I never thought of myself as a mentor, rather a fellow traveler along a path where others, with similar pursuits, mingle and join in the quest to give their children an education at home; and a crack at what it’s like to have a parent around all the time; just when you most need one, and sometimes when you don’t.

Homeschoolers are unique, so is the lifestyle.

Listen to a group of teachers discussing their classrooms and the curriculum.  As they get into technique and teaching skills you will begin to see a pattern emerge, one of uniformity.  There is a right and wrong way to teach as laid down by administrators and experts for that academic year.  There are standards to be met and subjects that need to be covered at each grade level that must match other school districts so the children can move around the country without jeopardizing their methodical progress through the public and private school system.  With all of this come sets of standardized tests with which to measure their progress.

Now listen to a group of homeschooling mothers and you will hear diversity, what works for them and theirs, there is no right or wrong way, no special topics to be covered by a particular age, no over-seer of education, no restrictions except those that have been self placed.  They exchange ideas that have worked for them, and some that haven’t, they offer advice (what woman doesn’t?) and support.  There is a freedom involved, a liberty to be able to fully understand and take responsibility for an important part of their children’s lives.


Mentor, an ancient Greek, was a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus’ son, hence we get the word mentor meaning: someone who is a trusted counselor or guide.

By this description perhaps I am a mentor!

I have been entrusted, by my husband and God, with the education of our children, as counselor or guide to them.

For me, mentor has a slightly higher ring to it; a one-to-one entrustment.

For much of each day I did work with my children individually.

I was a counsellor and guide in that I took the word educated to mean the ability to apply all that we have learned to our everyday lives and I was there all day every day.

As homeschoolers we don’t have to study to the tests, we learned for a reason and hung bits of new information on hooks already placed in our knowledge banks from earlier learned things.

Each day I am a willing mentor to my children.

One day, maybe when they are older, they will look up to me, learn from me, want to follow me, to admire me, to respect me.

Perhaps they already do that!

I received a birthday card from Daughts this year where she wrote:

“Mum, you’re beautiful inside and out and I aspire to be just like you every day.”

High praise indeed for this lowly Mum.

I ask myself, do I really need another title to add to those I already tote?  Mother, teacher, nurse, cook, nutrition expert, entertainment coordinator, social advisor, fashion expert, beautician, disciplinarian, playmate and financial supporter.     or does the one word, mentor, bundle all the titles into one?

My impression as  grew up of the word mentor was rather lofty.  In my private school days it referred to someone from outside the immediate family circle.  My parents were parentals there was nothing mentorish about them as far as I was concerned.

This concept of mentoring outside the family opens up the possibility that I may, right now, unbeknownst to me even, be filling that role for someone else; an older person, a younger person, a teen like my daughter, a young adult like my sons.

Probably not for mentors are entrusted.  Thus they know they are being looked to.

I had a mentor during my early days of homeschooling, I called her, The Well Heeled Stranger.  I looked to her for wisdom, counsel and guidance and found it.

I discover now, at the other end of my journey, God has put a young mother in my life for whom I can be a mentor.

She read my, as yet unpublished, book, The Sociable Homeschooler, and was influenced to take the education of her four children under her wing.  I meet with her and her family quite regularly.  I too had four young children clamouring for my attention.  I remember how I could stay tuned into four or five conversations simultaneously and still breathe!   I know exactly how she is feeling and can counsel and guide her as I was counseled and guided.

I remind her of Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:18:

“…in everything give thanks.  For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Because of my experiences I am able to tell her she is exactly where God wants her to be now, doing His will.

I am able to to tell her that as their mother she is performing the most important task she will ever do during her walk on earth, spending as much time as possible with her children.

I am able to tell her this is something she will never regret.

Because God has remained faithful to me and my husband I can tell her He will remain faithful to her.

This is mentoring;  I also call it be-friending.

The purpose of my Radio Show is to encourage parents to do what they know, deep down inside, is right for their children to live a unique lifestyle that gives them the faith to trust God and say,

“I will be there for my child no matter what it takes.”

Yes, I may be reluctant in labeling myself a mentor, I may call it befriending,

However, I am called to counsel and guide anyone who asks.

I am more than a fellow traveler along a road trod by kindred spirits on our heavenly journey; I am blessed to be a mentor.

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