Don’t Homeschool in a Vacuum, Find a Support Group
May 30th, 2013 posted by Randa Clay
Homeschooling can be challenging, especially in the early years, when you’re still sorting through the zillions of curriculum choices and learning how to best work with your kids. Fortunately, as homeschooling grows in popularity, there are many sources of support available, so we don’t need to feel alone as we push through the days. One of the best ways to get ideas and help is a homeschool support group or association. Often these groups will have monthly meetings on various topics, do field trips and park days together, organize PE and sports activities, and more. It’s a great place for you and your kids to find lasting friendships.
How to Find a Support Group
To find a support group, the obvious solution is to ask other homeschoolers that you meet if they are a part of one or know of one. But, if you’re new to an area, or new to homeschooling all together your acquaintance among other homeschooling families may be limited. The first thing I would do is to do a search on the internet for your local area and the words “homeschool support group” or “homeschool association”. Even if you don’t plan to participate in a co-op, contacting those who organize a co-op in your area to ask about support groups is a good idea.
There are several online directories which might help you to search for a group in your area:
Can’t find a support group in your area? Start one!
The support group I’m a part of was started as a result of the founder putting a small ad in her neighborhood newsletter and inviting other homeschoolers to her home for coffee. What started out with 6 families 5 years ago has grown to 120 families so far! This is not the time to be shy. Start networking with homeschoolers you meet at church, at the playground, at the homeschool conference, or wherever!
Finding Support Online
If you live in a more remote area, one where there are not many homeschoolers, or just can’t find a group that is the right fit, there are still ways you can connect with homeschoolers online. There are some great forums where members share ideas and even buy and sell used curriculum. When looking for a good forum, be sure to check how recent the last post dates are and what topics are being discussed. If you don’t see anything posted in the last several days, it’s probably not a very active forum.
The bottom line is that you will have difficult days or even months as a homeschooler. There will be times you are not sure what to do and there are so many who have gone before you who would love to answer questions, brainstorm ideas or just hang out. I don’t believe it “takes a village” to homeschool, but sometimes a village sure is helpful.
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