Homeschool groups come in so many flavors. Some have more of a co-op feel, and some are more of the monthly park day variety....and then everything in between. There are religious and secular groups, and most areas have them. (At least all the places we have lived!)
Our homeschool group is a ministry of our local church and up until this past year was only open to church members. While it has opened up, it's goal is still a group of like minded homeschool families providing an environment for our children to be safe and experience many opportunities together.
We have regular field trips (at least two a month) that are anything from educational to park days. This year we went ice skating, toured a fire station, Legoland, toured a recycling facility, strawberry picking, made blankets for project Linus, had a blessing bag party, and many more opportunities!
We participated in a Spanish Co-op, a Lego Engneering class, and an art class all with our homeschool group as well.
We have monthly mom's meetings. Every other month we have either a speaker or a topic of discussion related to homeschooling, and the alternate months we do a "moms night out."
Homeschooling can seem isolating, but being part of a group creates an amazing sense of community. When I have a question or concern, or just want a friend to chat with at the park....these are the ladies I go to. There are such valuable resources found in these woman who have varying experiences and backgrounds.
Since many of these families go to our church, our kids never feel like the "odd man out" for being homeschoolers. Homeschooling is a very common factor among many of their friends. They don't know it's "different"! ;)
Our homeschool group gives my kids somewhere to belong. They experience all the benefits of school-- field trips, holiday parties, and deep friendships, while also providing me a great support group of like minded moms to do life with. Our homeschool group experience has been amazing, and I honestly cannot imagine homeschooling without this great resource we have been blessed with!
Don't forget to check out the other awesome posters from the Homeschool Help Series to get their unique perspective!
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses-- Homeschool Support: Where do you get your homeschool support ?
Hwee @ The Tiger Chronicle-- Groups - Home Ed and Otherwise: Our successes with different groups.
Erin @ Seven Little Australians-- It Takes a Community: Erin has been involved in home edcuation support groups for three decades. She shares an overview of that journey and the importance the groups have played for her family.
Bernadette @ Barefoot Hippie Girl-- Unable to Commit: A sad story of how the inability to commit sunk a home school group.
Julie @ Highhill Homeschool-- Local Homeschool Group: I will always be a member of a homeschool group.
Savannah @ HammockTracks-- Local Homeschool Support Group - A Breath of Fresh Air ...no blog, forum or online group recharges or equips me to be a better home educating mother, like my local support group.
Lucinda @ Navigating By Joy-- Why I'm Glad We Joined Our Local Homeschool Group (Even Though We No Longer Go): The benefits of growing a local homeschool network