It’s natural to feel isolated even when you are confident that homeschooling is a lifestyle that your family has chosen for very sound reasons. We all need someone who shares similar philosophies of parenting, homeschooling, etc. to bounce ideas and problems off and to share joys and sorrows.
For information, personal growth and strengthening of resolve during difficult days, which come whether you homeschool or not, it is refreshing and invigorating to find an oasis of comfort and encouragement to restore and clarify our vision for our families.
Making a connection
Two main avenues for getting help and support from others will be lifesavers when you’re drowning in questions, doubts or just basic housework and discipline problems. The first is local support groups. These are great because here you can meet face to face with others who have been where you are or are right in there with you, facing similar issues and situations on a daily basis.
Local homeschool groups can be found by contacting your state homeschool organization or by simply performing a search on your state and the word “homeschool.” Local groups often have monthly meetings, field trips, conferences, and many join together in co-ops where moms share the teaching of a group of homeschool children.
As a starting point, the Homeschool Central has a listing of state organizations, the summary of state laws, and updates on current homeschool issues, as well as news about homeschoolers and statistics about homeschooling, and frequently asked questions.
The internet is the other avenue to find support. You can browse family homeschool websites, magazines, message boards. You can join clubs like Yahoo’s Homeschooling Families or Homeschooling Preschoolers
Kaleidoscapes is a great place with a variety of message boards related to homeschooling and unschooling. Especially helpful to newcomers is the Newbie FAQ Board.
Visit egroups.com and perform a search on the word “homeschool” to pick from the 695 email groups listed there. Tons of email from other homeschoolers could soon be coming your way and you’ll have more information than you know what to do with.
Another place to find other homeschoolers is vegsource.com. You can browse the message boards, chat and buy used books and curriculum as well. Another interesting message board is Abundant Living with a variety of topics related to homesteading and simple living, as well as homeschooling.
To see what other homeschooling families do during a typical day and to get a flavor for the differing styles and personalities who homeschool check out HomeschoolFun Magazine’s Typical Days and Homeschoolers Speak departments. Homeschool families who have their own websites specifically tailored for homeschooling early learners can also be a great wealth of encouragement and information.