Something You Should Know About Homeschooling Mentoring and Support

Mentoring and support groups are a great way to meet other homeschoolers in your area. They give parents an opportunity to ask questions and get answers from reliable sources. These groups have a variety of different children who are different ages. Therefore, the parents of such children are able to mentor new mothers or fathers in their next step if they need any help. Will and Sue enthusiastically recommended the mentors they and their children had had throughout their homeschooling journey:

When going about on different camps or outings, the other parents really do become mentors to the children and that’s really valuable and is the beginning of a relationship that extends into the children’s lives. Mentoring can be a tremendously important when they go off to study or move away from home, to have these stable adult contacts in their lives year after year, who are interested in their lives. Mentors are there if they need help, advice, wisdom, prayer support or whatever it is. It’s a relationship of trust. Its’ been a support for us and an encouragement for our kids to have these other people. They’re all very different, but they’re all able to contribute in their own way. To have that continuity is special. For instance, we held Jono when he was a baby, and now Jono is married and he has babies of his own.

Veteran homeschool parents in home groups find themselves becoming mentors to new homeschool families. As a new homeschooler, and one that wishes to continue homeschooling without burning out, it is vitally important to become involved in a home group, as these are the basis of training and support in the home. Experienced homeschool parents take a role in educating and initiating new families into the routines of life as a homeschooler. For instance, if parents are not sure what to do for high school, another parent/s in these groups may suggest helpful ideas or explain how they did it. In Canberra, for instance, there is a secular group (Home Education Network Canberra and Southern Tablelands or HENCAST) and a Christian group (Christian Home Education Canberra or CHEC). This is just the beginning of the groups available, especially with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites.

Homeschooled children also benefit by the influence of older mentors in their lives. These mentors can often be a generation or two older. They can be grandparents, friends or other homeschooling parents whom the homeschooled children spend time with. When asked if he had any mentors, homeschool student, Ben replied:

Yes, I did, especially when it came to building. I have three or four friends now who are 60 years old and onwards. Some have even passed on now. They taught me heaps and heaps. I spent a lot of time in people’s garages, tinkering away with a bird cage and all kinds of things. The mentors sat and spent their time with me. The grandparents were also pretty good. I spent a lot of time in the shed doing metal work… welding up bits of tractors and things like that as a child. My parents would be inside with the grandmother while I was spending time in the garage with granddad.

Homeschooling magazines and website are also other great and supportive resources. The Home Education Network Otherways Magazine gives parent’s a great opportunity for encouragement and advice in their homeschooling journey. Each issue is delivered quarterly in the mail (or alternately it can be downloaded online). Subscribers can also access all back issues printed. These publications are great for answering the plethora of questions the homeschool mum or dad has, as well as raising other issues close to their heart.

Facebook groups are a great way to ask experienced and fellow homeschooling parent’s questions. For instance, the last three posts in the ‘Homeschool Australia’ forum group I participated in have been:

o Can anyone recommend movies based on historical events? Preferably Australian but not too bothered. – 51 responses

o My 12yr old has totally thrown his sleep cycle out of whack. Today he didn’t go to sleep until 8am. So not much learning is being done because when I’m asleep he is awake and when I am awake he is asleep. How can I fix this? – 27 responses

o Just wondering what outcomes I can meet with a hip hop workshop my 12yr old, year 6 son is doing? It involves composing a beat, adding extra instruments to it, writing a song and performing it. He also does hip hop dancing, aboriginal dancing and learning about the history of rap/hip hop music. – 4 responses

The range of questions, as can be seen, are as wide-ranging and frank as can be. Many parents would discover the answer to their own questions via these forums. This particular group has over 2800 members and is closely monitored by a few administration members who ensure the group stays on topic. Most groups in Australia are closed groups, and require prospective members to tell the administration a little about themselves before they join, in order that vandals or anti-homeschooling activists do not join.

The Advantageous of Home Tuition For Your Child

Schools are meant to provide kids with the basic education that is needed prior to choosing a specific stream. However, school education has a one-size-fits-all approach and teaches pupils at the same pace whereas the pace of learning tends to vary with each child. This means that every kid learns at his own pace, something that cannot be accommodated by school education system. If your child fails to understand and grasp specific parts of the curriculum at the same pace as others, which is quite natural, it is a good idea to opt for home tuition. These are some excellent advantages of having private tutors to guide your kids at home.

Easy adjustment
Research shows that many children find it difficult to adjust to a new educational environment, even if it is the home or coaching class of a private tutor and not necessarily a school. At home, your kid will not feel any difficulty in adjustment and will feel more comfortable when he or she is learning from the tutor. Your kid will not feel embarrassed to ask questions, share opinions and seek advice from home tutors.

Complete attention from tutors

With a home tutor, your child can get complete attention and not have to share his tutor with others. The teacher will not need to concentrate on other students, and give his complete focus to your kid. This can help him to ask questions at any time that he likes, and not feel disinterested and de-motivated at any time during the study. Also, he will be unable to while away time as he will need to respond to the tutor at any given moment while studying.

No competition

Peer pressure can be extremely damaging for education. With a home tutor, your child will not feel that his actions and answers are being scrutinized by other students. Thus, he will be able to express himself more clearly and the tutor can spot his problems and weak areas. The tutor can even alter the curriculum in such a way that it gets more appropriate for your kid. With no negative sense of competition, your kid will not hold back his queries and feel free to make mistakes and learn from them.

Promise of better ranks

With complete focus and better understanding of the curriculum, your kid can offer more satisfactory answers and achieve better ranks in school. Even if your child is a decent student, he can fare much better in various subjects with more attention and a more suitable pace of learning.

Greater sense of confidence

With more personalized attention and the ability to dig into more detail about the curriculum, your kid can feel more confident about his studies and even overcome his fears of exams. You can even keep an eye on the extent of progress of your child and find out whether or his or her pace of improvement is satisfactory. With home tutors who are well-qualified, you can rest assured about the overall academic progress of your kid.