Single Mommy Warrior - The Musings & Happenings of a Single Mompreneur
This mommy blog is all about how I juggle being a single mom, attending grad school, and being a fulltime WAHM. My aim for this blog is to empower other single moms to believe that single parenting is not the end of the world; it’s the beginning of an amazing (though challenging) journey. I also seek to help those who want to be WAHMs to realize that dream through mompreneur training.
This post is the first of 5 in a 5-day series. Check out the Homeschool Hopscotch (hosted by the iHomeschool Network) for more posts from homeschool parents around the world.
One of the most important aspects of homeschooling (in my opinion) is having a support system. Especially when you are new. And ESPECIALLY if you are a single parent.
For me, the most obvious reason is that having a support system makes everything a bit easier. You have people to turn to for advice on the many aspects of homeschooling that often confuse newbies. Things like what you have to do to be compliant in your state (some states are really lax about homeschooling, while others are super strict), the various homeschool methods, how to put together a curriculum, how to find done-for-you curricula, what to do when you come across homeschooling challenges, what kind of activities your child can do, and so much more.
Having a support system is also essential for your emotional health. Because trust me when I say that it’s not all rainbows, butterflies, and glitter. It can be challenging. Some days, you may feel like giving up and dropping your child off at the closest school and peeling rubber to get away. Getting through those days is more bearable when you have other homeschool parents to turn to. You can vent to them and get their advice (chances are whatever you are going through, one of them has gone through as well).
Having a solid support is also important because you will need them to bolster your confidence when you are confronted with naysayers. The people who say that they “don’t agree with homeschooling”, “homeschooled kids are weird”, “homeschooled kids will never get into a good college” and ask you whether “you think you’re doing the right thing?” and “why don’t you just put your kids in public school?”.
Yeah, that kind of stuff happens. For some reason, hearing that you have opted for an “alternative” form of education causes people to chime in with al sorts of unsolicited opinions, judgments, and misinformation, lol. It can be annoying at best. At worst, it can make you doubt your decision to homeschool. So, it can be helpful to have your support system there to remind you that other people’s opinions don’t matter, that weirdness is not restricted to homeschooled kids (I mean, I’m weird and didn’t even know public school was still a thing until I was well into my twenties), that homeschooled kids all have different personalities, and that home education is a viable option. It may not be for everyone, but you have the right to try it out and see if it’s the best option for YOUR family.
So, how do single parent homeschoolers find support? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you where I find support.
Local Homeschool Community
When I first seriously considered homeschooling as an option, what I did was look for local homeschoolers. I asked around with my mommy friends to find out if they knew anyone who homeschools. I was still pretty new to the area (I moved to this part of Arkansas from Baltimore a few months before I had my son), but I’m one of those people who strikes up conversations everywhere. In the elevator. On the playground. In line at the grocery store. I’m an introvert’s worst nightmare, lol. If I see you with a child and you are within shouting distance – we are going to be friends. It’s pretty simple to bring the conversation around to what school your child will be attending. From there, you can just mention your interest in homeschooling and ask if they know anyone does that.
However, the person who was really helpful was someone I met on Freecycle (and who has remained a friend for over 5 years). She had posted that she was giving away homeschool books for elementary. My son was not even in pre-k yet, but I’m a hoarder, so I reached out to her, lol. We met up in town so I could get the books and she told me about a huge local homeschool community and told me how to be added to their Yahoo group. I started chatting in there, learning about the different events, groups, co-ops and more that are in town. That was the beginning! I was amazed by the fact that there was such a thriving homeschool community right under my nose. Every time we go to the store, the playground, the library, or any community event, I run into several homeschoolers I know.
Once I knew about our local homeschool community, I got involved. I joined various clubs and organizations, like 4-H, co-ops and playdate groups. I engage with people when we attend events, making friends and getting contact info. The more involved I get, the bigger my circle becomes. After about 4 years of doing this, I have a pretty big network of local homeschoolers to turn to when I need them.
Online Homeschool Community
In addition to getting involved with local homeschoolers, I am also active in several online homeschool communities – mostly on Facebook. I’m in groups for homeschoolers, homeschool moms, secular homeschoolers, homeschoolers with boys, homeschoolers who have kids who love gaming, techy homeschoolers, homeschoolers with children who have special needs, and single mom homeschoolers. I’m also in groups geared towards specific homeschool methods. I’ve even created a few groups myself. No matter what your interests are, you can either join a group or create a group that caters to that. Here are some of my favorite Facebooks for homeschoolers.
Another source of support for single parent homeschoolers is their family and circle of friends. Identify the ones who are supportive of your choice and lean on them. If you have family and friends who are willing to help you on your homeschool journey in any way (whether that means helping you buy school supplies, sending you info on things they think you might be interested, wanting to learn more about homeschooling, attending events with you, offering to help you with subjects they are an expert in, or whatever form their support comes in, appreciate it.
These are just some of the ways you can build your support system as single parent homeschoolers. Keep your eyes and your mind open! You might be surprised by the many places you can find people who are supportive of and enthusiastic about your decision to homeschool your children.
Interested in reading more blog posts by homeschoolers? Click the image below to check out the 5 Day Homeschool Hopscotch.
FTC Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Cars.com. All thoughts are 100% my own.
I’ve owned two cars in my lifetime.
The first one was a 1995 Dodge Caravan. My parents helped me buy it after I FINALLY got my driver’s license in college. I remember my friend Zyra and I being so excited when we finally had transportation that wasn’t a city bus. That winter, we drove to the mall to do some shopping only to find out that it had snowed while we were in the mall. Driving home in the snow was terrible, lol! I ended up calling my mom to come rescue us, lol.
Ironically, I was also driving with Zyra in the car when the engine kinda blew up. Well, it was really just smoking, but in our minds, the car was blowing up. We jumped out – in the middle of the road, I ran away from it, lol. Some men stopped and helped us push the van over into a parking lot. I called my parents to pick us up. My stepfather tried to get the car working again, but it was a lost cause.
I didn’t get a new car again until I graduated a year or two later. It was a 2001 Crysler Voyager and it was perfect. I was working as a live-in nanny at the time, so it was cool to have enough space for two kids and all of their outing stuff. It also came in handy when I got pregnant an decided I wanted to move back to Arkansas (from Virginia) to be closer to my family. I was able to fit most of my belongings in the van and make the 975-mile journey.
I’ve had that van for over 8 years now. It has served me well. It has been with me through countless trips to see my friends, a trip halfway across the country, and through three moves. It gets us to playdates, therapy sessions, doctor’s visits, many trips to McDonald’s, fun blogger events, and a lot of extracurricular activities.
However, I’d be lying if I said I’m not ready for something new. Something that doesn’t guzzle gas quite as much. Something with a CD player instead of a tape deck (I love The Lion King soundtrack, but I’m kind of tired of that being our only option other than the radio, lol). Maybe something with a DVD payer for road trips.
It’s time to start shopping for a new car.
I’ve gone to a few car lots around town, but always feel like they are trying to get over on me. Maybe that’s because I really just don’t know much about cars.
Fortunately, there is Cars.com. They have an entire section of their website dedicated to doing research. You can look up cars you are interested, read up on their specifications, read honest consumer reviews, find side-by-side comparisons for when you are torn between multiple options, and even get estimates on payments and financing. They even have our backs as parents with car seat safety checks where they test out the car seat latch systems for various makes and models.
This helps someone like me to make a smart choice when buying a new car. If you’re trying to sell or trade your car (which is what I hope to do), they even have info on that.
So go check it out if you are looking to buy, sell, or trade a car.
Also, here are a few basic tips about buying a car:
Do Your Research
Don’t go into buying a new car blindly. Do your research on the make and model of any car you are interested in. Look at reviews from people who have actually owned those cars. Pay careful attention to not just the good things, but the things that can go wrong. If possible, speak to people who have owned those cars and ask for their honest opinion on whether they would recommend them to someone else.
Take a Friend
When you go to look at a car you are interested in, try to take someone you trust with you. Preferably someone who knows about cars and can advise you on making a purchasing decision.
Don’t make the mistake of buying the very first car that you see. Shop around. See what other car dealerships have to offer before you tie yourself down to a major decision. Don’t let a sense of urgency lead to you rushing into an important (and costly) decision.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate – especially if you have a specific budget in mind. Often, car dealerships are willing to work with you – whether that involves having lower payments, a lower final cost, or adding in special benefits like free annual oil changes.
Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
Just as you should shop around for a car, don’t be afraid to check out multiple sources for quotes on loans so that you can get the best loan possible. Many car dealerships offer in-house financing, but you may be better off getting financing elsewhere.