I have been homeschooling for quite some time. It has been an amazing journey. Some days can be really hard though. It can be hard to go through a rough homeschool day and have a friend who doesn’t understand. That is why I think picking friends who respect homeschool is so important.
Picking Friends Who Respect Homeschool
I want to start by saying this is not a post about only having friends who homeschool. Some of my closest friends have children in public, private, and charter schools. I am not even saying you shouldn’t have a friend who isn’t a homeschool advocate. I am suggesting that you need to make sure that your friend respects your choice whether or not they agree with it.
How did they respond to you homeschooling?
A good way to know whether a friend will support you as a homeschool mom is to look at how they took the news that you homeschool. That initial reaction can tell you a lot about how they might treat you. If your friend is trying to talk you out of homeschooling in this conversation they will probably do the same in the future. That can be crushing on a bad day of homeschooling. If that friend encourages you, hold on to her. She may be your biggest cheerleader. While people can change, they don’t always change.
Can they agree to disagree?
If you have a friend who is happy to agree to disagree, keep her. One of the hardest things is having a friend who thinks it is her job to talk you out of homeschooling. A friend who is set in their point of view could see any conversation as an opportunity to convince you that you aren’t doing the right thing. While this may not be a big deal most of the time, it can be very difficult on days when you are already struggling or feeling like you failed.
Will they encourage you?
There are horrible days of homeschooling. There are days when everything that could possibly go wrong, does. On these days reaching out to a friend can be a life saver. If you have a friend who is willing to be an encouragement to you this is the friend you want to keep. If you have friends who don’t have a gifting with encouragement, stay their friend but don’t call them when things get hard. The last thing you need is someone to make you feel worst on your hard day.
Will they call you out?
Is this friend the type of person who will call you out? We all have days where we just can’t anymore. We can’t handle the dishes, the curriculum, the whining, or pretty much anything. We want to quit adulting and hide in the closet with chocolate and an adult coloring book. While there are days where I recommend taking a few minutes to go ahead and hide in the closet, that shouldn’t become the normal. Make sure that you find a friend who respects your choice to homeschool and will call you out on your lazy days. Instead of telling you to put them in school, she might tell you to put on your big girl pants and suck it up. It is important to have at least one friend like this if you are going to homeschool.
Will they celebrate with you?
Homeschooling success can be so different from the successes a working mom’s definition. Will your friend celebrate the first time your child writes a letter, ties their shoes, or doesn’t fight about doing Math? Will they be excited with you even if they don’t understand? It is so important to have people that you can celebrate with. Find yourself a friend who is willing to celebrate even the things that don’t make sense. (I may have called a friend excited because b’s and d’s were facing the right way. It’s the little things people.)
It can be so hard to pick friends that you will do life with. It is completely ok to have friends who don’t agree with your choice to homeschool. I have more than one. I would suggest that you don’t make them your go to when you have a hard day. Find someone who is either willing to be compassionate or who understands.
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