When I first began homeschooling I knew one other homeschool mom. She knew a few others, but they were all a bit older than me and had been “doing” this for a while. Those seasoned homeschool moms were my anchor my first year homeschooling, but I longed for more. I wanted someone going through the same things I was going through. Questioning curriculum, wondering if they were messing up their kids, and dealing with a kindergartener who just didn’t “want to do school”. While a seasoned mom was great, to me they had their act together. I wanted someone just as clueless as I was.
So, I set out to find her. I checked the park, the library and my church, but no luck. I ended up deciding to go to a homeschool picnic a good 45 minutes from my home. I had found this homeschool group online and knew it was fairly large. But, I was hoping to find my friend there. Someone who would make me feel less alone. And lo and behold, I did. We hit it off over the fact that we both used the same curriculum (neither of us uses that now) and our oldest girls were the same age. She helped me make it those first few years, and I am so grateful!
Since then I have had many more homeschool mom friends come into my life. We have cried, shared struggles, and rejoiced with each other. Each of these moms I have met in a different place. Each of these moms has played a different role in my life. Each of these moms I would have NEVER met if one of us hadn’t put ourselves out there.
So, if you are looking for homeschool mom friends I encourage you to reach out. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Online Groups-Online groups are becoming more and more popular. I have met many homeschool moms through online forums. These can be found by seeking out a group related to the curriculum you use. They can be found through joint interests like blogging, working from home, parenting, or special needs. Online friendships can be just as close as physical ones in my opinion. There is nothing like meeting someone online, sharing your struggles, and then being able to hug in person. Believe me! Don’t underestimate the power of friendship within an online group. You can find these groups on yahoo groups, Facebook and Google +. Check out my online homeschool group here 🙂
Google-Funny story, but one of my best homeschool friends was found via Google. Seriously. She googled homeschool groups in her area and my name popped up (I started our local homeschool group). She shot me an email and we emailed back a few times only to discover we had kids the same age, and lived within 10 minutes of each other. At the time I had been praying for my daughter to find a friend. Due to factors outside of her control the friends she had once called close were becoming more distant, and she needed someone. God provided thanks to Google and I am so grateful! She not only found a friend, but I did too. This would have never happened if that mom hadn’t put herself out there by emailing a stranger.
Workshop-Check your local area and see if there are workshops being held at your local library. These can be homeschool related, parenting related, interest related, etc. Find the mom sitting alone and introduce yourself. She may not be a homeschooler, but maybe she is! I have met other homeschool moms in situations like this and you may surprise yourself as well.
Co-Ops or Homeschool Groups-Some people hate co-ops and some love them. Regardless of where you stand on the issue consider attending one just once. You may meet another mom there just like you. You may be surprised by how friendly other moms are. If you have attended one before and got burnt don’t wash your hands of homeschool groups forever. PLEASE don’t! Each group is different. In time you may find a group that fits your needs, and if not consider starting one yourself!
Park- At the park in the middle of the school day you won’t find many people, unless they homeschool 😉 If this happens to you start up a conversation. I have met moms at the park before who were interested in homeschooling and bombarded me with questions. Some went on to homeschool, and some didn’t but regardless a chance for friendship was there and the same can happen for you.
Library-Libraries are a great place to meet other homeschool moms. Talk to your local library about starting a homeschool story time or event. This is how many of the friendships within my local homeschool group were made. People showed up who we didn’t even know homeschooled; moms would tell us they didn’t even know there was a group in our county. Long story short, I think our homeschool group doubled that year all because of the library!
Church-After I began homeschooling many moms in our church decided they would give it a try as well. There is something about seeing others do it and being okay that gives them the confidence as well. This has happened time and time again with moms that I know and within a few year s they are not the only homeschoolers in their church. If you step out in faith you may be surprised to have a few moms come to you asking how they can start homeschooling. If there are other homeschool moms in your church contact them. Our homeschool group started out with me and 2 moms in my church who were thinking of homeschooling. We now have close to 70 families from around our community.
Homeschooling can be a lonely journey sometimes, however, as homeschool moms we cannot give up! Homeschool moms NEED homeschool friends. People to share our journey with, who understand what we are going through and who can encourage us and hold us accountable when we need it.
These are just a few places where you can meet homeschool moms, so get out there, get looking and make some homeschool friends!
Where have you met other homeschool moms?
*This is just one of the posts in a new series all about homeschool moms and friendship! Check out the series here. *