How to Find a Homeschool Mentor

by Jimmie

Whether you are just starting out with homeschooling or trying to overcome some obstacles, a mentor may be just the support you need. Here is how to locate a homeschool mentor.

Teaching your own children is immensely rewarding, but it can also be draining, frustrating, and scary. Having a mentor to guide the way goes a long way towards successful, long-term homeschooling.

Most new homeschooling moms want a mentor, but where can you find one? How do you broach the subject to a homeschool mom you admire?

Where to Find a Homeschool Mentor

Ideally a homeschool mentor should be geographically close so that you can meet face to face.

Try looking for a mentor in these locations:

  • your local homeschool group
  • a homeschool co-op
  • a local tutoring center or extra-curricular lessons (art, music, etc.)
  • your church

Ask the leaders of these organizations if they have a mentoring program set up or if they know of anyone who serves as a mentor. Or do some detective work on your own and spy out a mom who appears to have knowledge to impart.

If there is no one close by, long distance mentoring can also work. Try online spots to find a mentor:

  • a homeschooling forum
  • the author of a homeschooling blog
  • Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking site

In those situations, it is best to build a friendship with the potential mentor (usually through email) before asking her to assume the role. Otherwise, mentoring will feel awkward and she will decline. Or it will sound like work, and she will ask for payment. You may find that it is worth it to pay someone to mentor you. In that case, be ready with an offer for an hourly rate for phone calls or web conferencing. Share your expectations and needs upfront. 

Mentoring
Mentoring

Do You Have a Homeschool Mentor?

How to Ask Someone to be Your Mentor

The reality is that while most everyone wants a mentor, very few people have the confidence to be a mentor. Therefore, it is most unlikely that a homeschool mom is going to approach you with an offer to mentor you. Instead, you have to take the initiative to seek out that mentoring relationship.

The Direct Approach

You could simply ask outright, "Would you commit to being my mentor?" But many moms will be intimidated by the label of "mentor" even though they are capable of the role. This approach will work best with a very experienced mom who is very confident in her abilities. 

The Indirect Approach

If you suspect your potential mentor would modestly decline to mentor you, you can try the indirect method. Ask her to meet with you somewhere for a cupcake or for coffee just to talk about homeschooling. You can say that you have some questions and want to get her advice. But don't use the M-word (mentor). Keep it informal and friendly.

If your first meeting goes well, follow up in a week or so with another invite. Then you can discuss any new developments or issues and tell her how her initial advice is working.

Over time, she may catch on that you would like a regular meeting time. If you keep it informal and avoid calling your mentor a mentor, you very well may get a lot out of the relationship.

Homeschooling: a Rewarding but Challenging Role

Informal Mentoring
Informal Mentoring
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Updated: 02/27/2012, Jimmie
 
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ohcaroline on 08/16/2011

This is great advice for home schooling moms.

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