Homeschool Advice from “Experts” and Others!

If you’re new to homeschooling, you are probably eagerly soaking up all the information you can. There are authors, conference speakers, websites, and homeschool catalogs, all seeking your attention.

It can be overwhelming.

I’ve seen homeschoolers stressed almost to tears at conferences because they went to one session and loved the new idea presented and then they went to an equally convincing presentation and learned just the opposite. By the end of the day, they didn’t know what to do!

With so many different opinions, they can’t all be right (at least not for your child), so select only what you think may work for you rather than get in a trap trying to homeschool perfectly according to one individual (who may not even have that much experience!).

Take all information under advisement and then put all of it together and make it your own, rather than seeking the only true way to homeschool (because it doesn’t exist!).

If you receive just one idea from a presentation or a book that resonates with you, that’s great – use it!  You have learned something that will help you homeschool your way.

Your best help might even come from the quiet mom at park day who has to be urged to share how she homeschools.  She isn’t going to push her ideas on you, but when you ask some questions, you find that you share a common philosophy for homeschooling and you like her choice of resources.  Perhaps she hasn’t homeschooled long either, but she might be a big help to you.

New homeschoolers are also often bombarded with advice from relatives, neighbors, and even people on the street who have been homeschooling for many years. They are simply excited to share!  You may not always be able to avoid these people if they are a part of your daily life.  Just listen, thank them for input, and then do it your way.

And what about the well known “experts” or those who try to jump on the expert bandwagon?

If you come across someone who is enthusiastic that their way is the only way, that should be a red flag.  There is no one way that is perfect for every single child.  Hey, one of the reasons many of us homeschool is to get away from that kind of one size fits all thinking!  Don’t let these people cause you to doubt yourself.

“Homeschooling pioneer” is terminology that we’ve started hearing more often than perhaps we should, so maybe that should be another red flag.  If someone was homeschooling 40 years ago, it’s really impressive because they did it back when few did, and they truly are homeschooling pioneers!  Whether or not their advice is helpful today, they have my admiration because it was a scary time to homeschool, and they had vision and strength of conviction (and did it without support or curriculum!).

But someone who claims to be a pioneer while still homeschooling fairly young children is trying to market themselves as an expert that they can’t possibly be yet.  They just don’t have the life experience.  The same is true with “experts” who try to tell you how to homeschool kids who are older than theirs or who have only been homeschooling a short time.

So, how do you homeschool the “right” way?

You do it by trusting yourself because there is no one right way.  It’s not only ok to do things a bit differently than other homeschoolers, it’s a good thing!

Wherever your source of advice comes from, just remember that you are the expert of your child! That is what matters. Don’t let anyone take that from you.

Karen Taylor shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog. Click on the buttons at the top of this page to subscribe so that you don’t miss them!