Homeschooling Support Groups

Homeschooling support groups are made up of families who mentor and inspire each other. They are great sources of information and homeschool encouragement, and provide social opportunities for the entire family.

Many homeschooling organizations sponsor homeschooling activities, like park days, science fairs, debate teams, chess clubs, field trips, book clubs, coops, choir, and spelling and geography bees.

Some home school support groups even host used book sales or order supplies as a group to receive discounts on shipping. Others make arrangements to provide meals for moms who have new babies or families who are facing a crisis or emergency.

Choosing a Homeschool Support Group

Libraries, bookstores, churches and homeschool events are great places to find homeschool support groups. Here are some things to consider before choosing a group:

  • Are all homeschoolers welcome? Or does it focus on a specific religion, method, curriculum or activity? Groups that welcome families of all religions are known as "inclusive" groups. Some religious groups will require members to sign a Statement of Faith that acknowledges they understand the group's beliefs.

  • Is the group structured or informal? Some groups are comprised of a few mothers and their children who want to hang out in each other's homes once a week. Others have a membership roster in the hundreds; thus, creating the need for rules, bylaws, elected officers, committees and dues.

  • How frequent are the meetings? Groups can meet weekly, bi-weekly or once a month. Some organizations may use a yahoo group or homeschool forum as their main form of interaction.

  • How are meetings conducted? A highly structured group will have a set agenda, and may even feature a guest speaker. Some groups discourage children from attending meetings, and may provide on site babysitting services.

  • What level of commitment is required? Will you be asked to bring snacks to a meeting, join a committee, plan a field trip or pay dues? Make sure you are comfortable with the group's financial structure and required level of involvement.

Before joining a home school support group, take time to make sure the group meets your family's needs. You may have to attend several functions in order to decide whether or not the group is a good fit for your family.

Here are some tips for starting your own homeschooling support group.

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