Your tribe. Your people. Your group of mom friends. Whatever you call it, a homeschool community is a must in this journey of educating your kids.
So many people are worried about socialization when it comes to homeschooling, but this is one of my smallest concerns. We have been SO lucky to always be plugged in with great communities of fellow homeschoolers.
Now, a lot of people hear about homeschooling and socialization and only think about the kids. How THEY will make friends. How THEY need to have connections and opportunities. You know what I say? Having a homeschool community is just as important for YOU, the parent.
I’ll be hitting on why homeschool community is so important for both your kids AND you.
#1. Having a community helps to build confidence- you’re not failing your kids!
We’ve all been there. Am I doing enough? Are my kids where they should be? Conversations like this come up all-the-time in our local homeschool group. Talking with other parents always gives me such a huge confidence boost that we are, in fact, not failing and that what we’re going through is so incredibly normal. Usually, I leave the conversation with so much assurance that we’re actually thriving.
#2. Having a community gives your kids the opportunity to hang with other homeschoolers.
My kids have a lot of friends from a lot of different places: our neighborhood, church, karate, Trail Life… But there’s something special about the bonds they form with other kids who are also homeschooled. In a society that sometimes labels homeschoolers as outcasts, when homeschooled kids are together they know they’re with their people who “get it”. They understand doing school on their couch in their pajamas is just a normal, everyday occurrence that doesn’t need questioned.
#3. Having a community gives you others to bounce ideas off of.
What curriculum should I use?! What curriculum do YOU use?! I have loved, loved, loved being able to have these conversations with other parents! It’s opened my eyes to so many different methods of homeschooling and so many curriculum choices I had never heard of. I’ve had the opportunity to get my hands on a book and look through it before buying it. Because, let’s face it, as a curriculum junkie myself, I LOVE sharing with other parents and telling them why I love (or don’t love) the curriculum we have.
#4. Having a community gives you the opportunity to get out there in the world.
Field Trips! Classes! Co-ops! Oh, my! If we can find an excuse to get out of the house, we take it. We do SO much learning out in the world with our homeschool friends. My kids are able to attend a science class with a former NASA employee, they’re able to go to one of the most famous zoos in the country, and they’re able to explore our local beach and tide pools, ALL because of our homeschool community! There are many, many times I wouldn’t get out and take my kids to some of the amazing places we have gone if it wasn’t for someone in our community who took the initiative and planned an outing or a class.
So, let me add to these real quick. Maybe you’ve been a part of a homeschool community and you’ve been burned. I’ve heard of these groups. They’re cliquey, they’re exclusive, and sometimes, they’re down right rude. Oh, my dear friend. Please keep looking. We have been so blessed by our local groups and I know deep down in my heart you will be, too.
Don’t have a group in your area? START ONE!! One of the groups I’m a part of right now and the most active in was started by a friend of mine who saw a need for a certain niche of homeschoolers and went for it! You don’t need to be a homeschool guru or a seasoned homeschooler to start a group. You just need to be a parent looking for a need in your community and filling that need.
Are you a part of a homeschool community? What are some of your favorite things about being involved in your homeschool tribe? Let me hear it all in the comments! And don’t forget to join me over on my online homeschool community!