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Friday, September 30, 2011

Tips on How to Find a Local Homeschool Support Group

Today I attended my homeschool support group's first meeting of the school year.  This is a group that I founded last year, with a friend's help, to fulfill our desire of having a group that met within our own city.

I am very fortunate to live in a city where there are many homeschool families and various homeschool support groups within our surrounding area, but I know there are some homeschool families that are not so fortunate.  If this applies to your family, I'd like to share these tips on how you may be able to find a local homeschool support group:

  • Do a search on the Internet.  I Googled, "How to find a homeschool support group" and found a listing of websites which allows you to search for support groups in various states.  Following is a listing of some of the websites I found:
    Home Education Magazine (This site includes laws & regulations for each state.)
    HSLDA (I was able to find a support group for one of my Facebook fans using this website.) 
    • Visit your local library's children's department.  If there are any homeschoolers in your area, the librarians will most likely know them and may be able to share your information with them.  Also ask if the library provides any homeschool activities.
      • Call some of the churches in your area and ask them if they have any homeschool families attending their church.  Maybe they can pass your information on to the families. 
      • Ask your local recreation center if they offer any homeschool activities.  If so, this is a great way to meet other homeschool families, which can lead you to a group. 
      • If your grocery store offers a bulletin board, check them out every now and then, especially right before the beginning of the school year.  Homeschoolers may post a flyer about an event or a meeting.  This past summer our group held a kick-off picnic and we posted flyers in our local grocery stores, rec centers, and libraries.  So make sure to check all of these places' bulletin boards.
      • Contact any sports related facilities to see if they offer any homeschool activities such as dancing, karate, fencing, etc.  Again, this will offer you the opportunity to meet other homeschool families in your area. 
        • Is there an online community event calendar for your county?  If you don't know, perform an Internet search for "______ (fill in with your county name) event calendar."  We have one for our county and homeschool groups will sometimes post their meetings on this website. 
        If after following some or all of these tips you meet other homeschool families but do not find any formal support groups, then consider starting a group of your own and inviting your new-found homeschool friends.

        I'll share tips on how to start your own local homeschool support group in another post.

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