Conflicted: I don’t really want to help this mom homeschool
I got a call the other day from a potential homeschooling mom, wanting some help. She had recently pulled her almost-9yo daughter from public school in order to homeschool her.
I don’t know how she got my phone number; she said she went to my church four years ago. I don’t remember her, and I don’t remember giving her my phone number. Oh, well.
Normally, I’d be very excited about helping another mother start homeschooling.
However, homeschooling is, by nature, rather an independent, self-motivated pursuit; you have to know (or at least be able to figure out) what is required of you, what materials you’re going to need, how to get them, where to go for resources…
And it appears that, for this mom, I am the resource.
She didn’t know anything about the state-required Affidavit of Intent to Home School, and didn’t think she could get it notarized, nor get an original copy of her daughter’s birth certificate, as required. She has no computer. She has no transportation. She is completely unfamiliar with using a library. She has no money with which to purchase any materials. She has no idea what to use for any kind of curriculum. She doesn’t have the support of her husband.
Even if I could (and probably, I could) give her all the materials she would need for Kindergarten or 1st grade (she said that her daughter is almost reading), that wouldn’t produce a self-sustaining homeschooling family who is well-equipped for the long run.
It’s the teach-a-man-to-fish vs. give-a-man-a-fish syndrome.
She, basically, wants me to tell her what she needs to do, how to get free materials (which is easy if you have an internet connection, and fairly difficult, if you don’t), be her tutor, and validate her choice to homeschool.
I must admit that I’m loathe to walk into a situation where another person expects me to do everything for them.
We’re meeting at the library on Friday.
I will come equipped with some unit studies and booklists, some curriculum suggestions, and loads of websites she can visit (on what needs to become regular trips to the library). I’ll also give her information on a local charter school that is rather like a homeschooling umbrella school (they supply a computer, curriculum and oversight; you homeschool). But, I’ve already decided that I am unwilling to be her long-term source of all-help for homeschooling.
Homeschooling moms (and anyone else), what do you think? What would you do?