Community..that dirty little word that leaves many of us longing for more. We measure ourselves up to everyone around us, wondering where we can connect. Who do we have something in common with? Where is someone that will sympathize with our problems and accept our faults? Moms have so much on our plates that making friends can get pushed to the side. Here are 5 ways to find community as a homeschool mom…
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV
This might be the obvious answer, but if you are looking for like-minded mommas, church might be the perfect place to find community as a homeschool mom. No matter the size of your church however, if you don’t dig in and get involved, you won’t really get to know anyone. Most likely there are activities or groups you can join in on, but if not, why not start something! Open it up to anyone or tailor it to people in the same season of life as you. You can keep it simple by reading the Bible and taking prayer requests, or you can follow a passion or fulfill a need you see in your community.
The elephant in the room with any church activity that doesn’t meet during the traditional time is figuring out what to do with the kids. I am not a fan of just finding a babysitter when the kids could be serving or learning about God, so, if possible, try to find a volunteer, or pay someone to teach them. If that doesn’t work, why not figure out a way to include the kids? It can be a challenge, but it’s possible with a little creativity. Do service projects you can do together or read and share a lesson together, then let the kids play while you take it deeper.
2. Homeschool Co-Ops
Think carefully before you leap here. Co-ops can be awesome ways to find community as a homeschool mom IF you find one with friendly people and one that follows your educational philosophy. (Did you know there are co-ops that focus on survival or nature skills?) The rules differ too, so you may be asked to volunteer once a semester, or you might need to teach every week. Think carefully about what you are able to commit to and be realistic. If you are willing to put forth the effort required, it can be a great place to get to know others in the same stage of life and make friends.
Sometimes community needs a little nudge though. Most adults seem to have lost the natural ability to make friends that most little ones seem to possess. Try fostering community with moms nights outs. Our co-op has everyone stay and hang out for lunch and have the moms sit together. Sometimes we “assign seats” and give each table a list of get-to-know-you questions to foster conversation with those we don’t know as well.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
3. Community Bible Study
Community Bible Study is a world-wide Bible study organization where you can not only find community as a homeschool mom, but draw closer to Jesus. There is a great chance that there is a group near you where you can find community as a homeschool mom. There are groups for all kinds of people at all different times. Our group has classes for both women and children. Since we meet during the week, the school-age kids are all homeschoolers. We get to focus on in-depth Bible study and making friends while the kids study the same book of the Bible and have art, music, and games. We have found a community like no other here. They have been there when we needed them most. Many people also like Bible Study Fellowship, a similar organization.
4. Local Homeschool Groups
Our part of town has its own homeschool group. How did I find it when I moved here? FaceBook! I simply put in my city and “homeschool” in the search bar. Once I searched, there were several groups for different parts of town. The beauty of this is that you can make friends who live right in your own community. If you don’t use Facebook, you can search for groups on the internet. It should at least pop up to let you know if a group exists. I met some great folks online that were local. We got together and did field trips and activities. Some of them are still great friends years later.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17 ESV
5. The Homeschool Sisterhood
The Homeschool Sisterhood is a brand new opportunity to find community as a homeschool mom. Online community cannot replace the real thing, but it definitely has its place in our lives. I have found true friends and been inspired in online community. I can honestly say that others there have challenged me and helped me improve my homeschool. They have prayed for me. If you feel lonely, online community is not a substitute, but it is something to help while you look for your local friends. Sometimes those online friends become real-life friends too!
The Homeschool Sisterhood is a chance to connect with your homeschool sisters online, without Facebook or other social media influence. It’s designed for busy moms so they can hop on and off without feeling guilty they have been away from their kids for a long time. You will find community, encouragement, accountability, book clubs, habit training helps, family workshops, master classes, and more. It is a great idea group for anyone who wants a peaceful homeschool, although there is a slight Charlotte Mason bent. Check it out for ongoing inspiration and community!
What are your tips for finding community as a homeschool mom?