This is a guest post from former contributor Amy Schuff of AmySchuff.com.
“So, what do you think? Can I do it?” I sat on my couch, phone intently to my ear, waiting for my mom to answer. “Do you think I can homeschool the kids?” “Oh, honey,” she answered, “Of course you can! You would be amazing at it.” In my heart I knew that is what she would say, but it felt so good to hear it in that moment. That sigh of approval from my own mom, my own teacher. If she, a homeschool veteran, believed that I could homeschool my three kids, then I knew I could.
When a mom is just starting out homeschooling her kids, life is so upside down. Things immediately become a whirlwind of choices, questions, searches, and second guessing each selection we make. Even the most confident of us moms have moments of fear that the decision we made to homeschool our kids will forever alter their future, and not for the better.
So what do we need? What does the homeschooling mom need, the one that is just starting out and the one who looks like she has it all together? Here are just three ways you can love on a homeschooling mom, three ways you can take her hand and walk this walk with her. They may seem simple, but for one mom, they might be her lifeline that homeschooling day.
1. Pray for her, and let her know you’re praying for her.
When you pray, remember she needs a double dose of what you are praying for. Patience? Not just with her children, but with whatever standards she feels she needs to keep up with. Grace. Not just with her little scholars, but with the ability to let go and embrace the kind of mom she is. But please, don’t just pray–please let her know you are praying! She needs to know someone is backing her up in prayer during her day. Homeschooling can be so isolating and the biggest thing you can do to show love is simply let her know she’s not alone.
2. Give to her or her kids.
If you can give to a homeschooling mom, please give! Give as a Target card so she can go buy more construction paper and maybe a coffee for herself. Give as a note in the mail telling her she is important and doing a good job. Give as a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils on her doorstep. No gift is silly, nothing too small. You would be so surprised to know how many moms wish they just had an extra box of washable markers but don’t want to put the five kids in the car to go get them!
Or a step further, find a homeschool mom who homeschools “independently.” This family has chosen to homeschool on their own (as opposed to enrolling in a charter school which is publicly funded and gives a stipend to homeschoolers who enroll). These families would love a double dose of provision! They are responsible to purchase all their own own school supplies, curriculum, and any extracurricular activities they wish to put their kids in. You can see how homeschooling could add up for the independent family.
3. Be there.
This one is a stretch because it requires actual time from the giver. But if time is what you have, then be there for her. Remember, all the errands that are usually done while children are in school are always done with all the kids in tow. Homeschool moms are pros at this, of course, wrangling their kids and grocery shopping for the week. But sometimes she doesn’t want to turn everything into a learning opportunity. Sometimes she wants to run errands by herself!
So…be there. Watch her kids for an hour while she shops, come to her house and play with the kids so she can get some work done (because many homeschool moms also run businesses from home!). Bring her her favorite coffee and listen to her. Bring her family dinner, and don’t stay. The sky is the limit. Just last week my mom stopped by for five minutes, gave me a hug, and handed me money for dinner. I am first to admit, I’m 33 years old and I still need the encouragement my mom gives to me.
Pray. Give. Be.
There are so many ways to bless a homeschool mom. Can you commit to doing one of those things this week? This month?
Love on a homeschool mom. They are doing a very hard and very important job.