Homeschool support system 101: How to build one

homeschool support system

“It’s critical to have a homeschool support system,” you may have been told. But how does one go about finding a support group or network? Especially when homeschooling takes up so much of your time!

Everyone’s homeschool support system will look different – just like your homeschool, it will be unique to you. A few guidelines, however, can help you find the one right for your situation:

Daily/weekly homeschool support.

  • Support groups.

These time-honored support systems started out of necessity (and if we’re honest, maybe a dash of desperation!). Homeschool moms would gather regularly to swap curriculum ideas, ask one another questions, share childcare, and figure out things together.

MPE started from one such support group, and we’ve grown over the years to encompass more than 1,000 homeschool families. Once you join MPE, we’ll send you a list of support or cluster groups that meet around the Kansas City area and region.

Another option is to join the Homeschool Hookup Facebook group and other groups in the KC area.

  • Blogs.

The homeschool world abounds with bloggers and blogging opportunities! Here are just a few places to start:

  1. Heidi St. John’s blog (she’ll be speaking at our 2017 homeschool conference) – http://heidistjohn.com/blog
  2. Lee Binz, the Home Scholar (with a focus on homeschool high school) – http://www.thehomescholar.com
  3. HSLDA’s blog (from the Home School Legal Defense Association) – https://blog.hslda.org
  • Mentoring moms.

homeschool conference mentor momsAn amazing group of local volunteers, called our “mentoring moms,” help fellow homeschoolers just by being there. They can listen to your concerns (such as creating a homeschool schedule, household and family management, etc.), and help by sharing from their own experiences. Even if they don’t know the answers, they probably know someone who does!

If you’re interested in hearing from a mentoring mom, please print and fill out this questionnaire.

You can scan the completed form and email it to infoatmidwesthomeschoolersdotorg or print the completed form and mail it to:

Mentoring Moms Coordinator, c/o MPE, P.O. Box 14391, Lenexa, KS 66285

We keep everything strictly confidential between our mentors and those being mentored. You can change mentors anytime, and decide how and when to contact your mentor.

Monthly homeschool support.

  • MPE newsletter.

We send our newsletter, The Parent Educator, to all our member families 10 times a year. Members can choose to receive it either online or in print.

It’s a great way to know upcoming dates for homeschool-related events, area activities and opportunities, and standardized testing dates.

If you want to contribute an activity or opportunity to our newsletter, or if you want to advertise in it, send it to the MPE office before 1 p.m. on the 10th of the month preceding the issue date. We mail the newsletter at the end of the month preceding the issue (e.g. the January newsletter is sent at the end of December).

  • Moms mornings out.

On every second Thursday of the month, homeschool moms gather at the Perkins restaurant (I-35 and 87th Street) starting at 6:30 a.m. (It’s fine if you arrive a little later – we understand!)

It’s a great way to gather without the kids, ask questions and enjoy some fellowship time. “We share a lot of laughter as well as just plain old understanding!” says one mom.

Everyone is welcome, from those just thinking about homeschooling as well as those who have homeschooled for decades. For more information, just contact us.

Quarterly or annual homeschool support.

  • Women’s Encouragement Day.

Encouragement Day lunchThese popular events started as mini-retreats, but have grown to serve hundreds of moms every winter!

Smack-dab in the middle of the school year (when we often need the most encouragement), encouragement days feature morning coffee and refreshments, awesome speakers sharing scripture and life experiences, a pampering luncheon served at elegantly decorated tables, and intimate prayer times.

We also feature a homeschool graduate panel, a moms graduate panel, and as many chocolates as you could wish!

Perhaps most importantly, it offers you the time and opportunity to fellowship with other moms on the same journey.

Registration usually opens in December, so make sure you sign up whenever it’s available.

  • Homeschool conference.

Around 1,200 families attend our homeschool conference and curriculum fair each year – from veteran homeschoolers, to one-year newbies, to those who haven’t even started yet!

Make sure you’ve got our 2017 conference on your calendars, because we’ll feature:

  • More than 180 vendor booths. They’ll be more than happy to answer all your questions about curricula, learning techniques and general homeschool opportunities in the Kansas City area (and beyond).
  • Workshops, including special tracks. Learn from more than 60 workshop presenters who share practical, personal homeschool insights. Topics include how to homeschool, homeschooling high school, entrepreneurship and family nutrition. Workshop tracks are available for homeschool beginners, teens, and those homeschooling with special needs.
  • Help for parents of preschoolers. We have a special deal for parents of preschoolers: complimentary conference admission (a $60 value!). Explore starting to homeschool in your state and more, all for free.
  • Children’s program. Our children’s program provides for childcare during the conference if your children are ages 5-12. Learn more at MPEKids.com.
  • Mentoring Moms. If you just want to check in with your mentor or have a one-time session, check out our “mentoring moms room” at the conference!

What have you found most helpful for building a daily, weekly, monthly and annual homeschool support system? Let us know in the comments!

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