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September 30, 2015

Just a homeschooler - Not a know it all

not a know it all
Just a homeschooler - Not a know it all
Homeschoolers by nature, I think, are genuinely helpful people, enjoy helping others, enjoy giving advice, enjoy giving out pointers, and being there for others.  I know this to be true because of my blog, other homeschoolers blogs, and being apart of the homeschooling community for the last several years. It's great to have friends (even if they are just on facebook) to turn to for help, advice, tips, support, etc.  It's great knowing depending on the platform, group, or forum you can have access to 10, 20, 50, 100, 5,000 or even 20,000 plus other homeschoolers. Homeschoolers that might not share all your values, but they have one thing in common with you: They homeschool and love their children. Okay 2 things in common....

With all this access I see a disturbing trend:  Expecting these homeschooling friends, groups, forums, to be your ONE stop shop for EVERYTHING! Expecting these circles to essentially be your research department, your doctor, your gardening expert, your bug expert, your --- do I dare say --- your GOOGLE!

This is very frustrating! While homeschoolers are helpful, willing to help, they are not experts on every topic.  Need to know what type of bugs those are? Google, search a bug ID site, ask a local bug guy, go to the library get bug ID books. Need to know what type of apples that tree is and if they are edible? Go ask a local small business, family owned, apple orchard, seek out library books, seek help from a gardening or canning group.  Need help ID mushrooms.... well you get the point.

I'm just seeing a trend where to many people expect other homeschoolers do things that they should be able to do themselves.  -- Part of homeschooling is teaching your child how to research things, how to find information, know where to turn when you don't know the answers. While your peers might be helpful on giving you pointers on where to find information they should NOT be called upon for the answers for everything under the sun -- unless they are experts, it's their hobby, etc.

When I looked into homeschooling several years ago I read either in a book, blog, website or newspaper article -- okay maybe not a newspaper article -- that homeschoolers like to be helpful, but they don't want to be bothered with questions you can find yourself.  They rather you spend time trying to research it, find the answer yourself, and if you can't then ask for help.

When I first read it I thought it was referring to homeschooling laws, curriculum, schedules, routines, etc. Now, I think it means much more then that. It means stop relying on your homeschool circles to be your Google and stop asking them for  help for things that are better suited in other forums and quit "hiding" behind the label while it's for school there for it apply to homeschooling.

I've been in this game for a long while. I know that homeschooling is a lifestyle and under that premise anything under the sun is really apart of the homeschooling -- but use some common sense. You wouldn't go to the auto shop looking for a bug exterminator. You wouldn't go to drug store and ask to speak to the pharmacist about your car issues.  While I love all of  you and I'm glad to help when I can and will continue to do so: I'm just a homeschooler - Not a know it all!

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