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A Tribute to Homeschool Support Groups

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A Tribute to

Homeschool Support Groups

By Linda Dobson

For the last week my e-mail box has filled with links to stories about the growing number of homeschool practitioners. The most recent articles came from Arizona, Mississippi and northern Virginia, and warmed my heart again and again.

Choosing to homeschool is, for sure, a decision based on common sense. One need not watch the news for very long before understanding the steady decline of both input and output of the nation’s child detention centers, the financial problems, the teaching to the tests (and not much more), the cheating on the tests, and the corporate takeover of the processing of children via the latest evolution of charter schools.

And Then There Are the Homeschool Support Groups

SLParade1 homeschool

Everyone represented a famous homeschooler in the parade.

And then there are the homeschool support groups. As I’ve encouraged and watched homeschooling’s growth over the years I’ve come to view support groups as equally important to growing numbers as the initial common sense decision. When my family started homeschooling, there was no local support group. Why? Because there were no local homeschoolers! I got to be the first one to explain it to the local school district superintendent, and my contact with the like-minded came from Home Education Magazine, Growing Without Schooling, and the occasional hand-written letters I exchanged with a dear lady, Katharine Houk, who lived in the same state a couple/few hundred miles away.

See also “Are You Prepared for Homeschool Advocacy Season?

Fast forward to two out of three of my kids grown to teenage years, and a friend’s children reaching “school-aged.” We decided to see who else might be out there.

Our first meeting drew a nursing mom with a toddler in tow. A couple of meetings later we met a mom whose daughter was aging out of the local Catholic school. Turned out a neighbor’s sister was homeschooling in a town an hour away, and she joined us. After that, one family by one family, the group grew large enough that we realized savings on field trips, hired a sign language teacher, held not-going-back-to-school and Christmas parties, created a newsletter, hosted monthly meetings open to the public and, one very very cold February day, made an impression on the local community when marching in the Winter Carnival Parade.

This is how support groups have grown all across the country and in communities around the world. I would like to publicly


Christmas party entertainment begins.

thank the countless number of volunteers who daily give of themselves to support others because they harbor a firm conviction that many more families will benefit from the homeschooling lifestyle.

The Homeschool Support Group Volunteers Get Great Pay

You didn’t think I was talking about money, did you? Good, because quite often we dug into pockets to make something happen. The pay I’m talking about is much more intangible than dollars, and exists more in the heart than the hand.

As each family came on board, it felt as if my own family had grown as we embraced them. I watched their children grow into competent, talented, skilled adults, and love them much as I love my own. They are “forever friends” who gave me some of the fondest memories of my life, and who were there for me – and I for them – when the road got rocky.


-30 degrees. That's me with the green sign I can't feel!

A Tribute to Homeschool Support Groups

My tribute is for every single mom, dad, and child who gather together sharing memorable moments, information and advice, a helping hand, and a loving heart. Thank you for putting yourself out there to meet, greet, and patiently explain – possibly for the thousandth time – what homeschooling is and isn’t. Thank you for the time, energy, and devotion you contribute to making the world a better place, one family at a time. I salute you…keep homeschooling growing healthy and strong!

Please visit our pages to find out how to obtain any of Linda’s many books about the homeschool option.
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2 Responses to “A Tribute to Homeschool Support Groups”

  1. Thais says:

    Wow that was awesome! And just in time, this Sat we are celebrating 3 years of our homeschool group ( Hemet Christian Homeschool Group) Big thanks! I feel the same way!

    • grandma_linda says:

      Thais, you have made my evening! I'm so grateful that you find it "just in time." Thank you so very much for writing. All best, Linda

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