Choosing a Homeschool Support Group
A homeschool support group may be useful to encourage and support you in homeschooling choices. You may want to consider criteria such as home school curriculum and the support group style before choosing a homeschool support group.
Thinking about Your Criteria
Homeschool Support groups can provide a place to:
- Share ideas
- Learn new teaching techniques
- Preview materials without having to buy them
- Receive advice from more experienced homeschoolers
- Expand students’ opportunities for socialization
- Bulk order and split classroom supplies in order to save money
Your criteria for choosing a homeschool support group will partly depend on which of these uses (or other uses) you want or need the group to supply, as well as convenience for meeting times and other criteria such as curriculum/methods choices and mode.
Considering Homeschool Curriculum
If you already know the curriculum, method, etc. you’re planning to use, your search may be for a specific type of homeschool support group. You may wish to find a group that has a specific goal to use, say the Great Books Method. If you’re seeking advice and just getting started with your thoughts about how you wish to homeschool, you may want to find a more eclectic group or sample different homeschool support groups that may meet your needs and then decide.
Considering Support Group Style
Some homeschool support groups have weekly meetings, while others operate with a bulletin board, chat page, or e-mail. Some have members that live within a single community, and some have a broader membership base. You may wish to consider whether you will work best with people you see on a regular basis, or if you’d be comfortable with a homeschool support group that is only an on-line presence in your life.
A newer phenomenon is blogs that focus on the concerns of homeschooling or some particular dimension of it. Some blogs allow for comments, so a conversation can develop. Some are mainly a place for one person to journal his or her thoughts. But you may also find community blogs.
Finding a Homeschool Support Group
Some homeschool support groups are local, some are statewide, and some are national or international. Groups that are widespread may have individual chapters. Your state education department may be able to give you a list of homeschool support groups, and your local phone book may also be of use. A number of Internet sites give listings of homeschool support groups by state, including national directories, and state-run sites.
Specialized groups include those that focus on the beliefs of a particular religion (for example, Christian homeschool support groups), on a particular method (for example, Charlotte Mason support groups or Montessori support groups), or on some other trait held in common (homeschool military support group). Great Books hosts on-line discussions from its main site.
Written by Mary Elizabeth