I can’t believe we are on Day 7 of the 10 Days of Self-Care For Homeschooling Moms! If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out the rest of the series to find out more about how to take care of yourself so that you can be the best momma you can be. Today we’re focusing on why we all need a homeschool community and how to build your own.
Why Communities Are Important
I know it might make a few of you cringe, but I’m going to bring up the dreaded “s”-word of homeschooling. Socialization. But I’m not talking socialization for your kids. I’m talking about socialization for YOU! Sorry introverts, (myself included), this means you, too.
Here are some of the reasons why you should socialize in the homeschool community:
- You don’t have to feel alone. It’s easy to feel like an island when it seems like everyone around you send their kids to public school.
- You need to be able to talk with other moms that can understand you. Nothing is better for a burned-out mom than being able to talk to another mom that can relate to what they’re going through. Empathy is a powerful tool for making connections and building relationships.
- You can get valuable advice from other moms who have had similar experiences. Knowing a group of like-minded friends can really help in moments when you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem happening with your kids or your homeschool. There are other moms out there who have been through similar experiences and may have suggestions you can try out.
- You can get great ideas and learn about new resources from members of your community. There are so many great resources and curriculums out there. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Other moms can give you an idea of what they’ve enjoyed using and you get a better idea of whether or not it would be a good fit for your kids.
- You can encourage one another. When you’re feeling down, it’s always nice to be able to reach out to someone who will listen and knows what to say to keep you moving forward.
The Local Homeschool Community
Finding a community does take effort. Since a homeschool community is more spread out than a public school community, it’s more difficult to find out where the local homeschool families are at.
How do you find other homeschool moms in your neighborhood?
Word of mouth. Most of your neighbors don’t homeschool their kids, but they definitely know someone who does. Just by mentioning that you homeschool, many times people will take that as an invitation to tell you all about the people that they know that homeschool their kids. That’s a good thing! If they’re local, find out more. If it seems like a good fit, then be brave and make the effort to meet them!
Distance Programs and Co-ops. Some charter schools have distance education programs that meet weekly or organize field trips that the distance students can be involved in. Co-ops are made up of a group of homeschool families that work together to create a classroom setting for their kids to learn in. Ask around in your neighborhood or check social media groups to find out what co-ops there might be in your area. It’s a great way to get involved in a homeschool community and mingle with other moms.
Parks. It’s funny to say that, but it’s true. Homeschool families love parks. If you’re looking to meet new homeschool moms, scout out the parks in your neighborhood during public school hours. Families with older kids at the park are a dead giveaway that they are homeschoolers.
The Online Homeschool Community
Despite its shortcomings, the internet and social media are great ways to create a homeschool community. Tens of thousands of homeschoolers get online every day to talk about homeschooling, share ideas, and look for encouragement.
Social media is by far one of the easiest and most popular ways to connect with other homeschool moms. There are so many groups out there to interact with.
Find social media groups that are relevant to you and your family by searching for groups that fit with your:
- location (state, county, city, region)
- teaching method or homeschool philosophy (classical education, Charlotte Mason inspired, unschooling, etc.)
- religious affiliation or secular beliefs
There really is a group for everyone. Don’t just join groups, be active and participate in them. If you’re struggling with something, post about it in the group it is most relevant to your need and you’re sure to find someone who can offer a word of advice to help.
A Small Disclaimer
The homeschool community is just like every other community out there. There are many people out there that have a wide variety of differing opinions on homeschooling. They may or may not agree with your method and ideas and may not be kind when they share their opinions with you.
That’s why it’s important to build YOUR community. Find people that serve the purpose of the community you want to build. Find people that build you up, help you out, and are willing to lend a listening ear.
It’s good for your soul to fill your life with people that will lift you up and inspire you on your homeschool journey.
More on homeschool communities:
- Learn more about the power of community from Tiny Buddha.
- This is a great resource to help find local homeschool support groups in your area!
You’ll Also Love:
- Be sure to check out the entire 10 Days of Self-Care For Homeschooling Moms series!
- How Homeschool Moms Can Find Happiness Through Hobbies