This week I'm joining up with the Schoolhouse Review Crew to share my 5 Days of Homeschool Essentials. Today I'm going to be discussing the dreaded "s" word - socialization!
Socialization is something people often worry about when deciding to homeschool. However, there are a variety of different co-op (cooperative) groups and support groups available to homeschoolers, depending on where you live. In our area, we have several and I've visited most of them. Here is a brief overview about some of the different types of groups:
Co-ops: These groups are generally pretty good sized. They vary but usually offer a variety of activities like classes or special groups, along with field trips. They often meet at a church or other building and then split off into classes or groups. We were in one for awhile. It met on Friday mornings for about four hours. We all met together in a central location to have announcements, say the pledge, etc. and then would split off into classes. The had a nursery for babies and smaller kids and offered classes like Gym, Art, Music, Foreign Language, and Writing and grouped the kids according to grade. While the kids enjoyed the classes, it was quite a drive for us and the group was so large that I just felt lost in the shuffle of people.
Support groups: These groups tend to cater to the parents of homeschoolers by supporting and encouraging them with informational meetings or monthly parents nights. They may also offer some social meet-ups at parks or other places.
Online groups: Online groups may also meet in person but are generally just there for moms (or dads) to ask for advice, seek encouragement, or talk more about different topics, subjects, or curricula. Some also have places set aside for selling curriculum or other homeschool materials.
The group we are a part of is kind of a hybrid of all three. We have a Facebook group where we do a lot of chatting and planning. The moms always support one another and are quick to give encouragement and support when asked. We do group activities (like book clubs, gym class, and field trips) along with park days, parties, and the occasional Mom's Night - when we can all find sitters & a spare moment! When I first joined our group, I had two very small children and almost no knowledge of homeschooling...now I am one of the people in charge! I really enjoy our group because it's smaller (but not tiny) and because I know the people in it are on the same page as me - it feels like "home." :)
Jody @ Because I’m Me
Melanie @ A Year of Jubilee Reviews
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Nikki @ Angels of Heart
Sara @ Embracing Destiny
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
Jennifer @ Simblissity Cottage
Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind
Annette @ A Net in Time
Day 1 - Studies
Day 2 - Supplies
Day 3 - Spaces
Day 4 - Socializing
Day 5 - Schedules