Monday, January 20, 2014

Homeschooling Essentials: Support

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

I'm so excited to be taking part in the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop with The Schoolhouse Review Crew!  Each day 90 bloggers will be writing about what they think are the most important homeschooling essentials.  First up for me is:


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 Funny Bunny was about three years old.  It of course didn't 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 Funny Bunny at the time and we were both in agreement.  Staying home indefinitely would be hard financially, but since it was on our radar since she was about three, 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 not sure it made sense to either side at the time.  Both had many questions and weren't quite sure she would get the same kind of education as if she we in school {got that right}.  ;)  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.  Groups are popping up all the time on Facebook, and make sure to check out Yahoo groups as well. Finding a well rounded and thriving support group will help you more than you know.

When Funny Bunny 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 7 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 Funny Bunny was "official", it was a breeze.

That particular group is now dissolved, but from that started a local online Facebook group that currently has more than 200 families.  Inclusion in the group is by invite only and all new members have to be approved {mainly just verifying they currently homeschool}.  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 benefitCo-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.  Both have their pros and cons so it sometimes takes trying them out to see if it is a good fit.  We currently aren't involved with one now, but I'm sure we will be as Funny Bunny gets older.

So there you go!  Our first homeschooling essential is SUPPORT!  I think it's so important and will get you through those pressing questions and ups and downs you have over the years!

Come back tomorrow to learn more about our next Homeschooling Essential!

But before you leave, see what nearly 90 other bloggers at The Schoolhouse Review Crew have to say, or start with these nine blogs below!

Erica @ Be the One
Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessing
Michelle @ Delightful Learning
Sharon @ Life with the Tribe
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio
Melanie @ FinchNWren
Brittney @ Mom’s Heart
Heather @ Principled Academy

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We were very blessed to know we were going to homeschool before we ever had children. Knowing that no matter how badly our day may go that my husband is 100% behind me is such a huge encouragement. We have dealt with family members not fully behind our homeschooling but over the years they have seen the result.

Our Homeschool Reviews

So thankful to have the support of my husband and family. I agree ~ an essential!

Our Homeschool Reviews

You shared some great points! This is very helpful! ~Heather @ Principled Academy/the Crew

Our Homeschool Reviews

Yes! To remember that my husband always tells "concerned" people that he fully supports and believes in our decision always makes me feel better when I'm doubting myself. His support is definitely essential!

Our Homeschool Reviews

It was slow here at first but I *think* they all agree it's working out. :)

Our Homeschool Reviews

I agree that having a hubby that is supportive is sooo helpful, especially on those bad days.

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