While chatting with some homeschooling friends the lament came up that it is so hard to help new homeschoolers.. It’s not that they don’t want help, they do, but often times the help they want is more on the level of gratification or agreement with what they are doing. This can be understandable, to a degree.
The whole conversation reminded me of something I’d written a few weeks ago & debated sharing here. Of course I know there are those who will not fit into the categories as outlined below, it’s not a one-size fits all, but more a generalised perspective accumulated over 11 years of homeschooling..
0-3 Years Homeschool Experience: They know everything & you, regardless of how long you've been at it, are ALWAYS wrong. They are first to respond in every crisis, have the solution for the perfect homeschool year, & further have the best blog post for your every need, never mind that many times their children are only 3-5 years old.
4-5 Years Homeschool Experience: They've matured a bit & recognise that they don't have all the answers, but to beef their "stats" they start counting homeschool years from birth-forward in hopes that people will take them more seriously. They are wiser now, mostly from personal experience, & understand that there is no one-way to do it all. Over all they still have the best solution for everyone but themselves, & this scares them a bit all though they aren’t willing to admit publicly that they have rough days & need help.
6-8 Years Homeschool Experience: They've hit their groove & their biggest concern is the gaps from previous years & trying to cover too much to make up for lost time.. by "lost time" I mean all the suggestions & ideas Mamma's shared but found didn't really work in their own home. Many still have the "best blog posts" around, & sometimes they actually do now, but the newbies are unlikely to hear them so the Mamma’s in this category tend to paint the picture a little too rosy & forget those bad days they had as they talk about snuggles on the sofa during reading sessions.
9-11 Years Homeschool Experience: They've finally done the math & realise just how much time they have left which is both terrifying & exciting.. They realise that there's not enough time to do everything they want & the idea that they will no longer be "homeschooling" is a little scary, but it's equally exciting to see their children blossoming into young adults. They've stopped giving much advice because it's never headed & this is understandable, but the older Mamma's in the 6-8 year category desperately want the wisdom these Mamma's have. They yearn for it & crave it, but it’s hard for these Mamma’s to share as they find themselves on the precipice of new challenges & mountains to climb.
12+ Years Homeschool Experience: These Mamma's are just trying to make it to the finish line. Most of them have children who are independent in their studies, working, & sometimes even have children who are married or living on their own now. They are full of amazing wisdom but they aren't as quick to share it because they've been burned off by the newbie crowd. It's understandable, but the Mamma's in the 9-11 year range need to know what these Mamma's have in order to make it to the finish line themselves. 12+ year Mamma's rarely blog because they've found themselves busy with life outside of homeschool, new jobs, reawakening old passions, & discovering new hobbies. The Mamma's in the 9-11 year category wish these Mamma’s would write blog posts or a book to show them how to accumulate credits, get children out the door & into university with as little issue as possible, & to remind them that there IS life after home education. The wisdom of the Mammas in the 12+ group is phenomenal & you’ll find that Mamma’s in the 9-11 year category cling to the Mamma’s in this group.