What are Homeschool Associations?
Homeschool associations provide students and teachers with resources dedicated to homeschooling. These groups provide parents with teaching materials, including lesson plans, testing guides, and projects. Many homeschool associations also offer group education sessions for students. This provides the social benefits of traditional schools to those involved in a home-based education. Members of homeschool associations may believe that alternative education methods offer a student a deeper education catered to his or her individual needs.
Many parents who are teaching from home turn to homeschool associations for help. These groups can provide parents with valuable resources to guide education, including curriculum materials and project ideas. With the wide availability of homeschooling resources, more parents are able to teach their children from home. Parents are not required to have a degree in education in order to homeschool their children. Instead, parents can use the materials provided by homeschool groups to guide the educational process.
Students learning from home can also benefit from the social exposure they receive in the homeschool groups offered through such associations. Opponents of homeschooling sometimes argue that this educational method prevents children from learning how to interact with peers in a socially acceptable manner. Homeschool associations provide students with the opportunity to engage with other students who learn at home. Parents may enjoy this solution, as it offers their children some of the benefits of both alternative and traditional education. Students are able to delve more deeply into course material and learn at their own pace, while also receiving the opportunity to interact with other children.
Special groups are often formed within homeschool associations to cater to specialized fields children might be interested in. Such groups allow students the opportunity to study subjects like science, writing, music, or arts in a more in-depth manner. This gives them the chance to pursue their individual interests in a way that may typically be reserved for students at the secondary or university level of schooling.
Homeschool associations also support parents in their decision to begin homeschooling. They can provide parents with current information regarding local laws and regulations regarding homeschooling. These associations also put parents in contact with one another, which allows parents to share experiences and even act as a support group. In many groups, parents will discuss their reasons for homeschooling and develop ways to promote the philosophy of homeschooling in their communities. Homeschool associations work to eliminate stigmas surrounding the homeschool process, and to share their successes with others.
Being involved in a homeschool program (a group of 40 families) was an incredible experience. We truly learned from each other and the kids loved the variety of classes that were offered in our group.
We had an ex-Marine who taught the boys Wilderness Survival Skills, another parent owned a fishing boat and taught classes on boat safety and how to fish, and the list goes on. When you find out what skills the parents are willing to share, the kids benefit in multiple ways.
Homeschooling information can be found and experienced when you attend a homeschool convention in your state. They are usually held in May and this is where you can see all the new curricula and can purchase what you need.
I have to say that I was overwhelmed when I first began homeschooling but after joining a homeschool co-op, everything fell into place.
I learned from the other moms who were already 'experts'; some had teaching certificates, some were doctors, we even had a mom with her doctorate in nutrition teaching once a week. Associating with a group of dedicated parents teaching in their gifted areas made this an important and valuable part of homeschooling.
We went once a week to our co-op group and the kids benefited from a variety of classes with other children. We had Latin, French, art classes, music, history, drama, science fairs and even put on dinners and musical presentations. It was the best way to end every week. The kids loved it and bonded with each other and the moms supported each other in so many ways.
I'd recommend anyone considering homeschooling to get involved with a like-minded group of homeschool families.
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