Finding Mentors For Your Homeschool






Summary:  Finding mentors for your homeschool can give so much to your homeschooled kids.  By using community and homeschool activities our daughter not only found friends but also mentors. Having mentors is such a gift for our homeschoolers at any age, during the elementary years, but especially in the homeschool high school years for our teens.


As a homeschooling family, we were always on the lookout for ways to build community for my daughter and our family.  We also wanted her to have a wide variety of experiences with kids and adults, and hopefully, the benefits of adult leaders in her life.  
Through the years, we looked for things that fit my daughter's interests and that led us to join in a number of community activities.  We found a kid's co-op K -2nd, did dance classes at the Parks department, did some gymnastics, then drama, etc...whatever she was interested in, we gave it a try. (Within limits, of course, re the driving time, lol.) And we were lucky enough to find some other nurturing adults, along the way.  

When my kiddo was 5, we looked for a program that would give her a chance to make friends and be a part of a group. We found a once a week co-op that was actually held at a public school.  There's lots of great homeschool co-ops out there as well, of course. 

Our co-op had a lovely group of kids, which gave our daughter a feeling of belonging and some early friendships. But as it turned out, having a teacher to interact became the biggest bonus for her. Somehow the stickers she earned there meant more!  She loved getting feedback from her teacher, so not"just" from mom at home.  (Her words)

We found that teachers and other adult leaders would come to mean a lot to our daughter.  Homeschooling worked very well for us, as it challenged her, helped with her ADHD and sensory issues, and was a much better choice for her, than public school.  But we wanted other teachers/group leaders for her, too.  So we just looked for opportunities in the community, where she could interact with other adults, different points of view and different personalities.  

She looked up to her dance teachers, gymnastics coaches, etc and that meant a lot to her.  One year, my daughter became fascinated with science.  We found her a science hands-on lab class that was offered at a local public school.  It was a magnet school, and we were allowed to enroll for just that class, as homeschoolers.  Most states allow homeschoolers to enroll in ps, part time.

She did this for awhile, and over the years, became friends with the science teacher there.  This teacher took her to science museums, told her about science lectures in the area, and encouraged her interest in the subject.  

Later this teacher asked her to become her volunteer TA. This was a great opportunity for our daughter.  It was her first volunteer job.  This teacher helped her to learn how to assist, and gave her challenges to meet along the way.  And working with her did a lot for her self esteem as well. Finding a homeschool mentor at ps, that was fun!  A nice surprise.

Then my teen heard about a leadership program that she wanted to try, called Youth and Government (Y and G).  It is sponsored by the YMCA, so it included homeschoolers and ps kids as well.  We liked that.  She participated throughout high school, and there met a woman who later became a mentor.  She was the leader of her Y and G delegation.  

As my daughter progressed in the program, this leader taught her a lot of leadership skills.  My daughter ended up running for office, and later became a mock chief justice at their annual Mock Youth Legislature.  Great experiences.



My teen watched this leader and learned a lot from that. When she joined the teen leadership board of this group, she got to know this adult leader personally.  My teen was enthralled with her style of leadership. This inspired her, and led to her desire to become a leader, but didn't know how yet.

At the same time, she became more involved in our church.  She attended our youth group, and got to know the youth leader there.  Through that, she was invited to a statewide youth conference, where she learned more about leadership and inclusive community.     

This and her work in Youth and Government (
Y and G), helped her to later decide on a major.  In freshman year (in college), she found a leadership program on campus. (Honors Global Leadership, brag alert)  That is where she is currently studying now, with an eye on a political career possibly.

Having these mentors, the science teacher and her Y and G leader, added a lot to our daughter’s homeschooling years. These adults helped her on her way, and exposed her to new ideas.  

We were also pleased that they wrote college reference letters, which helped our teen get accepted by multiple colleges.  That gave her a wider choice.  But more importantly, they helped to open up the world to her, as each of these women shared their passions.  And their encouragement.  

And they showed her another way to be, a part from my husband and I.  Another perspective, another lifestyle to learn about, and another hand to help the growing along the way. 

What are your kids interested in exploring?  How have you found mentors along the way?  Or has that been a difficulty? Please share in the comments or on Facebook.  This is a part of the  November blog hop.

Do you have a college bound teen?  

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________________________________

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 Included are also 12 homeschool high school planning printables to make your record-keeping easier.

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                               from College Inside Track

"Betsy has a wealth of understanding and knowledge to share with the parents of college bound homeschoolers.  She provides support, encouragement and step-by-step advice on all aspects of the homeschool high school and college application process. This book is a must-read for parents considering homeschooling high school and for parents in the thick of the application process."

And help for record keeping!  With my exclusive high school and college planning printables.


The high school and college planning forms include:

College Entrance Requirements Form
Overall High School Plan
Curriculum Planning Sheet
High School Credit Record Form
Transcript Form
Activities and Awards Form
Homemade Course Form
Writing the College Essay Form
Course Descriptions Record Keeping Form
Reference Letter Request Form
PE Record Form

For more information, click here - Frugal College Prep for Homeschoolers or to buy it here - my book on Amazon for only $11.99.  

And don't worry about forgetting things!



Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,
Betsy



Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.


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Updated 2019
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5 comments:

  1. I love that your daughter found a mentor at public school! But what a superb opportunity. Yes, it's important for our homeschooled kids to have other role models besides mum and dad. For my extroverted daughter this has been quite straightforward; for my 2e son it's been more of a challenge. But I've learned that if you keep your eyes and ears open, there are kind-hearted folk around who will generously devote time to mentoring a young person.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lucinda Leo. I understand, and I hope that a good mentor comes into your son's life, like it did for your daughter. Yes, it was such a surprise that ps helped my daughter with that! Wishing you a great rest of the week!

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  2. Thank you for your many examples of how and where parents of gifted children can find mentors for their gifted child. You show that mentors can really be found anywhere, formally or informally.

    I love that you pointed out examples of the many positive ways a mentor can help our children, not just as a role model but in more tangible ways like helping with college reference letters!

    Loved this post in so many ways!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Celi, for stopping by! We focused on following our daughter's interests, and were pleased that that led to finding mentors, too. Getting feedback from other supportive adults really helped to build up her self esteem. And getting college reference letters surely were a help, too! Thanks for your kind comments, I appreciate that very much!

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  3. I just love your interest-based approach and how you're able to share from the other side now that sh'es graduated. <3

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