One of the earliest thoughts to consider when you’re beginning to homeschool is whether or not to join a support group of some kind. My answer? It depends on you! No matter what kind of homeschooler—and really, no matter what kind of person—you are, you do need support in this endeavor. After all, you’re bucking the system and your kids aren’t going to school. Like everyone else does. Seriously. Everybody goes to school, and oh, my goodness, your kids don’t. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has those thoughts every so often.) But really, this is a very different thing we’re doing and it’s good to have the support of like-minded people, especially when you’re starting out.
When we first decided to homeschool I wasn’t a member of any kind of group. My son’s friends were still young and not in school yet, so we just spent time with our “regular” friends. (Yes, I know that term kind of implies that we’re irregular, which we probably are. Now that I’m 37, I’m learning to embrace it.) I didn’t even know anyone in real life who was planning to homeschool, so I eventually started looking around online. Ami found me stumbling around a general homeschooling forum and directed me to an online group of homeschooling moms from all over that I’ve now known for six years—and I’ve gotten to meet many of them in real life since then!
As my son got a little older, we tried out a homeschooling group in our new town. I quickly found that I couldn’t keep up with everything they had going on! I met an online friend who lived nearby and through her I found the group we’re a part of now, though we don’t participate in a lot of things. Since my husband works late many nights and has a somewhat unpredictable schedule, evening meetings don’t work for me. Also, I try to keep our days relatively unscheduled during the school year so that we actually have time at home to learn a thing or two. Still, it’s nice to know that there are like-minded mamas nearby if I have questions.
So, is a support group for you? Maybe so! Think about what you want out of a homeschool group. Is it activities for the kids? Inspiration for you? People you can sit with and confess about how horribly the last two weeks have gone and know that they will nod sympathetically and get you a refill on your Coke? There are many types of groups out there (just Google “Oklahoma homeschool support groups” and you’ll see!), so research them carefully. If you don’t feel like you need a group you can meet with in person, look around online and you can find all kinds of online communities that are tailored to your specific style of homeschooling.
We live in a time when homeschooling is growing every year and there are so many resources available. Whatever you decide to do, don’t go it alone!