Understanding and Finding Local Homeschool Groups
A formal homeschool group is one that has a defined structure and organization, such as requiring membership and having officers. Participating in these groups is usually much more of a commitment because the responsibilities for specific tasks are assigned to people and members are required to perform a certain amount of work to continue as members of the group. In other words, sharing the workload is enforced. There are also more structured activities, such as meetings. Dues are usually required to cover the group's expenses.
The benefits of a formal homeschool group include the following:
- You know what to expect. Because the responsibilities and obligations of group members are formalized, you will know what is expected of you and what you can expect from other members.
- Broad range of experience, skills, contacts, and so on. Because formal groups can be composed of people who aren't necessarily from the same social sphere as you, formal groups tend to have a broader range of people involved. You will likely have a broader and more diverse homeschool network if you participate in a formal group.
- More resources and opportunities. Formal groups tend to provide more resources and opportunities for you. Members are required to contribute to the group, for example, being required to plan one field trip per quarter or to teach a class. This means that everyone provides something for the group so you will have more opportunities.
- Access to classes and tutors. Formal homeschool groups are a great way to locate and participate in classes or to find tutors for specific subjects.
- Facilities. Well-financed homeschool groups have a facility at which classes can be held, resources are provided, and so on. In effect, these facilities are a homeschool school building.
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Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.