By Amy Pentimone
Whether you’re just starting out on your homeschool adventure or continuing on the journey, having support as you go is a huge help. Thankfully, homeschool groups exist throughout Colorado, as a place to enjoy the fellowship of others on the same journey, provide extra activities for your students, and work through questions that arise.
In case you’ve never connected with a homeschool group before or have ever wondered what you could expect to find in a “homeschool group,” we’ve put together a quick summary to help clear up the questions you may have!
The first thing to know is that the term can be used broadly to describe a number of different options. Most importantly, you’ll want to consider if you are looking for a group of people whose only commonality is homeschooling, or whether you desire to connect with a group that is centered on faith in Christ. If you’re hoping for like-minded fellowship for yourself and your children, this is the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a group. Or perhaps, your goal may be to find a homeschool group to provide field trip opportunities or supplement extra academics into the homeschool year. If you know ahead of time what your homeschool group priorities are, you will be better prepared to find a good fit for your family!
That said, take a look at the four types of homeschool groups you could connect with.
- Traditional Support Groups are oftentimes just for moms (or, just for parents) and host meetings to provide encouragement and training. While these groups are originally what the term “homeschool group” referred to, it is less common now to find homeschool groups that are only for moms or parents. However, as the in-person format has expanded to include the entire family, parent-only support groups now exist digitally and there are many Facebook groups (including the CHEC Homeschool Discussion Group) for parents to find help in their homeschool journey.
- Cooperative Support Groups morphed out of the traditional support group model to include the entire family. In this type of group, parents will volunteer their time to plan activities such as recitation days, field trips or field days, or other events that would be harder to for individual families. As a support group, they may also provide encouragement and training for parents or “Moms-Night-Out” opportunities.
- Enrichment Groups usually provide a one-day-a-week program that offers “Enrichment” classes like Art, Music, Gymn, Science units, and writing classes for homeschooled students. These classes can be parent-led (where the parents of the group take turns teaching the classes) or taught by a paid teacher. Some groups might encourage parents to participate with their children while others may be a drop-off format.
- Academic Groups are groups that offer specific academic subjects and may meet more than once a week. Often, this kind of group has tuition costs and students participate in peer groups in class settings. A teacher is in charge of choosing the curriculum and teaches the lessons each week, assigning homework for the days at home.
Lastly, if you find that the type of group you are looking for doesn’t exist in your area, starting your own homeschool group is a doable and exciting choice! If you feel God is calling you to start a group to support homeschoolers in your area, CHEC’s Homeschool Guidebook for Colorado is a great starting point, containing a couple chapters on homeschool groups and how to begin one.
Here at CHEC, we want to help ensure you have the support you need for your journey in homeschooling. With such a broad spectrum when it comes to homeschool groups, it’s possible to find a great fit for your family. Our Homeschool Group Directory allows you to search by location, grade-level, or type of groups to discover the homeschool group that would work well for you. You don’t have to take on your homeschool journey all alone, and that’s why homeschool groups exist!