I’ve been a member of a couple of online communities of homeschoolers for about a year now and one recurring theme I hear spoken of in the forums is the lack of support felt by homeschooling families. As the daughter of a couple who began homeschooling when it was still fairly unheard of, I have seen firsthand how tough it can be to step out into the unknown and defy the words of both friends and family.
I don’t feel the same pressures or fear the same unknowns that my parents did. My husband and I agree completely about our homeschooling philosophy. My parents are 100% on board with our decision (obviously,) my husband’s family are supportive and believe in our heartfelt care for our children enough to set aside any doubts they may have. That alone is very freeing and uplifting. Knowing that you have the support and understanding of those closest to you is so important. My heart aches when I read on certain forums of moms who want to homeschool, but don’t have the support of their husbands. Or families who have made the decision and stepped out in faith only to be slammed by their immediate family members.
That is one reason why I am a big advocate of finding a local group of homeschoolers with whom you can connect and on whom you can lean. Many of them have been in the same boat as you when they first made their decision. As a young mom with a first or second grader, you will find great comfort and aid in discussing the ins and outs of homeschooling with a mom who has already graduated a couple of her kids from homeschool. You can find curriculum ideas, help with daily frustrations and just a friendly adult voice to chat with now and then in most local groups.
One of the things I cherish about my own homeschool experience is that I am absolutely surrounded by like-minded people. People who understand where I’m coming from, people who get it. Everyone from my friends who were homeschooled alongside me in our local homeschool group back in the day (some who choose to homeschool and some who do not) to new friends that may or may not have been homeschooled, but have chosen to homeschool their kids. It’s nice to know that others have heard this crazy calling in their lives as well and have chosen to take the path less traveled. And, while I think there is great value in online interaction (I met The Woodsman online, remember?) I also think that it’s important to have ‘real world’ friends that you can call up as needed to share a great schooling day or cry over a day gone wrong at home. Sharing life together in sorrows and in joys can really only be done well in those real person-to-person relationships.
Whether or not there is already a formal homeschool group in your area, I would encourage you to look for and find at least a small group of fellow homeschoolers locally. Your days are likely to be brightened knowing that you’re not alone in this incredible journey!
Here are some good resources for finding groups in your area: