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Advice On Finding A Homeschooling Mentor

source: http://www.homeschool-articles.com/advice-on-finding-a-homeschooling-mentor/

As a homeschooling parent you might be interested to learn that one of the most important assets you can have is a relationship with a homeschooling mentor. Put simply, a homeschooling mentor is someone who has “been there, done that” and has a vast amount of experience with homeschooling. Finding a mentor who is willing to share their advice and experience on what is involved in being a homeschooling parent is very useful, especially when you are new to the game.Where can you find such a mentor?

It is very possible that you already know someone who would make a perfect mentor for your homeschooling journey. And, if you already know them, and share a close relationship, this will make the mentoring experience much smoother for the both of you.

Another alternative, with today’s technology, is that your mentor could be an individual, or even a group of individuals, with whom you communicate electronically. Examples of this sort of mentoring include the use of the wealth of experience that you can find in many homeschooling forums and groups on the internet. Do not underestimate the benefits of other’s experiences, even if they live across the world from you.

Of course, finding mentors who are more local to yourself will have the added benefits of being able to guide you through your local legislative rights and requirements, which often differ from state to state, country to country.

What are some of the benefits of having a mentor?

A mentor, having been through the experience of homeschooling and its responsibilities themselves, can help you “shortcut” your journey through the legal mire and local authorities. They can help you look at other tracks to take when your home education hits a rocky patch, and they can suggest learning methodologies that you may not yet be aware of.

Not only can a mentor advise you as stated, but they may also be able to introduce you to a network of homeschoolers in your local area. Through your mentor, and other members of homeschool networking groups, you may discover a wide range of available resources and activities of which you were not aware. For instance, some groups even organise homeschooling conventions with up-to-date information on curriculums, learning styles, teaching ideas, etc. And other homeschooling teachers/parents can help you when you need to communicate with the school officials in your area.

Some of the characteristics in the “ideal” mentor include:

· A substantial history of homeschooling their own children;

· Children who are happy, sociable, and well educated;

· Contact with a network of other homeschooling families; and

· Willingness to spend time with you to assist you in your own homeschooling journey, whether it be in person, or through other mediums of communication.

Finally, a mentor-type relationship can be a time-consuming, but rewarding experience. Don’t just expect others to fulfil this role just because they are friends of yours as well as experienced homeschoolers. A true mentorship requires commitment from both parties and merely assuming such can damage an otherwise good relationship.

When you do find someone who is willing to make the investment of mentoring you through your early days, it is up to you to nurture this relationship and let your mentor know how much you appreciate their assistance. Gratitude can go a long way.

Make sure that you both sit down and talk about what your expectations are from one another so that you are both on the same page and will not become unduly frustrated.

Don’t fear, however, if your search for an all-in-one mentor leaves you without. Your mentors can be as varied as your educational plan. As stated earlier, the internet homeschooling community is a vast one. There are many forums and groups you can join for free where other homeschoolers are only too happy to assist with your enquiries.

There are also many good books, ebooks and websites on all areas of homeschooling, from getting started, to advanced educational theories on education. The choice really is yours and you should make the most of being spoilt for choice!
Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home. For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit YourHomeschoolCommunity.com.

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