I joined my local homeschool association when my daughters were still toddlers, eager to meet experienced moms and begin learning all I could well before I had to make it “official.” As soon as I joined Facebook, I sought other homeschool moms there, and I found online homeschool communities, too. I also started following homeschool-oriented blogs. And through all those connections, I met many incredibly wise women who generously gave of their time and expertise to help a “newbie.”
Fast forward a few years and, though my daughters are now only 10 and 11, I find myself on the other side of the proverbial coin. I don’t know everything about homeschooling – not by a long shot. In fact, I’m seeking new wisdom as I begin to think about my daughters’ impending high school years. But I’ve recently noticed that I’ve joined the ranks of “Titus 2 homeschoolers” – the “older women” of whom new and prospective homeschoolers solicit advice.
On the one hand, it’s a daunting task. I can’t really know what curricula to suggest since I don’t know the learning styles of the particular children in question or the day-to-day dynamics of their families. I’m not sure if the organizational strategies that work for my kids and me will help another family. The way I balance homeschooling and my other responsibilities may be totally irrelevant for a mom in a different season of life.
But I believe in homeschooling. I believe that the individualized, one-on-one tutoring inherent in home learning is the most effective way to help any child maximize his God-given potential. And I believe we stand the greatest chance of raising emotionally strong, spiritually mature children by keeping them home with their parents, who love them more than even the most dedicated classroom teacher ever will.
As a result, I’ll do whatever it takes to encourage more moms to begin homeschooling. And I’ll go out of my way to shore up a discouraged homeschooler in hopes of convincing her to keep her kids at home with her.
In the process, I’ve been meeting many wonderful, curious young moms. And I’ve found great personal joy from answering their questions and allaying their fears. In fact, I’ve discovered that being a “Titus 2 homeschooler” is one of my favorite things to do.
If you’ve been homeschooling for more than a year or two, I encourage you to consider taking up the mantle. As with homeschooling itself, you needn’t be an “expert” to begin offering yourself as a mentor. All you need is the knowledge you’ve gained from being a little further down the path than someone else and a willingness to share from your heart.
Think about the women who helped you get started. Where would you be if they hadn’t stepped up? Don’t you want to pay it forward?
Photo Credit: juliecinci
Tina Hollenbeck and her husband Jeff are raising two daughters and have another waiting for them in the arms of Jesus. Tina cherishes her role as at-home wife and mother and advocates passionately for homeschooling. She writes regularly for her blog, Being Made New, as well as several other venues, and also serves as staff writer for Celebrate Kids, Inc. You can find her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/tina.hollenbeck. She’s developing a public speaking ministry and is available to address homeschoolers, women’s groups, and young people on a variety of topics. In her spare time, Tina enjoys singing on her church’s worship team, exercising, and scrapbooking.