This week on HSHSP Ep 188: Mentoring Relationships for Homeschool Moms, Interview with Jamie Erickson. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
We are joined today with popular author and fellow podcaster Jamie Erickson of the Mom to Mom Podcast and the Unlikely Homeschool blog. We are talking about the importance of mentoring for homeschool moms.
Jamie is married to her high school sweetheart. Her husband was homeschooled and wanted to homeschool their kids. It took some convincing but once they started homeschooling, she has known it is the best way to educate her kids. (As Vicki says: A mom’s mind plans her way but God directs her paths.)
Today on Homeschool Highschool Podcast, Jamie and Vicki are discussing mentoring relationships!
Jamie’s first homeschooling mentor was her mother-in-law, who was a pioneer in homeschooling in her area. (Jamie knows that supportive mother-in-laws are often an exception to other’s experiences.)
Jamie grew up in a home where only her mom was a Christian, which had some challenges. She met her husband at in college in Florida, married him and moved back to his home state of Minnesota. While it was the frozen north to her, she found warm women who knew how to bring a new person into the fold. These women were mentors, further down the path of life, who reached behind and lifted her up.
She experienced a poignant mentoring moment when she was pregnant with her fourth child and had a home full of very young children. She was sitting at a women’s church meeting, the youngest one there. The leader asked if there were any prayer requests. She was tired and was going to ask for prayer about it but tears of exhaustion came out first. These gracious women encircled her, prayed, then followed up with meals and babysitters so she could take a nap.
Jamie determined to pass forward this beautiful act of support and mentoring to other young moms.
Jamie remembers seeking out moms who still had homeschool high schoolers or had graduated their teens and asked for a mentoring session. They brought bags of curriculum and lots of encouragement and advice. These events really encouraged Jamie.
However, these events were not common. Jamie knew that if she had a hunger for mentoring, there were others who felt the same need for support in their homeschool journey:
- Dealing with loneliness
- Bearing the weight on shoulders of homeschooling
- Finding it difficult to ask for help (often because there are too many naysayers in their lives)
So she began teaching about mentoring and encouraging other homeschool moms to mentor. She advises that homeschool moms:
- Admit you need help
- Invite others into your space to be helped
- Become a helper, a mentor, right where you are
Jamie says we need to have three kinds of mentoring relationships in our homeschool lives:
- A Mother:
- One who is further down the road in the homeschool journey. She has been there, done that. She is a woman we can contact with questions, ask for advice and prayer.
- A Sister:
- One who is walking along the same path as we are. She is a woman we can get real and raw with, field trip together or just call for prayer. I can reach across the aisle to and help each other.
- A Daughter:
- One who is not as far along in their homeschool walk. One who is a little behind you and pull her along, giving her encouragement and help in the same way you have been helped by others.
When you have a homeschool high schooler, it is lovely for them to have a mentor, too!
Jamie’s family made the decision, when her oldest was young, that they would work to find mentoring relationships for her. One way Jamie has found mentors for her daughter is through volunteer work. (We all know how important service is to our homeschool high schoolers’ personal development AND their transcripts. Check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode with information on service hours for your teens.)
She and her daughter have been volunteering at a mother-daughter weekend at a local Bible camp for years. Through that experience, her daughter started actually working there. Out of that, natural mentoring relationships with young college-aged women have formed. It has been amazingly powerful for them.
Also joining a homeschool co-op has been important to her high school daughter’s life. The homeschool moms have been role models and mentors for her in “big, lavish ways”.
Have you had a co-op experience? If not, do you want to start one? Check out this authoritative guide from 7SistersHomeschool.com on co-oping and these HSHSP episodes: How to Start a Co-op Teens Will Like.
Jamie has recently published a mentoring book for homeschool moms: Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God and Teach Your Child with Confidence.
This book is not a how-to book, it is a book of hugs around moms’ necks, encouragement and the heart of where her encouragement comes from (Christ). Check it out at HomeschoolBravely.com and read the first chapter there.
Jamie’s podcast is Mom to Mom (hosted by Jamie, Kate Battestelli and September McCarthy). These seasoned homeschool moms have sixteen kids ranging in age from thirty to 6 years of age. Jamie started the podcast because she wanted a mentoring podcast with seasoned homeschool moms (which these moms certainly are). It is a podcast for every season of mothering.
Want to connect with Jamie Erickson, check out the Unlikely Homeschool, Mom to Mom podcast and grab her book!
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