Support Group Management: Starting & Running a Support Group
Learn how to start and manage a homeschool support group, including how to stay organized, how to handle conflict, and ideas for your support group.
Starting & Running a Homeschool Support Group
Why and How to Get Connected
In this day and age, homeschoolers represent a market. There are many businesses catering to homeschoolers' needs--or perceived needs. When first starting out it can be especially tempting to sign up for a multitude of classes or experiences that are being sold to you, rather than putting your energy into a grassroots network such as a local homeschool support group. Before you know it, your days are filled with activity and you don't look back. The intangibles you'd be missing out on--real connection with other homeschoolers and personal empowerment--might be some of the best kept secrets of homeschooling, as well as what would sustain you on this path in the end. This article includes some examples and ideas of rituals and social events you can organize.
Starting a New Support Group
One of the most persistent criticisms of homeschooling is that the children will have no social life. Though homeschooling parents may know better, many parents are more secure knowing a number of other homeschoolers in their area so children can get together with other kids who are being homeschooled. You may find, however, that there is no group in your area. As you (and any interested parents you may know) consider forming a group, you may want to consider some questions first.
Starting A Homeschool Group
Some basic tips for starting a homeschool support group. This article has three parts--be sure to continue on to each part. The first part focuses specifically on how to find other interested parents. Part two discusses how to communicate with the group, conduct meetings, and decide on a direction for the group. The final part of the article addresses the nuts and bolts of support group management--money issues, dealing with difficult people, and delegation.
Forming a Homeschool Support Group
This webpage has a list of articles detailing many of the issues and ideas surrounding starting a homeschool support group. You'll find discussions of everything from why you should form a support group, to choosing a leader, to delegating and handling tough situations.
The Social Connection--Making a Support Group Work in Your Community
This article is the transcript of a talk given to the National LDS Homeschooling Organization convention in 2001. Diane Hopkins tells how she started a homeschool support group and the strategies she used to make it a success.
The Leader's Manual: A Guide For Christian Home School Support Groups
This practical guide to starting and leading a support group covers such topics as how to start a support group, how to structure your leadership team, practical tips on managing a support group, ideas for support group meetings, what to do when your group gets too large, how to prevent leader burnout, and much more. You'll also find over 25 reproducible, ready-to-use forms for use in many organized activities, check-off lists for seminars and field trips, time-tables for planning support group activities, certificates, testing enrollment form, and much more.
Creating African-American Home School Support Groups
In order for home schooling to be successful in the African-American community, it is imperative that local and state support groups and organizations be formed. There are several ways that African-American homeschoolers can reach out and create support groups either on the local or state level. This article gives tips and ideas for starting a homeschool support group.
Home education support groups
There are many home educators' support groups around the world, particularly in the USA and UK. These can be a good way of getting to know other families, finding out about local regulations or facilities, and for your children to mix with others of different background. This article discusses reasons for wanting a support group, how to start a home education support group, and possible group activities.
Field Trip Guidelines for Homeschool Groups
This letter can be used to establish an understanding about homeschool groups when you organize a field trip.
Web Presence for African-American Homeschoolers
Creating a web presence of African-American home school support groups will do much to organize and network families across the country and internationally. This article the basics for creating a personal home schooling website or site for a home school support group or organization.
Support for Homeschool Group Leaders
Roots and Shoot Homeschool Leaders
This listserv is for Roots and Shoots leaders who lead a homeschool or community group. Here you can share ideas on projects, service activities, fundraising, and general topics about your group.
CMmamas - Leader support group
A support group for homeschool group Leaders, with the Charlotte Mason literature-based homeschool method as a primary focus. Leaders of other types of homeschool or parent's groups may participate. Topics include group organization, problems, setting up studies and discussions, activities, speakers, conventions and conferences, books, email and websites.
HSGLS - Homeschool Group Leader Support
This group is for homeschool support group leaders to discuss the challenges of organizing, running, and leading their local, national, or international homeschool support groups, and to share ideas and information about facilitating homeschool support groups. HSGLS is open to all homeschool group leaders.
This is a support list for all homeschool group leaders, regardless of religious beliefs or homeschooling philosophies. Here you can give or receive input, ideas, and support from other homeschool leaders.
Homeschool Leaders is a Yahoo group restricted to leaders (or potential leaders) of inclusive homeschool groups. These groups have no membership requirements, are open to all homeschoolers regardless of homeschool style or religious belief, and do not endorse one particular homeschool style or belief. If you have a group like this, you are invited to join this list of inclusive homeschool leaders.
Homeschool Editors, an email list sponsored by NHEN, was created for editors and publishers of homeschooling newsletters, magazines, e-zines and journals. Whether your homeschooling publication is large or small, you're welcome to join this group. Discussions cover the dilemmas faced and discoveries made trying to bring information to the homeschooling community.
LDS Homeschool Leaders
LDS Homeschool Leaders is the official email support group for LDS homeschool support group leaders across the nation and beyond, sponsored by the National LDS Homeschool Association. All LDS homeschool support leaders are encouraged to join as well as those planning to start a group soon. This list provides an opportunity to share information about your group, discuss leadership problems, and find support.
Homeschool Leaders Support
This is a group for those who lead homeschool support groups, co-ops, or other groups for homeschool families to connect and talk about their common (or unique) issues and challenges of organizing, managing, leading, and growing groups are organized for homeschool families.
Christian Homeschool Leadership
The purpose of this group is to form an information and support network for fellow spirit-filled Christian leaders. This is a place for fellowship, comfort, support, assistance, encouragement, ideas, brainstorming and resources. Here, you can share in the joys and trials of being a support group leader, exchange timely world news affecting Christian families, share resources to bring back to local groups, assist one another in developing goals for individual support groups and so much more. Christian Home School Leadership is for Christians involved with local and state wide support groups in any leadership capacity. Those wishing to join this group should already be active and involved in a home school group. Leadership, for this list, includes both those who are appointed or elected to a position (such as board member, newsletter editor, co-op leader)as well as leaders of more informal groups.
The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Nation Leadership Group
The TOS Homeschool Nation Leadership Group is sponsored by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and links together state coordinators of Homeschool Nation and those in homeschool leadership from the US and around the world. This list is geared for sharing news, information, exchanging ideas, networking together, and offering encouragement from leader to leader. Welcome to join are leaders within national or regional homeschool organizations, leaders of support groups or co-ops, board members, or those who serve the homeschooling community as authors, speakers, or conference organizers.
Tools for Homeschool Support Group Leaders
Field Trip Report Form
This handy printable form lets your child record a written record of your field trip visit.
Free online web calendar hosting. Calendars Net is designed for webmasters who want to integrate interactive calendars with their websites. Use this online calendar to make organizing your support group functions a snap.
Field Trip Planning Form
Helpful form for getting organized when planning field trips. Free and printable.
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