I’m betting you’ve noticed that there can be homeschool mom cliques and homeschool mean moms.
It’s so sad that we can’t encourage one another and build each other up for this homeschool journey.
However, it’s easy to let our insecurities get the better of us.
Then we can become that homeschool mean mom. I know I’ve been there at times.
Have you ever caught yourself judging another homeschool mom?
Maybe you’re always careful to be polite and you would never say anything aloud, but silently you’re judging her and comparing yourself. Or maybe you’ve actually said your thoughts aloud.
I’ve had some of those unkind things said straight to my face.
One day at a homeschool park day another mom was discussing math curriculum with me. We talked about some of the challenges our kids had faced in math. I openly shared about how one of my children had struggled with math but we had found a curriculum that helped her make great progress.
The mom of course wanted to know what curriculum I used. After I told her the name she mentioned her curriculum. I smiled and nodded and said that I had heard of that program. She named off all the topics that they were currently covering in her curriculum. Then she smugly said, “Oh well I think our curriculum is probably just more rigorous than yours.”
What a slap in the face.
I stood silently for a few moments until I turned and walked away. I never expected our conversation to take that turn.
I was the new mom in that homeschool group. It was our first park day. It was also our last park day with that group.
Don’t let yourself become the homeschool mean mom. Don’t say things to tear down someone else’s homeschool. Don’t even let your thoughts wander down that road.
I’m going to give you a few questions you should ask yourself when you’re talking to another homeschool mom.
In other words, here is some homeschool mom etiquette advice.
Am I comparing myself to her in some way?
Don’t fall in to the trap of believing that there is a homeschool super mom. You’re not her. The mom you’re talking to is not homeschool super mom either. Don’t bother comparing because you’ll both come up short.
Do I feel like my years and experience with homeschooling make me an expert?
This is a good thing to bear in mind when you’re talking to new homeschoolers. Just because you have several years of experience on them doesn’t mean that you have all the answers.
Am I judging her parenting choices?
As homeschool moms we often have our kids with us. We can never escape, can we? So when we get together we usually have lots of kids surrounding us. It can be easy to judge another mom based on the behavior of her kids. Sometimes we just need to extend grace because we don’t always fully understand each situation.
Am I feeling insecure or jealous?
If you are then you might be tempted to brag on your kids, your curriculum, or your homeschool style. You might try to hold up your homeschool schedule or routine as the gold standard. Don’t. Take a deep breath and know that you are doing a great job homeschooling your own children.
Is there any way I can encourage or support her in her homeschool journey?
Here’s the one last question before you walk away from that homeschool mom. Ask yourself if there is any way that you can build her up. Never pass up an opportunity to extend a compliment or an uplifting word.
Because really, that’s all we should be trying to do when we talk to other homeschool moms.
We all homeschool differently. We use different curriculum and follow different homeschool styles.
That is the inherent beauty of homeschooling – the freedom of choice. We get to choose what works for us and for our kids. Nothing else really matters.
Whenever you talk to another mom, remember this homeschool etiquette advice. Be the homeschool mom that willingly hands out encouragement and can celebrate our differences.
Read the other posts in this series
5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Talking to Another Homeschool Mom
Defending Your Homeschool Choices
How Homeschool Styles are Like Toothpaste