How To Find A Homeschool Support Group That's Right for You
Image: Jerry Bunkers/Creative Commons
I'll admit it: I was hesitant about joining a homeschool support group. My daughter had plenty of friends -- girls she played with after gymnastics, neighborhood kids, not to mention cousins and kids she goes to church with. Our schedule was so packed that I hesitated to add any more activities or people to our already busy life. But then it hit me: I wasn't worried about her ability to socialize (I already know all about the social benefits of homeschooling), I just wanted her to know she wasn't alone -- that there are other children just like her learning at home with their mom or dad too.
I did a quick search on the internet and called a woman from the first group I found. The conversation went great, and I found myself feeling really encouraged after talking with a seasoned homeschooler who had wisdom and advice to share. But, when I met with the group in person, it wasn't a good fit. Not only were most of the children much older than my 6-year-old daughter (they were teenagers), but the group was geared towards children with diabilities (something the mom I spoke with never mentioned). Strike one.
After a few months of working up the courage to try again, I joined an online group and posted the town I lived in and asked if anyone had an elementary-aged child who lived close by. Well, I got the shock of a lifetime when I learned that not only was there a girl the same age as my daughter, but she lived on our same street! The girls hit it off instantly, as did the mother and I. This friendship has been such a blessing to me and has offered me so much encouragement and support on a regular basis -- and it all started with joining a group!
So, now it's your turn. Think about your physical location, homeschool approach, religious background, and your child's special interests/needs -- let these preferences guide your search. You can also decide to join a few different groups, like one that is big on field trips, another that offers an art co-op, and another which is strictly online as a place to ask questions and discuss curriculum options.
To search by state visit:
Groups geared towards people with a shared set of beliefs or unbeliefs:
- Catholic Homeschool Support
- Beginning Homeschooling (Christian)
- Latter Day Saints Home Education
- Jewish Homeschool Groups
- Islamic/Muslim Groups
- Secular Homeschool
For parents with a special needs child:
For even more options, visit the Yahoo Groups page and type "Homeschool" plus your state or region. Happy support-group hunting!
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