Support groups play an important role in helping you have a successful homeschool program. There are many different types to choose from; one thing common to all support groups is that they offer a sense of community and togetherness. Support groups are a safe place to come and have your cup filled with information, inspiration, ideas and encouragement. They are also the vehicle you will use to network with other like-minded individuals. Statistically, you will find that those who plug into their local homeschool community suffer less burnout.
Make sure you do your homework and visit the websites of those support groups that interest you the most. You’ll want to look at their membership perks and mission statement. Are you looking for a faith-based group, or would you prefer a more secular approach? Do you want to volunteer your time, or would you rather pay and let others support you? Are you looking for informal fellowship or for more formal meetings? It’s important to figure out what’s important to you and your family.
Finding a group is not about right or wrong, or better or worse. It’s about you choosing a support group that will best help you achieve your goals! Many support groups offer a “one-stop shop,” while others act more as a “Welcome Wagon” that simply invites you in and helps you find programs already in place outside their organization.
Functions of a Typical Support Group
Please note that every group differs, but these things are most common to typical groups:
- Regular meetings
- Field Trips
- Testing/evaluation information
- History and science fairs
- Spelling bees
- Annual talent shows
- Interactive websites
- Used curriculum sales
- Graduation ceremonies
- Lending libraries
To Find a Support Group
It’s important to do your research before joining any group. Support groups come in all shapes and sizes – you will want one that lines up with your goals and your worldview. A great place to begin your research is right here. The listings that originate at www.fpea.com/find-your-district include the counties served by each FPEA district so that you can confirm which district is yours. Support group encouragement is simply a couple of clicks away!
For additional information to support your homeschool journey visit the FPEA Guide to Homeschooling in Florida.