Homeschoolers will not likely find an outlet that offers so much for all their children at one time as a homeschool support group. Groups offer both playtime and structured activities that appeal to a wide range of ages. In fact, most homeschooling parents rely on support groups as their primary means for socialization for their preschoolers, adolescents, preteens, and teenagers. As a result, most communities boast at least one homeschool group, if not more. Try these methods to find one near you.
Ask your umbrella, cover or charter school. The administrators should have information on any local support groups. In fact, click on Support Groups on the Homeschool Info menu at right for Outlook Academy's statewide list.
Contact local churches, libraries, and YMCAs. Many support groups meet in these locations, or the employees may know of a local group.
Go online. Web sites such as www.HSLDA.org and www.NHEN.org maintain directories of support groups. Also, you can use a search engine by using your city, state, and “homeschool support group” as keywords.
Check the community calendar of the newspaper. Many groups advertise their meetings.
Glance over community bulletin boards. Groups often post fliers in libraries, bookstores, parks, playgrounds, churches, and businesses where homeschoolers shop.
Go to the local park or library on Fridays. Homeschoolers usually meet at parks and libraries regularly on Fridays. You may bump into a group while you are there!
Ask around among your friends. If you already know a few homeschoolers, they may be able to direct you to an organization. If not, ask parents with school-aged children that you see during the day if they homeschool. Since their children are not in school, they may homeschool and may know about a local group.
About the Author:
Carren W. Joye is the author of Homeschooling More Than One Child: A Practical Guide for Families (ISBN 0-595-34259-0), Alabama State History Curriculum for grades K-9, and A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups (ISBN 0-595-14684-8). A homeschooling mom of four children, she has founded four successful playgroups, one homeschool support group, and one homeschool covering. For more information on her books and state history curriculum, visit her web site at www.carrenjoye.com.