My family lives in a rural part of the state and we attend a small church without many children. Co-op classes or sports programs are not a good option for my family. How can we connect with the homeschool community?
You may not be as alone as you think. There are support groups all over the state that get together on a regular basis for activities, and unlike co-ops and other classes, there is often no fee to join or participate. Check out the support groups page on www.schea.net to find a support group in your area.
Try your local library. Libraries are a great source of fun, free activities. Our library offers activities specifically for homeschool students at many of its branches. They also have a great variety of offerings for all ages from toddler classes to family film nights to knitting groups.
Consider taking part in some of the statewide events coming up this spring. The Home School Day at the Capitol is coming up on April 30th. All events are free, and if you get the code from the SCHEA website the week of the event, parking is also free. Homeschool families from across the state will be there so this is a great time to connect with other families - and you never know you might just find that some of them live nearby. All the information is on the SCHEA website: http://schea2.azurewebsites.net/
In a similar vein, the Teach Them Diligently conference is coming up April 3-5 in Spartanburg. Admission is $65 for the whole family, and there are plenty of events planned for the kids as well as the parents. For more details check out the website: http://teachthemdiligently.net/locations/spartanburg-sc
Be sure to check out the recent ads page of the blog for other events coming up.
Finally, if you are looking for a little encouragement for yourself, consider getting involved in one of the online communities for homeschoolers. Our curriculum provider has a forum where parents can ask questions and connect with other parents who are using the same books. I did a quick search of general homeschool forums and found several to choose from. Please do note that while the internet can be a great place to connect with people, you should be careful about giving out personal information.
These are just a few ways to get involved in the larger homeschool community. But I'm sure there are other ideas out there. If you have an idea for connecting with the community please comment below.