have to have detailed plans!
- You should have your kids learning the same basic stuff that they'd learn if they were in a real school. Just in case.
- Whatever else you do, avoid common core.
You can't please everyone. Nor are you supposed to. These are the children God gave to YOU.
The lady behind you at the grocery store, giving out all kinds of advice? Smile, nod, and if she makes sense, listen. If she doesn't, just thank her and move along.
The homeschool mom you know -- in real life or via her online presence? Smile, nod, and if she makes sense, feel free to listen. But she is just another mom, doing what she thinks is best for her particular kids, in the situation she is in. She isn't the mom of your kids.
Her advice may be perfect for you. Or maybe some of it applies to your life if you tweak it a bit. Or maybe what she's doing is completely wrong for you.
That is okay.
Starting out, I know I wanted advice. Okay, I still want advice. Talking with other homeschool moms is great, especially with moms who have been at this homeschooling gig for awhile. But don't try to be them. Be you.
Here are some blogs to check out for this Blog Hop:
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement
Missica @ The Open Window: An Autism Blog
Misty @ Year Round Homeschooling
Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
Clarissa @ Counting Our Blessings
Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning