Thursday, 23 January 2014

Support Network {Homeschooling Essentials}

Welcome to day four of this weeks 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials posts brought to you by the Homeschool Review Crew.  We have 89 homeschool Mom's like you sharing their top homeschool essential lists with you.

Today I would like to share about my second most essential homeschool item: your Support Network.

Home school support groups are not about education they are about mentoring relationships. This sort of group is not a  home school Co-op. This is about you the mom to access a supportive environment and for your children to know that there are other children out there being home educated. Renee Gotcher from Next Generation Homeschool  explains it this way: "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."

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 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)

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.

A word of 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 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.
On the WWW

Blessings
Chareen

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials Don't forget to check out and see what my fellow Homeschool Review Crew mates are sharing this week. Here are some to get you started. Some of these links will not be live until tomorrow due to time zone differences as these bloggers are from across the globe. Here are some from the crew to get you started


Note: This article is part of a reprint from my post in May 2013

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