Support Group Management: Starting & Running a Support Group
Learn how to start and manage a homeschool support group, including how to stay organized, how to handle conflict, and ideas for your support group.
Starting & Running a Homeschool Support Group
Home education support groups
There are many home educators' support groups around the world, particularly in the USA and UK. These can be a good way of getting to know other families, finding out about local regulations or facilities, and for your children to mix with others of different background. This article discusses reasons for wanting a support group, how to start a home education support group, and possible group activities.
Starting A Homeschool Group
Some basic tips for starting a homeschool support group. This article has three parts--be sure to continue on to each part. The first part focuses specifically on how to find other interested parents. Part two discusses how to communicate with the group, conduct meetings, and decide on a direction for the group. The final part of the article addresses the nuts and bolts of support group management--money issues, dealing with difficult people, and delegation.
Starting a New Support Group
One of the most persistent criticisms of homeschooling is that the children will have no social life. Though homeschooling parents may know better, many parents are more secure knowing a number of other homeschoolers in their area so children can get together with other kids who are being homeschooled. You may find, however, that there is no group in your area. As you (and any interested parents you may know) consider forming a group, you may want to consider some questions first.
Why and How to Get Connected
In this day and age, homeschoolers represent a market. There are many businesses catering to homeschoolers' needs--or perceived needs. When first starting out it can be especially tempting to sign up for a multitude of classes or experiences that are being sold to you, rather than putting your energy into a grassroots network such as a local homeschool support group. Before you know it, your days are filled with activity and you don't look back. The intangibles you'd be missing out on--real connection with other homeschoolers and personal empowerment--might be some of the best kept secrets of homeschooling, as well as what would sustain you on this path in the end. This article includes some examples and ideas of rituals and social events you can organize.
The Leader's Manual: A Guide For Christian Home School Support Groups
This practical guide to starting and leading a support group covers such topics as how to start a support group, how to structure your leadership team, practical tips on managing a support group, ideas for support group meetings, what to do when your group gets too large, how to prevent leader burnout, and much more. You'll also find over 25 reproducible, ready-to-use forms for use in many organized activities, check-off lists for seminars and field trips, time-tables for planning support group activities, certificates, testing enrollment form, and much more.
Field Trip Guidelines for Homeschool Groups
This letter can be used to establish an understanding about homeschool groups when you organize a field trip.
Web Presence for African-American Homeschoolers
Creating a web presence of African-American home school support groups will do much to organize and network families across the country and internationally. This article the basics for creating a personal home schooling website or site for a home school support group or organization.
Forming a Homeschool Support Group
This webpage has a list of articles detailing many of the issues and ideas surrounding starting a homeschool support group. You'll find discussions of everything from why you should form a support group, to choosing a leader, to delegating and handling tough situations.
Support for Homeschool Group Leaders
HSGLS - Homeschool Group Leader Support
This group is for homeschool support group leaders to discuss the challenges of organizing, running, and leading their local, national, or international homeschool support groups, and to share ideas and information about facilitating homeschool support groups. HSGLS is open to all homeschool group leaders.
CMmamas - Leader support group
A support group for homeschool group Leaders, with the Charlotte Mason literature-based homeschool method as a primary focus. Leaders of other types of homeschool or parent's groups may participate. Topics include group organization, problems, setting up studies and discussions, activities, speakers, conventions and conferences, books, email and websites.
Homeschool Editors
Homeschool Editors, an email list sponsored by NHEN, was created for editors and publishers of homeschooling newsletters, magazines, e-zines and journals. Whether your homeschooling publication is large or small, you're welcome to join this group. Discussions cover the dilemmas faced and discoveries made trying to bring information to the homeschooling community.
Leader Support
This is a support list for all homeschool group leaders, regardless of religious beliefs or homeschooling philosophies. Here you can give or receive input, ideas, and support from other homeschool leaders.
Roots and Shoot Homeschool Leaders
This listserv is for Roots and Shoots leaders who lead a homeschool or community group. Here you can share ideas on projects, service activities, fundraising, and general topics about your group.
NHEN-NewSG
This list is for those people seeking to start homeschool support groups in their area. The list hopes to provide encouragement, advice, and support to those working hard to foster connections between homeschoolers via support networks.
Lynchburg Home School Leaders (LHSL)
The LHSL group is a Yahoo group that has been set-up to facilitate communication amongst all homeschool organizations within the Lynchburg, Virginia, area. It is hoped that each homeschool organization in the community will be represented in the LHSL by having at least one person from their leadership team join the LHSL group, to bring together the strengths of our many differing families, churches, and homeschool groups for the benefit of all.
Homeschool Leaders Support
This is a group for those who lead homeschool support groups, co-ops, or other groups for homeschool families to connect and talk about their common (or unique) issues and challenges of organizing, managing, leading, and growing groups are organized for homeschool families.
LDS Homeschool Leaders
LDS Homeschool Leaders is the official email support group for LDS homeschool support group leaders across the nation and beyond, sponsored by the National LDS Homeschool Association. All LDS homeschool support leaders are encouraged to join as well as those planning to start a group soon. This list provides an opportunity to share information about your group, discuss leadership problems, and find support.
Tools for Homeschool Support Group Leaders
Calendars Net
Free online web calendar hosting. Calendars Net is designed for webmasters who want to integrate interactive calendars with their websites. Use this online calendar to make organizing your support group functions a snap.
Featured Resources

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Elementary Geography
Elementary Geography is a reprint of the original work by Charlotte Mason. It includes her ideas about teaching children about their world, with poetry selections throughout the book. Explores ideas of place from space to our earth, seasons, map making, and topography. Written in a pleasing conversational style, it is useful for understanding teaching methods, memorization, and copy work. 
The Absorbent Mind
In response to the crisis in American education, more than five thousand public and private schools across the nation have adopted the timeless Montessori Method of teaching, of which this book is the cornerstone. Written by the women whose name is synonymous worldwide with child development theory, The Absorbent Mind takes its title from the phrase that the inspired Italian doctor coined to characterize the child's most crucial developmental stage: the first six years.A new foreword by John Cha...
But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature
This book by Dr. Susan A. McDowell  uses research, statistics, and the experiences of homeschooling families to answer questions and counter myths about homeschooling and socialization. Read through a discussion of the multiple meanings of socialization, what parents, leaders, and children have to say about the issue, and what the research shows. 
Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives
For the first time, Basic Montessori opens the celebrated philosophy and method to a more general public. David Gettman has devised a clear and modern explanation of Montessori's revolutionary ideas about early intellectual development, and provides a step-by-step guide to the Montessori learning activities most commonly used with under-fives. These include activities for introducing reading and writing, counting and decimal concepts, science, and geography, as well as activities that help dev...
Home Organizing Workbook: Clearing Your Clutter, Step-By-Step
Failing the Mary Poppins' snap-the-fingers approach to cleaning, here's the next best thing: an utterly practical handbook that offers lasting results for anyone looking to banish clutter from every room in the house. Home organizer par excellence Meryl Starr offers up her hardworking organizing solutions in The Home Organizing Workbook, a straightforward guide to getting organized. The room chapters begin with targeted questionnaires that help the reader identify specific organizational problem...