Homeschooling Support Groups: 7 Questions to Ask Before Joining One
Many veteran homeschoolers advise other homeschoolers to join a homeschooling support group. They can provide encouragement, support, advice on state standards, and socialization. There are so many support groups available that there is likely to be a meeting in your area. Before joining a homeschooling support group, you’ll want to ask a few questions to make sure this group is right for your family.
1. When are the meetings held and how are they held? Do the meetings fit your schedule? Are you meeting during naps or when your husband doesn’t want you to leave? Are they scheduled regularly or only as needed? Are they meeting too often, longer than you have to attend, or almost the right amount?
2. What is required of me? Is there a membership fee or time commitment required? Do I need to sign a statement of faith or can someone participate?
3. Do most homeschoolers have the same homeschooling philosophy as I do, or is there a variety? Do I have enough in common with the members of this group to feel comfortable or benefit from their feedback?
4. Do you have someone I can contact if you are new to homeschooling or need help along the way?
5. Do they communicate well? Is there a phone or email system set up to relay messages about group events?
6. Are there enough or too many activities you can participate in? If a group is not actively involved in meetings or activity planning, they may not get the help or support they need. On the other hand, if the group is too active and makes you feel like you need to be in most of the activities, it can hamper your school year at home and cause you to burn out.
7. Is everyone doing their part or is only a few people doing all the work? If everyone does at least a little bit and contributes their special talents, then they will see that the group and leadership are well run and satisfied.
As with everything in life, balance is the key to finding the right support group for your family. You need to know what you want and what you are willing to give to a support group. If you decide that this is not the right time in your life to join a support group, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for making that decision. Sometimes one or two homeschooling friends you can turn to for support or advice may be all you need. If you want to join a homeschooling support group, these questions will help you find a group that meets your needs.