While home schooling carries many joys for me it also presents several challenges.  Since I’m so new to the teaching at home concept I know that one thing every parent needs to succeed is a solid support team.

This team will of course include mom (most likely known as teacher) and dad (usually known as the principal).  But you should also consider adding others to your team!  Who should you add? Allow me to provide a few suggestions we have found along our journey.

First, take help of those seasoned parents you already know.  In our situation my mother-in-law has home schooled eight, yes that’s right, eight children.  It seems like an easy choice to take their input when they carry this much experience.  Be willing to listen to their advice but only take what fits the needs for your family. 

Secondly, look for groups locally.  Believe it or not but home schooling is on the rise! In your local area there may already be a home school group that has started.  Ask at local churches, community centers, or try checking facebook to see if there in one near you. 
Then try to meet up with this group see if you like the feel.  Having large groups form like this is a great way to get group admission prices to museum’s, zoos, etc.  It also provides your children with others so collaboration can begin.  Network with these families they too may be able to provide you with resources beyond what we are coveting today.

My third suggestion is literature. Now I completely understand how busy you already are and adding teaching your children to the list means you are running a bit beyond thin on time.  One book I will highly recommends is “It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way!”.  Aston press has published this book, which is only 62 pages.  Basic information from a mother of of twelve!  She discusses behavior, expectations, routines and several other important basics that need to ne addressed to keep from pulling your hair out.  For me this book has become an inexpensive reference yo return to so I am still striving to help my little ones right.

Literature also includes the supporters that provided you with your home school products.  Most products purchased on major stores won’t have this option. However, if you go through a home school company they often have support systems in place. Use them!!!  You paid for them when you purchased your curriculum.

My last suggestion involves groups but on much larger scale.  Search your state and look for a home school conference.  You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

We attend our states local home school conference.  My two favorite things are meeting and talking to other moms and the Friday night used book fair!  Parents are able to rent a table for a small fee and sell all of their used home school materials. 

My husband and I first attended this conference when Tractor Man was one.  We started out by stocking up on some of my husbands favorite things from his school dayscas we found them.  I keep a notebook, which we take with and update yearly, of all of the inventory we now have in our upstairs closet. 

For us home school is about so many things but ultimately it comes down to educating our children in a loving home based environment.  Tractor man is high energy and I’m sure the public school would want him tested for ADHD but he’s not.  He is just a boy who only learns through excitement right now. 

Meeting other families who are doing exactly what you are doing makes a huge difference for you and your child.  You get to remember that while you are alone as a family at home, this journey is not one you have to take alone.

Starting to home school your children is a challenge so give yourself a hand.  Take the time to research for books, groups and conferences so you have the support team you need for successful home schooling.

Please leave any comments below if you know of options for education support in your area.  Happy home schooling!