Starting to homeschool your kids is a huge transition. Especially if you never envisioned yourself as a homeschooling family or are coming to it after years in the school system. Here are 10 tips on how a loved one can support a new homeschool mom (and family).
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Just like a new mom, new homeschool moms (and the rest of the family, too!) need support during this major life change. We recently went through this when we pulled our children from school a few months ago, and it surprised me how our family and friends reacted. They were on the whole very supportive, but seemed really unsure what to say or do. I believe it’s because so little is known about homeschooling, many of our family and friends did not know how to respond or how to offer support.
It occurred to me that the family and friends of new homeschoolers might appreciate some tips on how they can help. So, I’ve asked a few fellow homeschoolers for their thoughts and I’ve added their ideas to some of my own below. I hope you can find some inspiration. Enjoy!
1 – Offer to take the kids for a bit. When starting to homeschool there is a lot of prep time needed and this can be very hard to do with the kids around.
2 – Sharla @ The Chaos And The Clutter says: I think the biggest way people can support a new homeschool mom is to keep judgments and doubts to themselves. Offer encouragement and a listening ear.
3 – This is a major change for the children too. Ensure you are encouraging, supportive and positive at all times when you are around the children. Let them talk openly and honestly with you if they wish, they may have worries or doubts they want to express. But most importantly, if you have any reservations or concerns, never voice these around the children.
4 – Homeschooling is a unique journey for each family and choosing curriculum is extremely individual. If asked for your thoughts on a curriculum choice, by all means share them, but let the family find their own journey to learning.
5 – Bethany @ Math Geek Mama says: I would say that having a meal or two provided the first week would be SUPER helpful. I have a hard time juggling school work and housework and blogging and cooking, so having one less thing to worry about the first week when we’re still all trying to get into a routine would be amazing.
6 – Be a friend. A homeschooling mom needs her friends, being mom 24/7/365 with no breaks is really hard. Knowing her friends have got her back and can remind her that she is a person too, with her own passions and interests, is so important.
7 – Looking for a gift? Buy her an Amazon gift card or a gift subscription to an educational box service like Groovy Lab In a Box. When starting to homeschool there are a lot of supplies, materials, books and more that need to be purchased. A gift card can really help with the expenses or an educational box service can provide some ready made activities every month for them to do as part of their homeschool. Groovy Lab In A Box delivers a box of educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities every month and you can purchase a single box such as the It’s Electric! box (includes learning about static electricity, origin and structure of the atom, paper circuits, switches, a groovy door alarm to keep any trespassers out of your room and much, much more!) or multiple month subscriptions. These types of educational activities and experiments that come completely ready to go can really be a blessing to a family that is just starting out. Plus, they are a ton of fun!
8 – Alicia @ Vibrant Homeschooling says: Encourage, encourage, encourage her! Remind her that she doesn’t have to have it all figured out right now, and that her best-laid homeschooling plans will probably not work out exactly like she imagined (and that’s OK). Also encourage her to focus on relationships over book-learning. Alicia also has a book Plan to be Flexible that talks about her journey as a new homeschool mom and what she learned about giving structure to the learning but offering grace and space to herself and the kids through the process. A book like this would be a wonderful gift for a new homeschool mom.
9 – Sarah @ My Joy-Filled Life Says: Just like a new mom, bring her a meal or two. Also, invite her over to check out your bookshelves; it’s nice to be able to get your hands on a curriculum and see it versus reading about it online.
10 – My mother and father were big supporters of our move to homeschooling. When we pulled my kids from school they arrived on my doorstep with five bottles of wine to stock my wine cabinet. My husband was just as amazing, providing me with a constant stream of chocolate! Personally, I’ve found you can rarely go wrong with wine and chocolate.
I’m very blessed that my family and friends have been very supportive of our journey. I hope this article gives you some tips on how you can give your loved ones the support they need as they begin their homeschool journey.