The Ugly Truth About Home School Associations
Unless you are a parent who is home schooling your child or children you probably have never heard of a home school association let alone have an understanding of what ones all about. I am going to share with you some inside information about some topics that will be of interest to you if you are considering home schooling your children. There is actually much more to an association than you might first think. I will try to break this information up into topics that I often hear discussed and answer the questions that most have under one of these topics.
Homeschool Support Groups?
Homeschool groups are one of the larger benefits of belonging to an association. This gives a way for parents to communicate with other parents and share their experiences both good and bad. You can ask for help, offer advice or just be there so that you don't feel like you are alone. Feeling alone is one of the bigger fear that most of us have when we are home schooling. You don't want to feel like you are missing something or that you are going way off course with what you are teaching your children. I is sometime just reassuring to hear someone else say the same things that you are thinking or feeling. From all of the parents that I speak to the biggest asset that the majority of them talk about is their home school support group.
Since teaching your children from home is much less common than attending public schools, it can be difficult to make connections with families who do the same. So one of the missions for an association is to bring these families together so they can socialize and share activities together. For example in a public school most classes go on a field trip at some point in the school year. Depending on the association that you are part of you can get together and possibly arrange a field trip of your own with some of the other parents and students of the group. It also can help your child grow socially if they can socialize with some peers of the same age that also learn from home. I am not recommending that most of their friends be home schooling friends, but it doesn't hurt to have at least someone who shares some of the same experiences.
Depending on the association that you become a member of, they usually have some resources that are shared with their members. These resources can include curriculum, templates, planners, and many more resources that are needed when teaching. It's nice to have a group that has already paved the way and dealt with the challenges that you are going to face. It is from these challenges that resources have been created and saved. We can all vouch that the first time you do something even as simple as making a craft is always the hardest! How many times have we said "if I were to do it again I'd do _____ different"?
This is a great way to learn from the mistakes that others have made and continuously improve the learning for your children and those that will follow. You may even save a lot of time from trying to research each and every topic on your own.
The National LDS HomeSchool Association is agood example of some resources offered from an association
The most common statement that I hear from parents that I talk to and are considering teaching at home, is: "I don't think I would be able to do it" If this is you, then I encourage you to speak with or connect with a home school support group in your area and you will see soon enough that you absolutely can do this! These support groups are full of great example that anyone can do this, and they can tell you that they felt the same way when they began. It is with this moral support that you will gain enough confidence to start on your first Journey. Take some time to watch the video below as it a great example of how your confidence can grow when you are surrounding by supportive people.
One thing that I do want to clarify is that a home school association is NOT the same as a "home and School association" These are groups that get formed by parents at public schools with usually different agendas....
So in the end I think that I would have a really hard time to come up with any good reasons that you should not be part of an association if you do choose to home school. Go on out now and do a little research on some local associations that fit your interests.