Valerie Bolieu, Texas Home School Coalition SPED Homeschool Partner
We all need community!
We all have a responsibility to build community. It may be through our families, neighborhoods, schools, churches, work, or social groups, etc..
I love being a part of the homeschool community and a staff member at the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) . Every day is a new adventure, like fishing in the ocean, you never know what kind of sea creature you will catch after casting your pole. Every day is different because of the array of questions we receive through phone calls and email from homeschooling families all over our state.
I enjoy being able to talk with fellow homeschoolers whether they are brand new homeschoolers who are petrified of what they are getting into or seasoned and already know how to homeschool. Why do they call? Because they have hit a bump in the road, or just have questions in their season in life as a homeschool parent.
Another substantial part of home education I love being involved in is the fact that we as parents can learn alongside our children. Teaching is actually an effective tool for learning, and it is a gift to learn with our children. This rapport with our child is the beginning of creating our homeschooling community.
I love to get together and be a small part in my local area with co-op days, field trips, park days, parties, graduations, and hear parents, teachers, grandparents, and even the students, sharing what they have been using for curriculum and may love it or not so much. I also enjoy learning about what they may be trying out for their students, area classes, homeschool organization tips, discipline techniques, you name it. We can learn so much from others and the communities we are building every day and every year.
“More than ever, people are feeling isolated despite the ever-increasing sources of technology and social media advancements. There are too many of these types of sources available right at our fingertips, however, these sources can make us feel more isolated, thus we need to be intentional with all of our relationships right now.“
Community creates growth. As a state homeschooling support and advocacy organization, the Texas Homeschool Coalition (THSC) has many support groups on our website. If you live in Texas, you can search our site for a group that is a good fit for you and your family . If you live outside of Texas make sure to check your state homeschooling website to their groups listings, you can find more state organizations who partner with SPED Homeschool using this link.
You can be part of a community in your area or online. I would suggest both so you can gather for times of fellowship in person as well as having advice or help at the touch of your fingers. Groups can have so much to offer the whole family. It is great to be in groups with like-minded people, and homeschooling is one of those connections we can make with others. There are also connections we make within those groups with families with kids of the same ages and other interests as well as special need students. If you are interested in getting connected with a virtual group, check out this link to the various groups SPED Homeschool hosts .
I think this year it has been especially important in being proactive about building a homeschooling community, as most of us have felt isolated from our normal routines due to COVID-19. We need to begin to repair the connections that have been broken because of this pandemic. Our nation, our state, our cities, our communities, our neighborhoods, and our support groups, need to build back the community support to heal and create networks of support in all areas. More than ever, people are feeling isolated despite the ever-increasing sources of technology and social media advancements. There are too many of these types of sources available right at our fingertips, however, these sources can make us feel more isolated, thus we need to be intentional with all of our relationships right now.
I challenge each of you to make an intentional phone call or write a letter or card to someone to broaden your family’s community and reach out to someone that may really need that interaction with a live person.
Keep building community relationships and growing our homeschool community. We need each other and building that community starts from your home and builds outward into your community.