Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Homeschool Support


Last week we talked about home school Co-ops and what the benefits are for you the home educator this week we are sharing on Support groups.

Support Groups are fundamentally different to co-ops in that they are an informal get together's which can happen weekly, fortnightly or monthly. A support group can be two homeschool families that connect well or a group of mothers connecting on a regular basis.  Most meet together with their children and some meet without their children.

I really enjoyed this statement by Renee Gotcher from Next Generation Homeschool: "When you think about it, homeschool support group is a bit of an oxymoron: We choose to homeschool so that we can independently make decisions about our children’s education, and yet we inherently desire the support of others to inform, encourage and assist us."

Home school support groups are not about education they are about mentoring relationships.  It's for you the mom to access a supportive environment and for your children to know that there are other children out there being home educated.

Mentoring
A mentor facilitates personal and professional growth in an individual by sharing the knowledge and insights that have been learned through the years. - USC Mentor Program

"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring 

Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else. We all have a need for insight that is outside of our normal life and educational experience. The power of mentoring is that it creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for collaboration, goal achievement and problem-solving. “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” John C. Crosby (Mentor program)

Caution
While home school support groups offer a huge amount of encouragement and support on your home education journey they can also become a noose around your neck.  For years and years I was a part of two particular support groups and loved learning and growing with these families. I still miss them. What I did not do however was evaluate some of the choices that slowly seeped into the group.  It was not until years later when I moved away and was confronted with asking myself why I was doing some things (dress code, curriculum choices, etc) that I realized that I had taken on an unwritten 'law' from the group that was not healthy for my family.  Now I am part of several groups but I do so with caution and I constantly re-evaluate what I'm doing with who my family is. So when you are part of a network be sure to take a regular time of de-cluttering your mind and spirit and be sure that you remain true to who you are or you might find that who you are becomes lost in trying to fit in.  If you need to work at fitting in you are definitely a part of the wrong group.   

Benefits
Two Sisters by Renoir
There are many benefits in a joining a support group and I encourage you to find a group of like minded mothers. A good support network will be a place you can take a break, enjoy a relaxing cup of tea to recharge, ask questions and have access to real life help.
  • Seasoned Homeschoolers to receive encouragement from.
  • Encouragement
  • Social opportunity for Mom with like minded people
  • Help
  • Advice
  • Supportive environment
  • Care
  • Networking (knowing who to go to when you need assistance)
  • Contacts
  • Assistance
  • Solutions
  • Access to Information
  • Guidance
  • A place to connect with like minded Mom's

On the WWW
On Line Support
I appreciate that in today's culture we have limited time to invest in meeting together face to face and for many of us the only support we have access to is on the www. Here is a list of place to seek support on line.
I pray you find a group of like minded woman who will encourage, inspire and support you on your home education journey.  In the last five years I have been blessed with three beautiful woman who keep me accountable and are not afraid to ask the hard questions.  These woman pray for me and do not judge me.  I feel so blessed to have these three woman in my life and I give thanks to Christ for them every day.

Remember a mentor does not need to be someone older in chronological age just someone older on the journey with more experience and most importantly someone who is still willing to learn and grow and accept you and your family for who you are.

Do you have someone like this to help you ?  Remember A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Blessings
Chareen
This post is featured at The Homeschool Village Link up #19

This week

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Linking with
Teach Me Tuesdays Hip Homeschool Hop Button The Homeschool Village

Support image courtesy of Free Digital Photos Stuart Miles
Golden rope courtesy of Master isolated images 

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