The Homeschool Minute ~ Homeschool Support Groups. Why do I need one? - The Old Schoolhouse

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The Homeschool Minute ~ Homeschool Support Groups. Why do I need one?

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Homeschool Support Groups. Why do I need one?

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Homeschool Support Groups. Why do I need one?
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,

 
Do you need a homeschool support group? Yes, you do! Encouraging one another is just as important for homeschoolers as it is for believers in Christ (Hebrews 10:25). There is something special about traveling a road with others who are headed in the same direction. If you don’t have a homeschool support group, find friends you can meet with locally or share with through social media or email. And at TOS, we’re always glad to hear from you and encourage you, just email me (gena@tosmag.com) or any of our staff.

If you’re weary today, allow me to stop in, hang out a bit, and maybe bring a little perspective.

 
In Psalm 28, we are reminded that the LORD is our strength. Our heart can trust in Him because He is our hope and our shield; we are helped personally BY HIM.

 
He sees all. He hears all. He is very aware and will not sit idly by. He is a GOD OF ACTION. Do not be weary. Rise up, face this beautiful day with your children using the strength not of your own, but of the God of the universe. He will carry you.

 
Daughter of the King, His hand is on your head today. Take hold of that! The JOY OF THE LORD is my strength! Rejoice, Mama, and find your gladness in Him!

 
And if you find yourself slipping down again, lather, rinse, repeat. Say it out loud! THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MINE! IT’S MY VERY STRENGTH! May He smile on you today. Look up.

 
~ gena

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Diana Waring

Dear Friends,
 
What a JOY to be writing you on this gorgeous September day …  I hope your summer was filled with lots of relaxation, laughter, and fun!! 
 
Now, here we are at the start of a new school year AND the beginning of fall season. Enjoy this new beginning, this fresh start–celebrate it with your kids in a way that brings laughter to each of you! New beginnings are a gift from the Lord, so don’t miss a moment of it, dear one!
 
Okay, on to today’s topic: Homeschool Support Groups.
 
Can I tell you a story about that one?  In my third year of homeschooling, when my kids were 8, 6, and 4, I was a part of a homeschool support group. I had offered my house as the meeting place, not yet realizing that that year was going to be the straw that nearly broke this camel’s back.
 
So, in October, we had our second monthly meeting.  One woman stood up and said, “We are 3/4 of the way through our entire year’s curriculum!!
 
Gulp. My kids were in the second month of school, and we hadn’t made it out of the first chapters of our curriculum yet. A little voice began to whisper in my heart, “You are a failure, failure, failure.
 
The second woman stood up and said, “We’ve done EVERY field trip in the homeschool field trip guide.
 
Gulp. We were supposed to do field trips, too???? I was still trying to figure out how to get laundry OFF the table and dinner ON the table while teaching my kids everything they had to know, and now I had to add FIELD TRIPS???? That little voice added another word to the litany of my failure, “Guilt, guilt, guilt.
 
That one evening nearly did me in. I was already struggling to keep my homeschool nose above water, to keep going when I felt defeated and overwhelmed.
 
Fast forward. At the end of the year, the first woman announced that they were not going to homeschool any longer.  It’s not surprising, actually, given the too-much, too-fast pace she had set for her kids. As we all know, homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint. If you try to push too hard, it will not be sustainable over the long term.
 
And the second woman? She actually heard me tell this story at a convention many years later, and graciously came to set the story straight.
 
Diana, my boys were ALWAYS in motion. The ONLY homeschool we did that year was field trips–where they could run around and hopefully learn something.
 
Oh, my. No, I hadn’t known that. What a difference it would have made to me if we had been able to talk honestly with one another at that meeting. Maybe we would have been able to share our struggles and successes in such a way that all of us would have learned and been encouraged in our own journey. Maybe real friendships would have been forged, and real support have emerged.
 
If we keep it real with friends who walk this journey with us, a support group has real potential for encouragement and support.
 

Remember, stay relational!
Diana

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As a homeschool mom, you need encouragement. Some moms need lots; others need little. Some need to be surrounded by like-minded moms who remind them of the reasons for homeschooling and others are like guided missiles … headed straight to their target.
 
That said, everyone needs someone … sometimes (that may be a song). Not only do you need other homeschoolers, but other homeschoolers need you. You have so much to offer, and there might be a struggling homeschool mom who needs to hear about your experience or similar struggles.
 
That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be part of a homeschool group, but you need to be a part of other homeschoolers’ lives.
 
So, if you feel lonely and isolated, go find a local homeschool group. Do as much or as LITTLE as you like, but join up. If you don’t feel like you need much, call up a new, homeschool mom and invite her out for coffee. Ask a bunch of questions and listen.
 
Also, if you don’t have a group near you, consider having a homeschool mom get-together. There doesn’t have to be a big plan; just meet somewhere (without kids), then go around the circle and tell how many kids you have, how long you’ve been homeschooling, and what’s the best and worst part of homeschooling, and then stand back. You will have unleashed a wonderful torrent of heartfelt conversation. And of course, allow every mom to be real without feeling judged or silenced.

Oftentimes, the best thing about meeting with others is just…being REAL.
 
Go be real with another mom,
 
Todd

   
 

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I look forward to THM every Wednesday. I really enjoy Deborah’s articles. For some reason, it must be God, she always writes about what I am needing to hear. Her ability to put scripture and God in the middle of all her articles keeps me coming back. I recently have been enjoying the Youngs’ [articles] because I have a young man (10) in my house. The encouragement of the Youngs is fabulous. I thank God for parents like them that pave the way for parents like myself and my husband.”

 

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What I appreciate most about Todd’s column is that he never assumes he knows what is best for me… but he KNOWS that God knows & encourages me to find that & follow that. Thanks for all the encouragement over the years!”    

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