Homeschooling is on the rise and so are people looking to connect with other like-minded homeschoolers. Many parents are on the search for other families with similar goals and interests in relation to their schooling choices to connect with.
Where do you begin?
Just because another parent homeschools their child, doesn’t mean that you are going to have much in common with them. People homeschool for different reasons. Ironically, it reminds me of the misconception that sending your children to public school will automatically help them to socialize. When the reality of the matter is, the halls of the public school are filled with so many different types of students with different goals, interests and backgrounds that just because a child is thrown into that situation does not mean they will immediately find someone that is easy to relate to. It’s the same with homeschooling.
Building relationships and friendships take time. So, if you do reach out to other homeschoolers and feel at a loss when you first begin, do not lose heart. If God called you to the ministry of homeschooling, then He will provide what you need in due time. If you are looking for a seasoned mom to glean from, pray that God will lead you to her. If you are hoping for some God-fearing children for your children to play with, pray and you might be surprised how God answers your prayers.
Not only do relationships and friendships take time but they also take work. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly.” Reach out. Be vulnerable and show yourself friendly to others, you never know where it might lead.
If you are looking for some practical ways to find other homeschoolers, to basically put yourself out there and see what will happen, then you can try the following options.
Join Your State’s Homeschool Group
Most states have a statewide group that provides support for a small, annual fee. Our state provides annual conventions, mom retreats, homeschool leadership retreats and phone council if needed.
Connect With The Homeschoolers In Your Church Or Community
If you know of other homeschoolers in your church or other local groups that you are a part of, invite them over for dinner. You never know, you might find that you have more in common than you realize. Aside from church, I’ve made friends with random homeschoolers that I’ve met at the local library and even the farmer’s market. There might be more like-minded folk out there than you realize who are also looking for good, quality, connections.
Join A Local Co-op
Most homeschoolers are familiar with the concept of a co-op. I’ve personally never joined one because it seems like I am always pregnant or nursing so the commitment of a co-op usually seems to be a bit much. Usually in this situation each of the parents take turns teaching classes once a week, or once a month. Parents that I know that have done it love the opportunity for their kids to get together with other children.
Find A Local Support Group
A support group is different than a co-op in that there are no classes to teach and it is usually a bit more laid back. The support group that I am a part of is wonderful. It provides parents with a monthly meeting to connect. The kids play, the parents talk and plans are put in order for field trips or activities for the following month. I’ve made several good friends this way.
Join Classical Conversations
Though a bit pricy, many families thrive on this model of homeschooling because it provides their children with weekly interaction with children their own age who are working towards the same goal. All the parents are using the same curriculum throughout the week put out by Classical Conversations so everyone is on the same page. Then, there are weekly classes where the students come together to learn, dictate and glean from one another. There are also piles of opportunities for the students to work together throughout the year on different projects such as science fairs, debates and so much more.