So you’ve decided to take the plunge and homeschool your kids even though you are a single mom. You’ve been over the reasons why you should homeschool, and you’ve even got a plan for how you will afford it.
But you need support. Trust me, I get it. Being a single mom who homeschools is a VERY lonely road. You don’t just feel like you’re the only one, you probably are (I mean at least in your area anyway)! Thousands of single moms have gone before you on this, but the chances of actually knowing one personally are slim.
Don’t worry though, you don’t need a friend who knows your exact circumstances. You just need a friend! Here are some of the ways I’ve gotten support over the years.
Maybe you don’t have to look far for support. Have you thought much about your family? I know family dynamics can be a tricky thing, but I also know we often fail to communicate our needs effectively. If you have any indication that your family supports you (and I bet there is at least a bit), think through what they might be able to do that would be most helpful to you. Perhaps you have an ongoing or even temporary financial need. Maybe your family could help with the homeschooling. I know many grandparents who homeschool part-time and even some who do it full-time. I even homeschooled my nephew for one year when he was in 2nd grade. Don’t hesitate to think outside the box.
My family lives 10 hours away, so they can’t be of much help with the day-to-day needs we have. However, we do visit them at least twice a year. During that time, they will often take the kids for a few days so I can catch up on a project or even have a little downtime. They also help with clothing needs since they enjoy doing that. My sister graciously allowed me to be on her cell phone bill for the first 5 years that I was single.
Since I live so far away from my family, my church family is incredibly vital. If you don’t have a church family, finding one should be first on your list of things to do. Look for a church that isn’t too small but isn’t too large. You want a place that will take you in and love on your whole family. I’ve been at two different churches since my divorce. One was the original church our family had attended. It was actually a rather large church (5000 members). I felt at home there and enjoyed the close friendships I had already built. My friends were there to help when I had the baby, watched my kids several times when I was hospitalized, and even moved girls’ night to my house so I could participate when the kids were in bed.
My church now is much smaller (about 1200 members). The kids get great teaching through Sunday school and the Wednesday night program. The nice thing about this church is that the teachers are always the same, so my children are building strong mentor relationships. We also have a very active homeschool group. This is very important to me because this is where my children get their much-needed friendships. This church has helped us move, donated clothing, food, and other necessities when I was out of work, and provided countless hours of counseling for FREE.
I know there is some hesitation for single moms when it comes to finding a church family. Trust me—when I moved to another state, I thought the church hunting was going to kill me. Be patient. I promise that God will provide if you wait on Him. But there’s another little issue we need to address. You will never build a relationship with your church family if you only attend occasionally and never invest. No one will know you, and you will find the whole experience to be useless. Go to church often and get involved. Sign up for homeschool events, be a part of a ministry, and introduce yourself to people. It may feel weird or even uncomfortable for you, but God will give you the strength you need to build these crucial relationships. Ask Him to help you! Your church family has a responsibility to support you as much as they can. Let them do it!
The homeschool community at large is another great place to find support. We participate in a local co-op that helps me in several ways. First, it is a drop-off program, so it gives me a few hours a week to work. The program teaches Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), which is difficult to do at home, plus PE, music, art, and speech. My kids have made so many great friends, which has led to great friendships for our whole family. Yes, I know co-ops often cost money, but don’t let that stop you from trying. Perhaps ask your family to pay the fees as part of birthday or Christmas presents. If you need this kind of support, I think you will find the benefits outweigh the cost.
When my kids were really little, we created our homeschool co-op by getting together with friends and taking field trips. Here’s one of my favorites from back then!
Homeschool Associations and Conventions
When you are looking for support, don’t forget homeschool associations and conventions. The HSLDA has an amazing program for single moms. Their website contains great articles and resources to support your journey. In addition, they have a single mom fund which goes to help support single moms who desire to homeschool but need a little more income to do so. If you have not applied for this program, go ahead and do it today!
Probably the biggest blessing in my life has been a homeschool convention. When I first started homeschooling, I was already a convention junkie. I’ve actually been to over 15 conventions in the last 7 or so years. When I walked into Teach Them Diligently Convention, I knew that I had found a home. This convention is like no other. Their focus is missions and discipleship and it shows. Teach Them Diligently has a heart for single moms and has worked hard to create a program that will support and encourage you. Read more about why I love this convention here.
Here’s one of my favorite photos from the first time the kids went to the convention with me!
Through practical tools & Bible-based resources, Kim Sorgius is dedicated to helping your family GROW in faith so you can be Not Consumed by life’s struggles. Author of popular kid’s devotional Bible studies and practical homeschooling tools, Kim has a master’s degree in education and curriculum design coupled with over 2 decades of experience working with kids and teens. Above all, her most treasured job is mother and homeschool teacher of four amazing kiddos.