Safety in Numbers. What is the value of knowing you are not alone? Priceless. Let’s face it, many people in our lives have still not caught up with the idea that home education is a GOOD thing for children and for society as a whole. We who homeschool our children are still looked upon by some with suspicion. Being part of a larger group who also thinks it’s great to home educate can be empowering. Sure, we might be weird, but we are not the ONLY weird ones. Being around others who share our values in education can give us that boost to keep on, on those days we feel like giving up.
Share ideas and tips, learn from one another. While parents don’t have to be super creative to home educate, it sure helps to have a steady source of ideas for those days when the usual methods are just not working. Support groups are filled with parents who have strengths in areas you might not have, who can offer ideas to get unstuck. Support groups that contain families with a variety of backgrounds can offer perspectives on issues that you might not have thought of. And knowing that you might just have the missing piece to help another family’s struggles is rewarding.
That dreaded S word.Just as it is important for our well- being to know that we are not alone in this homeschool lifestyle, so too it’s important for our children. No one at any age wants to feel left out, or undue attention placed on them for being different. Support groups offer our children opportunities to connect with other children just like them. While we all tire of the stereotypical questions of homeschooled children and socialization, there is truth that our children will thrive when they interact with peers who also learn at home.
An understanding and sympathetic ear. Sometimes we just need to vent, to cry, scream or wail when things are not going according to ‘plan’. Who else but fellow homeschoolers can understand that just because we say we are calling the public school tomorrow and marching our children down there to enroll them, that we don’t REALLY mean it? We said it last week too. We’ll probably repeat it next month as well. Not just anyone is equipped to suspend judgments and allow us to release our frustrations in a safe space. Only those who said it themselves yesterday.
Fun. We all can get so caught up in the day to day struggle, when it doesn’t even need to be a struggle that we lose sight of the fact that this homeschool life is meant to be FUN. Sometimes we just need to go have some silliness with ‘our people; the ones who get us, who know our secret struggles and love us anyway. Support groups can create activities for the whole family that help us remember to laugh together and build bonds that make us all stronger.