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Understanding Why a Homeschool Network Is So Important

There are many reasons you should build a network of homeschool people with whom you interact regularly:

  • Encouragement and support. There's nothing like being able to share the joys and frustrations of homeschooling with other people who have similar experiences and who can help you deal with them.
  • Advice. A homeschool network provides people who probably have done what you are trying to do already and who are willing to share their experiences. You can also talk over ideas you have to get the opinions and suggestions of others. When you are struggling with a decision, such as trying to find a specific book for a topic, having other people to ask can be invaluable.
  • Help with field trips, sports, and other activities. Knowing other homeschoolers gets you in touch with various activities in which you might want to participate such as field trips, sports leagues, dance classes, orchestras, and so on. For example, you can take turns with other homeschoolers planning field trips – it isn't much harder to plan a field trip for several families than it is to plan it for one family. Having a group of homeschoolers often provides access to experiences that aren't available to just a single family. For example, many local theaters have matinee programs for schools. You can often take advantage of these programs as a homeschool group. However, because homeschool groups are typically smaller and have a more flexible schedule than do school groups, you might gain access to backstage tours and other opportunities.
  • Help finding resources you need. Other homeschoolers can also provide advice to you about curricula, books, videos, tutors, and other resources you will need. It isn't unusual that another homeschool family is already using a resource that you are considering. You can get a recommendation about that resource and check it out for yourself before you buy it.
  • Social interaction for you and your kids – AKA fun! Homeschoolers need friends just like other kids, and other homeschoolers are the most likely source. Having a group of homeschoolers with whom you interact regularly provides a pool of potential friends for your kids for homeschool experiences or just for hanging out and having fun. Plus, you might want some new friends for yourself as well! Homeschoolers tend to have similar values and interests so the odds of finding friends among other homeschoolers are better than in other circles.
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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.


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