Tips & Resources: Social Networking for Homeschoolers
March 12, 2014
We all need our people. You know, the people who make us feel like we are “normal,” “human,” and not alone. This is particularly true for parents who homeschool, who might find themselves home alone with children for 8-10 hours, each day. Yes, yes, yes, we all love our children, but sometimes, being alone with them, all day, can be a bit much.
Facebook is the undeniable place to connect with other homeschoolers
Here’s how to find your peeps. Simply find a description of yourself on the left column and then check out the group on the right column. Some of the groups are open and you can head over right away to feel the love. Others are closed groups, so you will have to send a request to join. I bet that they will take you. They want to share the love with you, too. They are just a bit more selective.
After you find your posse, I have some suggestions for you on various ways to connect with them, no matter where they are.
For years, I felt really strange about making online friends. It seemed somehow or other “weird.” How can you be friends with someone that you don’t know? I have since realized, though, that if someone offers me support or encouragement and if I can offer them support and encouragement, then we are friends! I do not need to “know” them.
So, stop being lonely! Homeschoolers, go and find your people!
-sexy, single and maternal? Or, perhaps tired, frumpy, and recently abandoned?
-known to shock those around you, by uttering wildly inappropriate things?
-mildly inappropriate, occasionally a bit odd, but certainly not dangerous?
-way into Jesus?
-a follower of His Holiness, Pope Francis?
-a homeschooling Pastafarian? Ramen!
Homeschooling Freethinking Anti-Theists
-not so into Jesus?
-a staunch supporter of a Jesus based curriculum
-opposed to the consumption of any and all animal products?
-more in love with your iPhone than your children?
-really, flipping broke, living off of re-constituted beans?
-making your own butter and killing your own chickens while praying?
-making your own butter and killing your own chickens after chanting over a cow’s horn stuffed with manure that you buried in the ground, but before you stirred a magic potion for several hours, without allowing the vortex to dissipate?
-sure that Charlotte Mason is not a serial killer?
-looking to buy homeschool curriculum on the cheap?
– a practical, loosely spiritual, supportive, encouraging, run of the mill sort of homeschooler, in “mom-pants.”. (read: boring): OK, sorry! Don’t take it personally! This is probably the category that I best fit into!
-a radical unschooler?
-the parent of a child with special needs?
Pick a group and stick with it
Participating in too many groups just gets overwhelming and is not very satisfying.
Be in the same time at the same place
So, when you find these people, which you will, not doubt, you might want to actually communicate with them, you know, in real time, with your voice. Maybe not actually in the same room, but in a way that feels more interactive, and well, alive, than you are on Facebook. It might feel good to chat in the old fashioned way. What can that look like?
-How about an online conference or meeting? You can get together with the other tree fairy homeschooling moms to talk about pixie dust or gnome houses. With an online learning platform, you can have everyone log into a room at the same time, and actually talk.
-Perhaps you want a weekly coffee break? Once each week, let’s say on Tuesday at 10:15, you can log on with a few other moms and chat about your hopes, your fears, the lives you have given up, you know, that sort of thing.
-Would you benefit from a Book Group? How great would it feel to get together with people- adult people- and discuss a book? How long has it been?
-Maybe you want to run a class for the kiddies? You can announce on one of these groups that your kid needs some friends to read Captain Underpants with. Or maybe your child would prefer Jane Eyre? You can run an online class, where you explore the books and have deep and meaningful conversations that make their brains ache.
While finding the people on Facebook is a huge step towards the community that you need, there is no need to stop there. Life is better with friends and friends are better when you can talk to them.
Check out the WizIQ Platform for teachers and learners
WizIQ is an online platform as well as social networking community for teachers and learners. Real time, online, 6 way streaming audio and video communication make it easy and fun to talk to others. A white board and video player make it easy to teach and share.
Kids can use it. Moms can use it. Your community is no longer limited by geography. Social networking for homeschoolers; the possibilities are endless!
I am a teacher, hiker, mother, dancer and home-maker. I have taught pre-school through SAT prep. I am exploring ways to create on-line learning communities for home-schooled middle school and high school students. In particular, I am starting a low-residency on-line middle school. I would like to help young people explore important ideas while enjoying their lives! You can learn more about my programs at www.onlineclassesforgroovykids.org.