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Start a Homeschool Group

Historically, homeschool groups have been an important part of homeschool experience. Educating children can be both challenging and rewarding. Groups can provide a place of encouragement and a place to share your talents and passion. There may not be a group of homeschoolers that meet conveniently near you or one that shares your particular passions. You may consider starting a group.

  1. Reflect and Inquire
    Reflect carefully on why you are interested in starting a group. You do not want to start a group for the wrong reasons. Your initial motivation may be to meet a need that you have for yourself or your family. But starting and leading a good will be a lot of work and serving fellow homeschoolers needs to be one of your goals. A group should never be a vehicle to promote oneself or manipulate others. Christian practice is to seek God's counsel, first with prayer and also through conversations with like-minded believers. This practice is an acknowledgement that we have blind spots. Others may serve us by asking good questions about our motivations and our circumstances, about whether it is the right time for us to be engaging in group leadership.
  2. Type
    Once you have received some affirmation and have decided you to move ahead with starting a group, you and your fellow homeschool friends need to clarify what type of group you want to be. Will your group focus on: field trips, a weekly co-op, monthly moms’ meetings, a specific philosophy of education, online communication, or all of the above. What age groups will you include: birth through high school, just preschool, or just elementary, or teens only.
  3. Leadership
    Will you be lead by the moms, dads, or couples? Do you have a leader or enough parents to form a board? Decide on board positions and job descriptions.
  4. Location
    Finding a meeting place for your co-op and or mom meetings maybe the next step your group takes, depending on what type of group you have decided to become.
  5. Communication
    If you will be an online group or a group with a yahoo email loop or Facebook page, someone will need to create this for the group and advertise it to the homeschool community. You may want this benefit for your members only and will add them to the loop or page once they have joined the group.
  6. Shared Responsibility
    Everyone needs to have a voice in the group and to help take ownership of the group by taking part in some small way, like helping to plan a party or field trip. Encourage your members to participate in the planning and implementing of activities. Some groups even offer ministry opportunities where everyone can participate and some groups even minister to the homeschool moms with meals when a new baby is born or other special needs.
  7. Bylaws and Membership
    Every group needs guidelines and rules for their organization; it will protect everyone in the end. There are many samples of bylaws from other groups you can use for a guide. Once you establish what type of group you will be, it will determine the direction your bylaws will take. You will need to have rules for the board and rules for the members to follow. You may include a statement of faith or principles. You can include a membership form and fee for joining the group. The fee should cover the costs for running the organization and your members should know what the fees will cover.
  8. Monies
    Open a bank account. You will also need a treasurer to handle the group's funds, if you are charging a membership fee. This should be a business account, not a personal account, to protect you and your group members.
  9. Schedule
    Develop a calendar. Decide on the dates for your meetings, like the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Then set the dates for your field trips or co-op days and any other events you decide to offer. Let your members know about these dates on your web-site, Facebook or email loop.
  10. Advertise
    Once you have established what type of group you will be and have some guidelines and board members or at least a committed leader, and you have a way to communicate with your members, then it is time to advertise your group to the homeschoolers in your community. This can be done by having an informational meeting at the local library, putting up flyers around town, by publishing it on your Facebook page, by letting your NCHE regional director know to add you to the NCHE web-site, and by advertising in the local paper or parent magazine.
  11. Get Insurance
    Once your group as grown you will find you may need to incorporate your group and purchase insurance.
  12. Growth
    Growth takes time and it also takes learning to do new things.  You may be able to sponsor many more activities, like sports teams, contests, book sales and many other events, as your group grows.  Carefully research actitivities and learn from other, more experienced group leaders.

We at NCHE pray that God will bless you as you pursue this endeavor. We believe group work is a great way to serve others. It is more than just being a support group; you are ministering to fellow homeschool parents in more ways than you may ever realize.