Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Homeschooling Support

Before homeschooling even becomes a reality, I think it is so important to have the support of your friends, family, and community!

Start with your family first

Discuss it with your spouse.  What are your goals?  Are they in agreement?  Make a plan.  Will he or she help with teaching?  Are the children on board?  Are they excited?  Do you have the support of the grandparents?  Will they have a role?

For us, homeschooling was something we started considering when our daughter was about three years old.  It didn't really become a reality until she stayed home for Kindergarten and was only official when she didn't enroll in First Grade.  Hubby and I knew that this was the right move for her at the time and we were both in agreement.  Staying home indefinitely would be hard financially, but it was on our radar since she was about three, so we saved up.

The grandparents on the other hand, weren't quite as sure.  Homeschooling was new and never attempted in either family.  I'm sure it didn't make sense to them at the time.  Both had questions and weren't quite sure she would get the same kind of education as if she were in school.  It took some time for them to understand our decision and become comfortable with it {and that's really all you can hope for}.

Find a local support group

Search online for a support group in your area and get involved.  Facebook is a great place to start. Finding a well rounded and thriving support group will help you more than you know.

When our daughter was three we joined a local homeschooling group which just happened to have a preschool subgroup.  Her and I both met some wonderful families that we are still friends with now over 10 years later.  I had so many questions back then and it was helpful to talk with moms who could steer me in the right direction.  By the time she was "official", it was a breeze.

From that small group, we started a local Facebook group that currently has more than 400 families.  Inclusion in the group is by invite only and all new members have to be currently homeschooling school aged children and local to the area.  Any member can start an activity or smaller group and we have been able to become involved in many things we otherwise would not have been.  Oh, and the online support and encouragement is AMAZING!!  

If you aren't having any luck finding a local group, try searching for your state on Homeschool World.  This is the most comprehensive site I have found but you could always just Google homeschool groups in your city or state.

Join a Co-op

Sometimes it's just easier for everyone when you have a group you are meeting with on a regular basis for accountability.  A cooperative, or co-op, is an autonomous association of persons who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual, social, economic, and cultural benefit.  Co-ops come in all shapes and sizes and finding the right one for your family is important.

We've been involved in many co-ops over the years.  Some which have included core subjects like math and history and others that just covered things like nature study and art.  Sometimes it takes trying one out to see if it is a good fit.  We have been involved with Classical Conversations for her 7th and 8th grades years.


So there you go! I think having a good support system is so important! For other homeschooling questions, take a look at these Homeschool FAQs.

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