If you’re homeschooling, you probably have a lot fewer contact points with other adults. Your PTA meetings are those rare moments you spend preparing for the day alone. Your coworkers are your spouse and your children. A homeschool support system, however, is something that you’ll need to depend on for adult interaction and guidance. But how do you go about building one?
The hard reality is that creating a reliable homeschool support system isn’t something that’s likely to happen naturally over your homeschooling years. You’ll have to reach out and make connections with others. And if you’re strongly introverted, you may feel some hesitation about reaching out to new people for help or guidance. While I can’t make those connections for you, I can show you where to go to make them.
HomeWorks by Precept
HomeWorks by Precept is a nationwide network of independent curriculum consultants who have lots of homeschooling experience. They primarily work with BJU Press Homeschool materials, but they have also experienced many of the situations you may face as a homeschool family. They’re all veteran homeschool parents who love helping others on their journey. Sometimes these consultants spend hours on the phone, helping a homeschool mom through the transition to BJU Press products or just offering encouragement wherever it’s needed.
Here’s what two homeschool moms said about their consultants, Hillary Lundstedt and Alice Bradley:
Hillary, our consultant, has guided us through the process of the BJU Press curriculum over the past couple of years. She has been a true friend and valuable resource of information. From her experience with her own children, she had the answers I needed and tips for implementing a schedule. She is there at the drop of a hat for us. ~ Amanda
I am so very thankful for the confidence that my consultant gave me to start homeschooling my kindergartner! I didn’t think I could do it, but Alice, my HomeWorks consultant, gave me encouragement that I could do it with the help of the online videos. She helped us get started, and she’s kept up with us and made sure we were progressing well throughout the year. ~Leah
You can contact a consultant in your area by going to a curriculum display, by attending a convention, or by reaching out to a particular consultant! Curriculum displays are always free to attend, and they give you an opportunity to meet with a consultant face-to-face and get special pricing on BJU Press materials. Plus, you get to touch and interact with the textbooks in person!
You may have heard that joining a local co-op can give variety to your homeschool. But how do you find co-ops in your area? If you’re in an area where homeschooling isn’t widely popular, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) will be a valuable resource for you! They provide a list of all state and local homeschool organizations with contact information. The local organizations are the co-ops you’re looking for. So, if you want to find a homeschool co-op in your area, select your state, click on the available county nearest you, and then look for the co-ops listed for your area. HSLDA provides as much contact information as they have available, including phone numbers, email addresses, and websites.
Interacting with bloggers online is one way to get homeschool support—on your own time. The following blogs are all offered by experienced homeschool moms who love engaging with their followers and helping other homeschool families along the way.
Janelle’s relationship with Christ radically changed the direction of her life, and she and her husband are committed to bringing up their seven children to know and love the Lord. Because of that, they homeschool to more effectively disciple their children in both mind and spirit. She shares her suggestions for new homeschoolers in “Getting Started in Homeschooling: A Step-by-Step Guide.”
Marianne Sunderland commits to helping parents of children with dyslexia to successfully homeschool their children. She firmly believes that homeschooling with dyslexia is not only possible, but better in the long run. She offers fellow parents of dyslexic children free resources and advice aimed toward success. Marianne shares her suggestions for new homeschoolers in “Homeschooling with Dyslexia: How to Get Started.”
Kris Bales brings homeschoolers out in the open with her frank and down-to-earth discussions of life as a homeschool family. The stereotypes about homeschoolers don’t stand a chance against her. Two of her three children are homeschool grads, and her youngest is still homeschooling high school. When she started homeschooling, she committed to shaping their education to their unique needs and interests. Kris offers guidance for new homeschoolers in “10 Things You Need to Know If You’re Homeschooling for the First Time This Year.”
Homeschool Support at Conventions
Conventions are excellent places for meeting and getting to know fellow homeschool families. In sessions, at vendor booths, and during break times, you’ll be surrounded by people who share your concerns, your passion for children, and your determination to choose what’s best for them. A chance conversation might lead to a lifelong friendship. You can also find HomeWorks consultants at the BJU Press booth at all the major conventions!
Many state organizations host their own conventions, but there are also national homeschool convention groups that schedule multiple conventions all across the country. Here are just a few of the more popular conventions:
- Teach Them Diligently—national
- Great Homeschool Conventions—national
- CHEA—Christian Home Educators Association of California
- HEAV—Home Educators Association of Virginia
- THSC—Texas Home School Coalition Association
Eager to learn more about your homeschooling journey? If so, feel free to sign up to receive our free eBook, A Guide to Homeschooling, to learn more about the road ahead of you. Be sure to fill out the homeschool preparation checklist at the end, and feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.