I had a blast looking through the list of comments from last week’s "Where In The World Are You" article! And I also enjoyed watching new pushpins pop up on the Parent’s Map. We T4L’ers are spread out far and wide, aren’t we? I hope some of you were able to find another parent close to you to network with.
Why? Because I think that networking and support are two of the key ingredients of successful homeschooling!
I didn’t always think that. I used to feel that I was perfectly fine in my little cocoon of “my four and no more.” I didn’t look for support, I figured things out on my own, I forged my own path. Until one day, I woke up and realized I had spiraled into a pretty nasty depression.
First, I got a small part time job at a local bookstore as an inventory manager. This got me out of the house a bit, and reminded me that there was more to my skill set than lesson planning and food service.
Next, I started networking with other homeschooling moms online. At that time, I didn’t feel like I fit in well with our local homeschool support group, so I began to search out online homeschool support groups, and communities of like-minded homeschoolers who I felt could understand where we’d been and where we were going.
Later, I learned how to blog, and was amazed at cathartic sharing my ups and downs, and the craziness of our lives could be! Plus, my blog quickly became an online “community,” where several other homeschooling moms and I frequented each other’s blogs, commented on each other’s posts, and evolved into long-distance friends!
Finally, a new homeschooling support group started up nearby, and once I had gone to the first couple of gatherings with them, I knew we had found our “peeps” - - families we instantly felt comfortable with and looked forward to spending time with.
This process hasn’t been an overnight one, but it has been an humbling one. I realized that it is okay to need. Need support. Need encouragement. Need community. Need friendship. Need…people!!
What about you?
Have you been going it mostly alone lately? Or do you have a local support group that you lean on? If not, what is your main source of online networking? How do you keep from being “Miss Independent?”