Getting involved in the local homeschool community is a chance for your kids to participate in community projects with people of all ages from diverse backgrounds.
It’s not as difficult for homeschool children to make friends as the stigma makes it out to be. There are a plethora of easily accessible resources for children to connect with others, including co-ops, community sports, church, and local homeschool groups, to name a few. Connecting with your community will help your children build friendships while developing their social skills.
Building community with fellow homeschool parents is also an opportunity for you to grow your teaching skills and form new relationships with like-minded adults along the way. Here are nine ways you can start to get involved and build a homeschool community you can count on.
1. Meet Other Homeschool Parents
As a homeschool parent, when all of your time is spent teaching and taking care of your kids, you might be worried about connecting with other adults. Getting involved in your homeschool community will help you meet new people and connect with other moms and dads.
If you’re new to homeschooling, having a support system of people who can offer wisdom and advice in the face of challenges—or even cheer you on through successes—can be a game-changer. There’s a first time for everything, and it’s all easier with a great support system.
With other homeschool parents close by, over time, you might just discover a sense of dependability with each other. Feeling supported can be so empowering! After all, homeschooling can be challenging. It’s far easier when you have a group of like-minded individuals backing you up.
You might not have all the ideas for how to complete a specific homeschool task, but chances are, your fellow homeschool mom does. With a community to reach out to, you can exchange ideas and broaden your knowledge. And while we’re talking about ways to share the load, let’s talk about co-ops.
A co-op or homeschool group is one of the many different approaches families choose to homeschool their kids. It’s a group of homeschool families who meet up and work as a group to attain common goals. Co-ops can be organized around a multitude of interests, including school, social activities, service projects, crafts—just about anything.
Some school topics naturally create opportunities to be taught in a group setting, especially sports, drama class, or public speaking. It’s a nice change of pace when your kids can partner up with fellow homeschoolers for an educational debate and other activities.
Parents and teachers typically host group activities and classes, and the size of each group can vary drastically. Smaller co-ops usually consist of a few families, whereas larger co-ops may be made up of several hundred homeschool students.
Co-ops can meet just about anywhere; it’s at the parents’ discretion. They meet in churches, family homes, libraries, or community centers. Typically, co-ops meet once or twice a week during the school year, though how frequently a co-op meets is up to its organizers.
Finding a co-op is easier than you think. Start by networking with other homeschool families through social media, Facebook groups, email lists, and your local library. Odds are, someone in one of those groups is part of a co-op or knows of one you might be interested in.
If you are interested in a specific co-op, you’ll need to review their guidelines before joining. Some co-ops may have age, grade, or capacity guidelines that need to be followed. But, most co-ops are very accommodating.
3. Ask the Library
The library can be a central hub for the community. It’s a great place to hear about all the latest happenings in your town and get the 411 on local homeschool groups and co-ops. A lot of homeschool groups meet at the library weekly. Check out bulletin boards and flyers around the library. If all else fails, ask your local librarian. He or she can point you in the right direction. Your local church is the next place to go.
4. Ask Your Church
Several homeschool groups and co-ops have religious affiliations. Your church may have its very own co-op. Various homeschool groups meet in churches. Check bulletin boards and flyers and ask around the congregation. You’re sure to meet a fellow homeschool parent! You can discover more resources from regional homeschooling organizations.
5. Regional Homeschooling Organizations
The Home School Legal Defense Association has a collective list of homeschool resources for national organizations, state and local organizations, and other homeschool networks. Here, you can locate organizations, support groups, and co-ops in your area to take your homeschool experience to the next level. You can learn more about homeschool conventions in your area through regional homeschooling organizations.
6. Homeschool Conventions
Each state and region in the United States hosts different homeschool conferences and conventions. Homeschool conventions give you exclusive insight, comparing different curriculums as you learn from a panel of speakers.
Abeka attends homeschool conventions where our representatives take a deep dive into the different options available within the Abeka curriculum. You’re able to view the curriculum in person and speak one-on-one with Abeka representatives.
At homeschool conventions, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded adults who have opted to homeschool their children—the perfect opportunity to build community. Whether you attend conventions virtually or in person, you’re sure to develop friendships to enhance your family’s homeschooling experience.
7. Pursue Hobbies
The best way to make a new friend is through bonding over shared interests. Why not enroll your child in sports, music classes, or another activity that he or she is passionate about?
While they’re getting their energy out, you may make a new friend along the way too. If you’re looking to form relationships with like-minded adults, Abeka All Access is the Facebook group for you.
8. Abeka All Access
Abeka All Access was created as the premier destination for an inside scoop on all things Abeka. Connect with other homeschool families as they share daily life, from little victories to trials and tribulations. Play your part and shape how we serve you and others in our homeschool community. We’re all on this homeschool adventure together!
Beyond getting the 411 on Abeka, you’re joining a community of fellow homeschool parents who support and encourage each other on a daily basis. Other Abeka parents share tips, humor, and authentic moments from their everyday lives. And when you think you’ve exhausted all of your resources, don’t forget about Google!
9. Don’t Forget to Do a Google Search
Google tailors your search results to your location. You’ll discover homeschool resources you didn’t even know existed! If nothing else works, a quick Google search will save the day.
Finding a homeschool community is a game-changer. Community can boost your kids’ social development and mental and physical health while allowing you to connect with like-minded adults and become a better homeschool teacher.