Having a community of supportive people is vitally important. We go through so much in life – happy times, sad times, devastating times – God never intended for us to go through it alone. He told Adam it was not good for him to be alone. It says in the Bible for us to not forsake gathering together as the body of Christ. So, being in community with other humans must be important.
A time in our lives when we definitely need a support group is the years we spend home schooling. The ups and downs we experience during those twelve years are crazy! There will be times we are convinced we are screwing our kids up and will replace our college funds with counseling funds. Other times we will be convinced our kids are geniuses, even if no one else can see it. We will have questions about curriculum, summer camps, schedules, food choices, dating… the list goes on and on – believe me! After 8 years of home schooling, I could write a book about the discussions I’ve heard at our local home school park days. This leads me to the reason for this blog. Find a group that will support you, speak truth to you, including painful truth, even when you don’t want to hear it, and has members who have been where you are. Someone who has just started on their homeschooling journey will not be able to advise you as well as a veteran homeschooler.
Facebook and Meetup are great places to find local homeschool groups. If you live in Florida, FPEA has a great list of groups broken down by counties. Googling “home school groups” in your area is another way to find a group. I suggest going to a “park day” where it is relaxed, the kids can play and you can mingle with the other parents. Going on a fieldtrip is not a good way to be introduced to the group in my opinion.
When you do find a gathering you want to check out, give the group at least three chances. If you choose to attend a park day, visit several times to get a good feel for the group. Depending on the time of year, participation will vary. Bring a chair. If the group you attend is anything like mine, you will be at the park for several hours. It is not unusual for me to get there at 2:30 and leave at 7. Get a bunch of moms together talking and the time flies! Don’t be shy. Take your chair and sit with the other moms. Remember, you and they are on the same journey, so you have things in common to talk about.
Having a community of people on the same path has been my saving grace many times. Don’t go on this journey alone. There is no need to. Keep searching until you find the community of parents you mesh well with and celebrate the victories and cry during the hard times. You’ll be better for it and so will your kids.
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