and How to Get Connected
is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no
man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself
day and age, homeschoolers represent a market. There are many
businesses catering to homeschoolers' needs -- or perceived needs.
When first starting out it can be especially tempting to sign
up for a multitude of classes or experiences that are being sold
to you, rather than putting your energy into a grassroots network
such as a local homeschool support group. Before you know it,
your days are filled with activity and you don't look back.
intangibles you'd be missing out on -- real connection with other
homeschoolers and personal empowerment -- might be some of the
best kept secrets of homeschooling, as well as what would sustain
you on this path in the end. It's worth putting some time and
effort in, and yes, if shy getting your courage up, to figure
out how to insinuate yourself into a group of homeschoolers, rather
than falling for prepackaged deals that leave you with a busy
day void of meaningful relationships and a depleted wallet.
Steps to take in building connection with other homeschoolers:
Acts create connection: give of yourself.
Make spending time with other adults a priority; schedule
Be patient. Connections are built one relationship at a
support groups work
Support groups range in their level of organization, from
loose groups of people who get together from time to time, to
highly organized groups with missions and boards. Some are inclusive
and welcome everyone; others cater to a certain educational philosophy
or religion. It is fine to try out a few and see where you feel
comfortable, or to start your own.
support groups can act as frameworks for networking, communication
and support. It is important to realize that subscribing to a
newsletter or email list does not magically make you part of some
deeper pre-existing community. Ready-made communities don't exist;
they are an illusion. You must put time and effort in to forge
friendships. You get from the experience what you put into it.
activities, such as field trips, get-togethers, or classes, often
depend on the unique energies and interests individuals bring
to the group. Events and activities can be planned by individuals,
or in collaboration with others. It is empowering to realize that
you, children included, can create the opportunities and experiences
you want for yourselves.
attending a meeting or event, be sure to introduce yourself as
a homeschooler. A good way to meet people is to extend yourself:
organize a field trip or other event, edit a newsletter, host
a support meeting.
of rituals and social events you can organize:
History and science
Monthly support meetings
Weekly field games
Meeting at ponds, parks, playground hopping
Indoor gym play and skating
Book, game and puzzle swaps
Another level of interaction is the swapping of expertise and
interest between homeschooling parents and others' children. People
have been known to organize homeschooler-led groups in literature,
writing, including historical fiction and child-published newspapers,
history, classic films, math, including logic and set theory,
Math Counts, Destination Imagination, art, knitting/sewing clubs,
pet clubs, singing, storytelling, theatre groups, and more. Some
people charge a nominal fee for leading a class. Others feel that
as they give, so will they receive, and gladly put their energies
into the "pot." In addition to the obvious "educational"
benefits of all these interactions, whole families get to know
one another, lives intersect, and interdependence develops.
a local Support Group.
information on this website does not constitute legal advice;
it is provided for informational purposes only.