Homeschool Mentor Survey

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I am in the process of reviewing an on-line course to teach new homeschoolers how to homeschool.  This has me wondering how many people who start homeschooling have someone experienced to get advice from. I knew several homeschoolers before I began to homeschool and I went to one friend’s home and she showed me what curricula she was using with her children and told me a little bit about their days.  The rest of the research I did myself and joined some on-line homeschool groups. For support, I mainly talked with another friend who was also beginning to homeschool at the same time. I wasn’t exactly learning from her experience, but we did bounce a lot of ideas off of each other.

I would like to do a non-scientific survey.  Please leave a comment and tell me if YES – you have or had someone (not on-line) you considered a mentor when you began to homeschool or NO – you began the homeschool journey pretty much on your own.

Thanks everyone for your help.

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40 thoughts on “Homeschool Mentor Survey”

  1. YES – I had a mentor when we began homeschooling. I had a dear friend that had gone before me who shared her experiences, wisdom and curriculum suggestions.

  2. Not at the beginning. After home schooling for a while, the Lord sent a dear woman who had traveled the road further and with whom I shared similar philosophies. She was a tremendous help to me.

  3. I didn't have any sort of mentor when I began homeschooling 10 years ago. I did research online to find out what it was all about, and what the state laws were.

    Then I jumped in with both feet!

  4. No, I did not have a mentor BUT I was (and still am) a certified teacher with a master's in education and did a bit of research into it and "winged it" the rest of the way. We don't use any purchased curriculum and I "make it up" as we go along, based on Kiddo's interests and desires.

  5. One of my college roommates homeschools. She was a mentor to me when I was first getting started, though we take different approaches to home education. Much of what I learned before making the decision to homeschool I gleaned from books, but it was wonderful being able to ask a friend whose opinion I respect for suggestions, ideas, and advice about where to begin.

  6. Yes and no. LOL I had a mentor for the homeschooling law part but not for homeschooling philosophy. A dear homeschooling mom of teenagers was able to help me out on the law side of homeschooling but her homeschooling philosophy was different than mine so she wasn't able to mentor me in that area. She was school at home and I was more a relaxed/eclectic homeschooler.

  7. No, I had no mentor. I just started searching on-line and it has grown from there. God told me to do it and it has been going strong ever since.

  8. I went to an information session at the library about homeschooling when my youngest was just a toddler, but had no homeschooling friends or mentors.

  9. Yes and no. I knew one other family that homeschooled. In fact helped her with homeschooling a couple of her younger girls. When I adopted my kids (after I was an empty nester lol) I KNEW I wanted to homeschool them. I used the same reading curriculum she used and have still used that same one with all my kids. That is as far as the mentorship went. Since then, we winged it on a wing and a prayer. We are in our 7th year, and that friend no longer homeschools. So how does that saying go about people coming into your life for a moment and others stay a lifetime…..she was there for the moment to give me the kick start I needed lol Good survey though.


  10. No I don't recall having a mentor back in 1994. I remember meeting a woman in 1991 or 92 who homeschooled her kids and I thought she was insane. Funny how God uses people to change our minds. 🙂 I think that was the first I learned of homeschooling. From that, the spark started and then my hubby and I owned a daycare center and learned what the school were going to be teaching and decided we did not want our kids in the public school system. It's been a tough road to go down, but I'm glad I did it.

  11. No, I had to do all the research for Homeschooling on my own. I did find a LARGE local Homeschool group who have their own Homeschool Back to School Bash in August of each year. At that event they do have a New to Homeschooling class. That was all the guidance I received…. otherwise all on my own. Hope this Helps !! : ) Jessica

  12. Yes, I had a mentor who was our former pastor's wife. She encouraged me from the beginning as I had never heard of homeschooling. She was doing it and shared with me her ways of doing it. I've evolved quite a bit differently on my own and with the influences of another girlfriend who showed me the history four year rotational unit study approach with classical leanings~eclectic! Blessings!

  13. I had a Christian mentor who suggested the idea of homeschooling to me. She also loaned me two excellent books, Karen Andreola's Charlotte Mason Companion and Sally Clarkson's Homeschooling the Wholehearted Child. Reading those books gave me a vision for homeschooling and an idea of what my homeschool philosophy was and how to get started. We never really met formally to talk about homeschooling, but I do credit her with setting me on the path to homeschool. What a blessing, I would not trade a day of it for the world!

  14. Yes, I was lucky enough to have several mentors when I first began homeschooling. I have been blessed to always have someone to turn to when I have questions. I am glad that I now have the ability to mentor others.

  15. I had a dear friend who was planning to homeschool and had read all the books but her kids were still babies/preschoolers. She convinced me to homeschool but I actually started before her. We still provide homeschool support to eachother even though we live hundreds of miles apart.



  16. Nope, no formal mentor when I started, either. BUT we attended a very small church were >90% of the families homeschooled, so I can a great built-in support network. Like many others, I did lots of research online and didn't know how scared I should have been. 🙂

  17. Alot of reading on my own-15 years ago

    I went to a support group, but there wasn't much support in terms of mentoring. There had been some folks burned, and apparantly everyone was reluctant to give advice!

  18. We have a wonderful lady at our church who both homeschooled and taught at a classical christian school, and she provides both advice and often resources. My mom and MIL also homeschool, so I've got lots of advice there, even though I was nvere homeschooled. My mom also passes on some curriculum to me.

  19. Yes, I had a mentor. Several, actually. Both my sisters began homeschooling before I even had kids, so their experiences helped and encouraged me greatly. I have also looked to a few favorite authors as "mentors" even though we have never met. Their writing encouraged me so much and helped focus me on what was most important. One of my homeschooling author/mentors is Sally Clarkston. And a handful of moms in real life who were a few years ahead of me and provided a listening ear when I needed support. Thank the Lord for mentors!


    Pam in SE MI (from TLT)

  20. yes… and no. My husband has a friend who has 11 children (most of them now grown) who were all homeschooled from the beginning. I got some info from his wife on legal issues, curriculum and learning styles. Since we live on opposite sides of the country, everything was done via e-mail.

  21. No, just the wonderful ladies of TLT on-line. I asked so many questions of them! I knew a few other moms who homeschooled, but they followed different philosophies than we were planning to use, so I didn't find consulting with them too helpful.

  22. The church that we belonged to had a lot of families that homeschooled. I probably called each of them and discussed everything numerous of times. This is our 10th year and now I mentor other moms that are beginning homeschooling. I agree with what the other mom said about people coming into your life for only a season. Most of the people that mentored me, I don't see anymore. I have a friend that lives in Ohio and she and I mentor each other. Everything is done through email, since we live thousands of miles apart.



  23. No, I didn't really have a mentor. My twin sister and another friend from church encouraged me to at least consider homeschooling, but everything else I learned was just from online research of curriculum, etc. Sure would have been wonderful if someone had offered to be my mentor! But at that time, 8 years ago, in our area, most of the long-timer homeschooling families were pretty closed to developing any new friendships or relationships with others, so homeschoolers were pretty much on their own. Fortunately, some of us banded together and started activities, an online Yahoo group just for our county, and lots of informal support with each other. Hooray!

  24. I didn't really have any mentor when I started homeschooling my kids. I did have several friends that simultaneously decided to homeschool their kids, so that was nice. Most of my info came from online sources.

  25. all on my own siesta-mate. Was not only on my own in the homeschool world, but was on the opposite side of the country away from family and friends (which in retrospect, was a good thing) -did find a HS group but after a year or so after starting. In 15 years, have not had a mentor. Sad, so sad, but oh so very true.

  26. Yes, I had two mentors and I'm so glad I did. I don't know if I could have pulled my son out of school mid-year without their help and support. I had no clue what the process was and I was scared to death. That was 5 yrs ago, and we are still homeschooling!!

  27. I was blessed to have educator parents who were strongly in support of homeschool. Even though my Dad was a parochial school principal, they still chose to homeschool. Imagine the school board's reaction! My mother was the ultimate mentor. Before breast cancer claimed her, she mentored many women in the art of homeschooling.

  28. I'm not sure how to answer! I am much like you. I knew someone, and they showed me what they used and told me a bit of thier day but she unschooled, lol.

    I then jumped in and after four years, we're comfortable. I guess that means it's time for a change! 😛

  29. Yes. I love how the Lord was preparing us to homeschool, though we had no idea at the time. We lived next door to a homeschooling family for three years. During that time our oldest started K in the PS system. I knew that very first day something was not right about sending him to PS, but it never entered my mind we could HS.

    We moved at the beginning of his 2nd grade year. By the middle of 5th grade the Lord really narrowed our path toward homeschooling. We pulled both children out of PS at the end of that year. When fall came around we found there were other HSing families, some of whom had gone to PS with our youngest! This small group of women most certainly became my mentors! Oh, how I've missed them since we moved again!

    Now we are surrounded by online friends/mentors who use the same history curriculum we do. They have been and continue to be a such a huge blessing!!!


    from TLT

  30. I did not have a mentor, but became good friends with another lady who was also just starting on the homeschool journey. We homeschooled together for a while until we were both comfortable with what we wanted to do. There was no internet when we started, and in fact I had never even heard of homeschooling when I started. I have been homeschooling my children now for 25 years!

  31. Not really, I attended an informational meeting let by a state HS leader who talked about notification. I had a few ladies from church that would answer some questions for me and a local co-op but I chose our first curriculum from a secular magazine ad, ordered a lot of books about its philosophy and couldn't go to a convention for several years. Joining a Charlotte Mason e-list was the most consistent & biblical help to get us going in the right direction.

  32. I had been attending a church that had numerous homeschool families. So I was able to gather some info from them, but wouldn't consider it mentoring. I would say it put the spark (idea of homeschooling) for the flame to burn. I did a lot of research on my own and now that I'm living in another state (out in the country), I'm not near anyone else who homeschools. I'm always open to other's ideas and

    love all the chatting I can do w/other homeschoolers on the web. So we all mentor each other!

  33. Yes, 14 years ago we had just moved to a new state, and in our new church I made a friend whose children were close in age to mine, and she had homeschooled from the beginning. She answered my questions, loaned me books to read, and was a great encouragement.

  34. Nope. I got a curriculum recommendation from one lady in my church, but she didn't mentor me other than that. All my homeschool advice and help came from online communities.


  35. I Started Homeschooling my 2 daughters 13 years ago, and went to a wonderful support group, that was very helpful in mentoring me at the begining.

    Now as I am ready to have the first Graduate out of home schooling, I have been looking back with several friends that started the journey together, remembering those ladies that encouraged us, taught us, and supported us, day or night with such wonderful wisdom.

    Most have graduated on to being grandparnets, and all their kids are gone, but the wonderful wisdom that we pass on to others is still there.

    It will be sad when I see my next daughter, graduate in two years, and then my journey with homeschooling will be over for a time….

    How the time flies…. Enjoy it while it lasts, take time to truly enjoy your children, and their love for learning. Share with other homeschoolers when ever you get the chance, and make as many memories as possible….


  36. I did have homeschool friends, after the first year, and we did a co-op together in the early years but I did not have someone I would consider a mentor. I started homeschooling on my own, choose my curriculum on my own, had no one at all the first year of homeschooling.

    Debbie from

  37. I pretty much surfed the web for almost a year for information, state laws, etc. Then, I used library books to learn about different methods to use. I'm just finishing up my first year. It has been hit and miss, trail and error all year. Things turned out better than I expected. I already have my sights on the next grade….. doing it year round but giving her a few weeks break then start off slow, one subject at a time…. play it by ear.

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