Another very important key to homeschooling success is to build yourself a support system. But why, and how, should you find support?
A homeschool support group traditionally consists of several homeschool families that get together in person for various meetings or events, with the purpose of connecting socially, providing opportunities for kids to interact with other homeschool kids, and to get access to things like field trips or classes.
In today’s technological world, support groups aren’t limited to the homeschoolers in your local community. We are blessed to be able to connect with homeschooling families from around the world through online groups – opening up a whole new set of support networks that didn’t exist not that long ago. We’re able to find people from all walks of life who are experiencing the same day-to-day struggles, successes, and questions we have
- social opportunities for both kids and parents
- field trip opportunities (and sometimes group discounts!)
- someone to “talk shop” with – about curriculum, methods, learning styles, etc.
- encouragement from other people with the same experiences
- people who “have your back” against opposition
- wisdom and experience from veteran homeschoolers
How to find a group:
When you are trying to find a support group for your homeschooling experience, you want to ideally find people who are going through the same kind of journey as you. Although similar geographic location is one that is a good place to start, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
- If you are homeschooling a child with special needs of any sort, search for a group around that need.
- Look for a group that is built around the same faith as you have.
- Check for a group based on the grade ranges/ genders / interests of your child(ren).
- Find a group that is using the same curriculum choices as you.
Where to find a group:
To find a local in-person group, try these two tips:
1. Look up your province’s homeschool support website and see if they have a listing of any groups that are near you.
2. Check out Facebook for a local or provincial group. Often these Facebook communities offer connections to smaller, active groups to get involved with – or at least can point you in a good direction.
3. Look into events held at your local library, art gallery, or YMCA – often they have classes available for homeschooling families. That means that a local bunch of homeschooling families will all be in one place at one time – meaning that you can connect with them one on one and discover what support groups are around.
Some Facebook groups:
This is by no means a comprehensive list of every group available. It’s just a list of some groups I’m aware of that might be a good fit for you. 🙂 Most of these groups are “closed” – which means that you will need to request to join them. If you don’t get a response, I recommend sending a message to an admin so that they know you are real! 🙂
- Homeschool Swap: Canada
- Christian Canadian Homeschoolers
- Ontario Homeschoolers
- I homeschool in Saskatchewan!
- Manitoba Association for School at Home
- BC Unschoolers/Homeschoolers
- Northern Canada Home Based Learning
- Association québécoise pour l’éducation à domicile
- Homeschooling on the spectrum: Autism, aspergers, PDD
- Special Needs Homeschooling Nova Scotia
- Muslim Homeschool and Education
- Charlotte Mason Homeschool
I hope that you can connect with some other homeschoolers – online and/or in person. It truly can make the difference between succeeding in your journey and crumbling under the strain.
Tomorrow, we’ll be discussing the essential of “having a plan.”