If you're homeschooling, or even just looking into this type of education, you should consider the benefits of joining a homeschooling group. These organizations are very diverse, so there's a good chance that you and your children will find a group that offers exactly what you need and want.
Various groups can offer several great things, including:
• Experience. Most groups include "been there, done that" parents and kids. They can tell you all sorts of things, ranging from your area's homeschooling laws to the best times to take field trips.
• Shared resources. Some groups get together to swap books and other materials that are no longer needed. You can also share your knowledge with the rest of the group: the larger the membership, the more areas of expertise you'll all have. Some groups even go so far as to pool their resources to hire certified teachers or tutors; rent time in science labs; and take educational trips.
• Socialization. Home schooled kids socialize in many ways, from organized sports to youth-group activities. However, being part of a homeschooling group means that those kids have another thing in common, which is usually a good thing. The parents will also have an easy way to socialize with other homeschooling parents, which can be helpful and fun at the same time.
With all of the wonderful technology that we have today, homeschooling groups can be even more flexible than they were in years past. Parents and kids can get support online or offline, for example, and use now-inexpensive technology - like video cameras or computers - to stay in touch, organize projects, et cetera.
Homeschooling groups aren't right for every family, but there are plenty of reasons to seek out the groups in your area to get an idea of what they're like. You might prefer not being part of any group, but then again, you might find that some of your, and your child's, peers have exactly what you need.