When a family decides to start homeschooling, they put a lot of thought, time, and many times, prayer into it. Then one day, they take the plunge. They do all their research, choose curriculum, and then begin the day in, day out adventure. It might start out as fun mornings filled with read alouds and sunny afternoons doing nature study outside, but no matter what, these dreamy days will inevitably degrade into mom hiding in the bathroom at some point. Nobody has perfect days every day. So where do you go when you feel like you can’t teach another multiplication lesson? Who do you talk to when you’re so tired of hearing cccccccccc—aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa—ttttttttttt that you just want to cry? It’s in these moments that your homeschool support team is crucial. But where do you find them?
I’ve been homeschooling now for four years and feel like I have a pretty strong support system in place. I want to share with you all some of the places I find the support I need to get through the day to day struggles. I hope this list helps you find support in your community.
My family is my number one source of support. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but my family is amazing. If you have family members that are supportive of your homeschool journey, embrace them! Even if they don’t subscribe to the same philosophy as you, they are incredibly valuable. Many people don’t have family support, so if you do, don’t take it for granted! My mom and my mother-in-law both are willing to help out with the kids, like to be involved in field trips, love reading aloud to them, and are helpful when I need to bounce curriculum ideas. Even if your family knows nothing about homeschooling, keep them a part of your children’s life. Relationships with older relatives are a great benefit of homeschooling since it should (in theory) clear up more time to spend with them.
2: Local Homeschool Support Groups
Local homeschool groups are great for finding support and resources. They can connect you to other homeschooling families, help you find local co-ops, provide field trip opportunities, and more! The group I’m a member of is very active and a source of encouragement for me on a daily basis through their facebook group. It’s great to be a part of a local group! You can find your local groups with a simple Google search for “homeschool support groups – your state”. As you search, you can find groups that are Christian or secular, based on your needs.
3: Facebook Groups
This goes along with the previous point, but on a larger scale. A Facebook search for “homeschool support” will return hundreds of results. You can find local Facebook groups which can be helpful with figuring out homeschool law in your state as well as finding local clubs and co-ops. You can also find Facebook groups that relate to your particular curriculum choice (AmblesideOnline, Story of the World, Math Mammoth – read our review of Math Mammoth here!, etc.), your homeschool style (Charlotte Mason, classical education, eclectic, etc.), or even just groups for tired homeschooling moms. Ha! Facebook is a great place to find support.
Church can be a wonderful resource for finding homeschool support! You may not have any homeschool moms in your church, but if you do, make an effort to connect with them! Those families have at least two things in common with you – their school choice and their church choice. Get connected to those families and you will both be better for it.
Your local library is a great place to find other homeschooling families! Go during the day and you’re pretty likely to bump into a mom with her kids there. Say hi and introduce yourself! Some libraries also have activities for homeschoolers that you can attend to meet other families.
6: State Conservation Departments
Do you have a nature center nearby? If they do classes, it’s worth checking to see if they have classes available for homeschoolers. If they do, those classes are a great place to connect with other homeschooling families. Our local nature center has homeschool classes every other month. My kids love going to get to spend time with other kids and I love visiting with the other moms.
A really good way to make face to face connections is through local co-ops. They really force you to get out there and meet people. If you’re looking for support, be sure to choose a co-op where parents are involved instead of a drop off co-op. Getting to know the other families there can be a great way to build lasting relationships.
The importance of finding homeschool support
Having support in your homeschooling journey is crucial. Don’t try to go it alone! There are so many ways to find support, all you have to do is reach out! I have heard of many families who struggle through alone. The moms are exhausted. They feel like they are doing a terrible job and wonder if their children would be better served attending a public school. They look at their messy house, their baskets of laundry, and their unwashed hair and long for a day to themselves. Then when they get one and choose to rest instead of clean, guilt plagues them.
Reach out. You are not alone. And you are not a bad mom, wife, or teacher if your home is not perfect, your floors are not swept, or if you yelled at your kids twelve times yesterday. When you have the support you need, you are able to evaluate your situation, reach out in areas where you need help, and excel at what you’re the best at. Life never looks so hard when there are others going through the same struggles by your side.
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