10 Ways to Make Friends with a Homeschool Mom
About once a month or so, I spend time browsing through my Google Analytics keywords to see which search terms people used to find my site. Doing so can be an excellent source of writing inspiration as there are often search terms or questions that make a great blog post. Sometimes there are really comical search terms that beg to have a blog post written about them.
Then there are those that could go either way – funny or serious. This is one of those. Or maybe it’s just because I’m weird that both funny and serious answers popped into my head when I read the question: How do you make a homeschool mom like you?
Ten Ways to Make Friends with a Homeschool Mom
1. Bring her a gallon of Chick-fil-A sweet tea.
It’s probably telling that this is my number 1 answer. Oh, well. It’s true. My sister brought me a gallon of Chick-fil-A tea as a thank you for watching my nieces once. I talked about it for weeks. I mean, y’all, my very own gallon of CFA tea that I didn’t have to share with anyone. If that’s not enough to give a person warm fuzzies, I don’t know what is.
That could just be me. It could have the same effect on other sweet-tea-lovin’ moms who don’t homeschool, but if you’re trying to befriend a homeschooling mom, it’s worth a shot. If she’s not impressed, just send the tea to me.
2. Bring her chocolate.
Chocolate may be a bit more universal among moms than sweet tea, so go ahead and give it a try for your friend-making overtures.
3. Make dinner for her.
I’m not even joking about this one. A busy homeschool mom may just burst into happy tears if you supply a hot, home-cooked meal cooked by someone other than her.
You know what? Maybe you should skip this one. It may be too much if you’re only trying to get her to like you. A proclamation of undying gratitude on her front porch may be awkward.
4. Compliment her children.
Don’t quiz them on math facts or spelling words. Don’t watch them suspiciously, as if you’re waiting for them to do something weird and unsocialized. Just give her kids a sincere compliment. What mom – homeschooling or otherwise – wouldn’t appreciate that?
5. Tell her she’s doing a good job.
Let me tell you a little secret about homeschooling moms: sometimes we doubt ourselves. It’s insanely encouraging when someone notices what we’re doing well and comments on it. Go ahead. Give it a try.
6. Invite her over for coffee.
She’ll enjoy getting out of the house for a few minutes of quiet, adult conversation. You may even be able to skip the talking and just let her enjoy the quiet. Of course, if her kids are young, you may have to take the coffee to her, in which case neither of you may get to enjoy the quiet, but the adult conversation will be appreciated.
7. Give her an Amazon gift card.
Yeah, seriously. She’ll love you.
8. Invite her kids over for a playdate.
If your kids and hers are near the same ages and you know the family well enough, invite the kids over for a playdate. Your homeschool mom would-be friend will enjoy having the house to herself for a little while or the chance to run some errands alone.
9. Respect her choices.
Because they’re just that – her choices. They’re not a commentary on yours. She didn’t make them lightly, and they’re not up for debate. You may not choose to homeschool, and that’s okay. She doesn’t expect you to. The two of you can make different choices for your families and still be friends. Really.
10. Respect her time.
She’s not sitting at her house watching soap operas and eating bonbons. No, she’s busy educating her kids who probably represent a variety of age and ability levels. She’s keeping house, grading papers, running errands, playing taxi service, preparing meals, and a dozen other responsibilities. She’d probably love to hang out with you, but when she says she’s busy, she really is busy.
Don’t take it personally when she turns down invitations. Respect the fact that she may not be able to get away – but maybe, every once in awhile, remind her that it would be good for her to take a little time for herself because sometimes we forget.
In all seriousness, homeschooling moms are just like anyone else. If you want to make a homeschooling mom like you, remember that old saying: To have a friend, be a friend.
Now, let’s have some fun. Homeschooling moms, what’s one not-so-serious way someone could make you like them?
Wow, This is certainly not a question I had thought of. However now that you addressed, it I think you suggestions are bang on. Any one that brings me gift cards, chocolate or coffee (instead of tea) is awesome in my books. Feel free to compliment my kids too. 😉 plus the no quizzing is great!
I once received an Amazon card as a thank you from an unexpected source (this was before Amazon was the #1 supplier of everything we need- it was just books). I was over the moon and had the hardest time deciding what to buy and I think I ended up getting a book I really wanted but couldn’t justify as a need at the time.
Yes, I had a similar experience just a couple of weeks ago – except I didn’t have any trouble at all deciding what to buy. lol
If someone would offer to take over geometry and physics lessons, I’d be a friend for life! Seriously, though, if someone has a specific skill, I would love for them to offer to mentor my kids. A retired teacher friend of mine taught one of my daughters all about gardening (something that I’m terrible at), and my daughter loved it. And it doesn’t even have to be a “mainstream” skill. I recently asked my niece to show my younger daughter how to do duct tape crafts. If you have something that you find delightful, offer to share it!
That’s a great idea! A homeschooled friend of my oldest’s taught her to knit. I have absolutely no idea how to knit, but Brianna makes beautiful blankets, hats, and scarves all the time. She’s always knitting something.
That list is very similar to ways I would recommend to get a public school teacher to like you! Tweak #4 to Compliment her students, #8 to Volunteer in her classroom, and #9 to Respect the constraints of the government requirements, and there you have it! Of course, #8 simply reinforces many people’s decision to homeschool, doesn’t’t it?!?
Love all of these — especially telling a homeschool mom she’s doing a good job 🙂 Happy New Year, Kris!
Years ago my daughter joined a community basketball league, where I knew no one. While sitting in the bleachers at practice, one of the other moms came up and introduced herself. Eventually, the question came up of which school my daughter attended. Sounding confident (but with inner fear) I said she was homeschooled. After a brief moment of silence, the other mom looked at me and said “Well, you must be doing it right.” I was a bit amazed (I was bracing for a snarky comment). That mom became my friend for the rest of the season.
Yes, I love those moments when you get a nice comment when you’re expecting a snarky one.
I think it’s too late for my brain to be working, but I read the title as How to make a Homeschool Mom Like You… as in *Similar* to you. So my brain is thinking…. MAKING a homeschool Mom?? And making one who’s LIKE me???
How. on, earth?
Anyway, you’ll be glad to know that I now know what you meant.
Maybe you ought to write a …. You know you’re a homeschool mom when you: – can’t read a normal sentence like normal people do.
Loved the list. Time with another adult would have been lovely for me when my kids were younger. I only now have one (he’s 12) being homeschooled, and our older daughter got *married* (how on EARTH did that happen?) this past year, so I’m at the stage of rose-tinted spectacles now, and can only remember the wonderfully good times of being at home with my young kiddos.
Love, Anne x
But wouldn’t it be nice to make at least ONE homeschool like you – a clone, if you will, but preferably a little better at math than I am. 🙂
Anne, I read it exactly the same way, at first! You’re not the only one!
I read it the same way! ?
Anne, That is exactly how I read it. I was so confused until I finally got it at the END of the article.
These are good and funny all at the same time. My favorite is #5. I absolutely doubt myself on a semi-regular basis. I have to say, though, getting a home cooked meal would be great! And I wouldn’t even cry or blubber on the giver-I would just be VERY thankful.
Number 9 is very astute. So often other mums do feel they are judged by our personal decision. They don’t realise that we are battling our own concerns that they are judging us based on their personal choices.
Great post, Kris!
I love this 🙂 My two favorite are the Amazon gift card (make it a biggie! LOL) and making a meal for their family. Awesome ideas.
I teach preschool on Tuesdays to homeschooled kids. Our little “school” has grown to over 350 students ages 3 to senior in high school and I think one of the reasons is that homeschooling moms need it. They need a day to themselves to plan or run errands. They need to meet each other and encourage and share. They love it when they know that their kids are having fun with new friends doing things that aren’t as available at home – like gym class and lunchroom- and they are learning all day long, too.
New follower here, BTW~
Sinea from Ducks n a Row
Thanks for following, Sinea!
I have a friend who regularly drops by with a bunch of Reese Cups just for me. I hide them in my closet and don’t share. And I don’t even feel a little guilty about it.
She’s my favorite friend. Lol
Yes, I think she would be my favorite, too. 🙂
I love this! All of these are so very true!