“9-1-1 How may I help you?”
“I’m a homeschooling parent!”
“Don’t worry, help is on the way!”
If only we could get help within minutes of our first problem with homeschooling. I personally could use a janitor and a lunch lady. Please sign me up for a school voucher for that! Asking for help can be tricky. How should you do it?
Only you can determine when it’s time to look for help. The first key step is to get comfortable with asking. Every single homeschooler at some point needs some type of help. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last. Think of the other homeschoolers you know. Who makes you feel comfortable? Send an email to one of those friends.
Narrow it Down
You might look at your homeschooling efforts and think it’s all falling apart. But take a closer look. What are the areas that are the most difficult for you as the teacher/facilitator? What are the areas where your kids have the most frustration? Zero in on those spots. For me, it was apparent that math was becoming harder to explain to my daughter so I decided it was time for a switch. Her new DVD program is working out great. Narrow down what qualifies as difficult for you and start there.
I cannot emphasize enough the power of community as we homeschool. Asking for help is so much easier when you have a trusted group of friends that are also on the homeschooling journey. Even a Facebook group can be a sort of community to bounce ideas off from and ask questions. Recently, I was hoping for help bringing more exposure to the arts into our homeschooling. On our city’s homeschool Facebook page another mom was organizing a group to attend a play. All I had to do was sign up. Seems small, but her help was just what I needed.
One on One
Feeling up against a wall every now and then is normal for homeschoolers. However, you need to take time to figure things out regardless of how overwhelmed you may feel. Find one other homeschooling parent and sit down one on one to hash things out. Just talking about your struggles may open up a path you had not realized before.
Put it on the Calendar
When you find a source for help, take a second and put it on the calendar. Just having a tutoring session for your child, a lunch date for you with another homeschool mom, or a time for a teenager to come clean or babysit for you written on the calendar will feel like a huge accomplishment. You will be on your way to getting the help you need.
You can do this! Educating your children matters to you! Be brave! Ask for help when you need it. Don’t give up! There is too much at stake for your family. A little help will make all the difference.
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.