When we moved to New England from the South a few years ago, one of the first things I did was seek out fellow homeschoolers. My three are getting older and need social interactions with kids their age. And I desperately need mom friends! Being that we’ve had a difficult time finding a church where we feel at home has greatly added to this need.
Through a few different avenues, we’re finally making some progress on finding other like-minded homeschooling families.
Find a Local Homeschool Facebook Group
This has been the single best way that I’ve been able to find families that mesh with ours. I’m a part of three local groups. The one that is statewide seems to be the most active and helpful. Many times a mom will post that she and her kids are headed out on a field trip and wants to know if others would like to join. I recently posted a question asking for advice on free and cheap things to do in the state and got tons of responses. I’ve met two super fun moms this way. Our kids are all around the same age and we have plans to continue to meet up.
Attend Homeschool Workshops
Many of our area businesses host homeschool hours (during the day, yay!) and specially curated classes. Our local gymnastics club offers open gym hours on Monday and Friday – we try to do this a few times a month. I love that I can chat with other moms during this time while the kids work off energy. We also try to make it to one art class per month. There’s a local studio that mixes art with another subject (language arts, social studies, science, and STEAM). Last week my kids learned about Frank Lloyd Wright and made graham cracker houses in his style… and I didn’t have to clean up the mess!
Looking for these opportunities in your community? Ask your Facebook group if these type of things are around. If you see that something is lacking, call a local business or museum and see if they’d be interested in creating a class during what is probably a slow part of the day. If you can get enough students enrolled, your offer would be hard to turn down.
Join a Homeschool Co-Op
We joined our homeschool co-op before we ever left the South. I found it via an internet search and really liked that they only met once every two weeks. There are some that meet twice a week and that is just too much for me. If we leave home too much, it cuts into our learning time and everything falls to pieces. We signed up for one class in the afternoon and that seemed to work well.
The next year, I began to notice things that were of great concern. The building that we were in was lacking in safety and there wasn’t much that the building owners were willing to do about it. Recess time was incredibly disorganized and dangerous. Imagine several children on scooters inside where three year olds are sitting on the floor. Yes, I’m that mom that can’t relax around such things.
We’re now in our third year at this co-op, but it will be our last. Even though I consider myself to be of the go along to get along variety, I have found myself to be in some very uncomfortable social situations with some of the moms. I was always one who got along better with the boys in school rather than the girls – too much drama! This just isn’t my place, and that’s really okay. Through this group I’ve been able to make two really good friends whose children get along with mine and that makes it a win for me! We plan on getting together for play dates, field trips, and craft days.
Please do not let my experience turn you off from trying a co-op. Some people just love theirs, so try lots of things and do what works for you.