Advertise Your Homeschool Support Group
Advertising your homeschool support group is an important part of starting a group and keeping it going. Indeed, it's the only part of starting a group that continues for the life of the group. Here are a few tips to get the word out.
- Follow up all leads for potential members, especially “friends of friends” you hear are homeschoolers. Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways of finding and starting a group of any kind. Introduce yourself to other parents at the museum, mall, park, fast food restaurants or even at the doctor’s office.
- Advertise in your local newspaper and local parenting magazine. Most local papers have a community calendar section in which they will allow non-profit groups to advertise for free.
- Prepare flyers and post them in your community, such as in libraries, area businesses, churches, and your local Chamber of Commerce. Target businesses where homeschooling parents may go. Be sure to include your name and phone number.
- Send a photo release to your local newspaper. Take a photograph of your child playing at the park or doing a craft and write a paragraph about your group. Your photograph does not have to be black and white, but it should be 35 mm and as close to the subject as possible. The photo release can be written as if the group already exists and as if this photo was taken during an activity; or it could be written saying that this group is forming, with the photo giving an example of an activity that will be provided. Be sure to include your name and phone number.
- Add your group to online directories. Search on the Internet using the keywords "homeschool support group" and your hometown or state, then go to those web sites and find out how to add your group to their list. The more places you have your group listed, the better chance you will have to reach parents interested in your group.
- If your club or co-op is part of a larger support group, provide regular, updated information in the monthly newsletter, email loop and web site.
Building membership in a support group, club or co-op takes time. Be patient. Use every tip on this list. Before too long, your group will be thriving with active members!
About the Author:
Carren W. Joye is the author of Homeschooling More Than One Child: A Practical Guide for Families, Alabama State History Curriculum, and A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups. A homeschooling mom of four children, she has founded four playgroups, a homeschool support group, and homeschool co-op. She is the administrator of Outlook Academy. For more information about her books, visit her web site at www.CarrenJoye.com.