I think the biggest challenge in home schooling is having the support you need. I know for me this is a huge thing. We are social people. I need to have friends in order to get by and Gracie does also. Ian's social need is a little less but even he goes nuts if we don't get out pretty much daily.
There are lots of resources for connecting with people for home school support. The internet is full of them which has really been my main source of finding what we have needed. Yahoo groups has about a billion different home school groups, you can narrow it down to local groups for field trips, co-op classes, park days and the like or you can find national groups which have sources and ideas and offer discussion. There is a ton out there, there is really something for every personality, style, and belief system.
I started looking for a home school group last summer. Not so much for schooling support as for social interaction. The parenting groups I have been involved in have pretty much run their course because the majority of families we knew have put their kids in school leaving Gracie without anyone to play with. So finding other people who have kids at home the same age as ours was the goal. I tried a couple groups locally but didn't find exactly the right fit for us. One group was awesome but based about 45 minutes north of us and the other group was closer to home but the philosophy of most of the people in it was not what I was looking for. So, after thinking it over a good bit I decided to start a group myself. I knew I had a couple people who would be involved so I figured I would give it the old college try.
I am so glad I did! Having a group of people who are located close to us and who also share our philosophy has been wonderful. We have created a nice close group of friends in a very short time. We all look forward to seeing our home school friends and have had many enjoyable outings together. I hope that we all stay in this area for a good long time so our friends can grow up together. Not only has it been great for the kids but it's great for me. I love having people who "get" me and where I'm coming from and I am pretty sure they feel the same.
Staying home with your kids can be so isolating. Support and friendship is so important, I would say it's almost vital to being successful with home schooling. I am very thankful for our group. I think I am a better parent because of them!!
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