As a homeschool educator, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed with too much advice from too many people. It can be challenging to know who to trust and what information to follow. Too much advice from too many people can lead to overload and frustration. It is important to find reputable sources of information and develop relationships with other homeschool educators. Taking the time to research and plan will help avoid becoming overwhelmed.
So what questions should you ask yourself when seeking a source for advice?
How do they earn a living? If they make money from the homeschool community (nothing wrong with that! I've been blessed to work from home helping the community), and they seem to be able to advise on "any topic," be leery. No one can be an expert on everything. If they seem always to have something to say about any style of homeschooling, family situation, curriculum, subject matter, or challenge, expect that at least some of the advice will be diluted.
What experience do they have? This might be why it's good to find a variety of trustworthy sources--and go to the source with the experiences you need. For example, I'm in several homeschool groups on social media. However, if I have a question about teaching my son with special needs, I head to a group with parents of special needs students who are homeschooling. I'm more likely to find higher-quality advice than just asking in a generic group about homeschool maths.
How much experience do they have? This does not mean that those who have years and years of experience mute out the advice of others--however, there is something to be said about the experience. Someone who has tried something with great, or not so great, results is in a better position to advise you based on what they went through. When someone who has been homeschooling for many years gives me their hard-earned wisdom, I listen.
What are their credentials and credentials verification? This goes with the last question but adds that personal experience may not be with their child. I know a speech therapist, psychologist, social workers, teachers, and tons of other professionals who also happen to homeschool. And you know what? About some topics, they know more than the average person--they just do. So when I had questions about my son's communication issues, you better believe I listened to the intuned speech therapist carefully when he piped in his advice. Sometimes people from my state ask questions about technicalities and legalities related to things like IEPs, 504s, and other educational gobbled-gook. No, I may not have personal experience with their exact problem. Still, after more than a decade of experience and the fact that I stay on top of educationally related things at the state and district levels... yeah, if I pipe up to answer a question, it's because I know something helpful.
In conclusion, home educators can ask themselves some questions to help them narrow down good sources of advice and avoid being overloaded. By being selective with the sources that they use, home educators can be more confident in the quality of the advice they receive.
Are you looking for a great source to find lots of great advice? Check out the Homeschool Super Heroes, an annual collection of various experts advising on topics near and dear to their hearts.
Over 500 total years of home school experience among the 2022 panel!