Building A Support Network: Moms in the Trenches
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We have moved 8 times in 22 years of marriage. That is a lot of moving and a lot of rebuilding friendships. I am thankful that I have been able to maintain many close friendships despite my moves. However, I am also thankful that God has blessed me with new friends wherever I go. Whether it is sharing motherhood, sports, or homeschooling, I know the importance of having a group of friends who are one of my support networks. When we began homeschooling, I knew that my husband would support me, but I also knew that I would need friends who were walking a similar journey with me. My school aged children (4th and Kindergartener) would no longer be in public school. And by default, my support network would no longer be fellow classroom moms.

When we began homeschooling, it was coupled with a move to a new state and community. Thanks to the advantages of the internet, I quickly found a local homeschool group and saw that the moms met once a month at a local coffee shop. My husband encouraged me to go. Yes, I was going to be walking into a group knowing no one and just beginning our journey to homeschool. It was scary but the blessings I reaped include some of my closest friends to this day. I remember we went around the room and introduced ourselves and shared our children’s ages and how long we had been homeschooling. After the meeting, a woman came over to connect with me telling me her children were the same ages and gender. Funny thing is, I was hoping to get her number before I left. Even better, as we exchanged details we learned we lived just a couple blocks from each other and were both just beginning to homeschool.

This meeting was the start of a new friendship that led to many others. What I know about myself is that I like to connect with others and grow friendships. I was determined to have a network of moms who homeschooled. I also enjoyed that I was walking alongside friends, many of whom were in a similar stage of just beginning this journey. I wanted to build a homeschool that worked for my family, not just replicate someone else’s approach. Rich discussion and a shared energy for homeschooling were the results of having a group of friends that were at the same stage I was.

I loved, and still love, having a group of moms who truly understand when I am excited about a really good day. I love being able to talk with a friend when we have a bad day and am reminded that tomorrow is filled with hope. I love being able to talk with a friend and share my joys and fears about homeschooling. And I love having a friend who listens and laughs with me. Even more importantly, I provide encouragement, support, and a listening ear to these friends as well. A strong support network of other moms was extremely important to me when we began homeschooling because neither my family nor my husband’s family understood our desire and call to homeschool.

Now, almost 8 years later, I still value having a support network of moms/families who homeschool. I know it has made a difference in our homeschooling. My homeschooling support network doesn’t look the same as it did when I first started thanks, in part, to another move to a new state. However, the importance of having moms in the trenches hasn’t changed. Whether they are in the same town as me, across a computer screen, or a phone call/text away, knowing I have a group of friends in the trenches has made me a better mom and teacher.

I encourage you as a homeschool mom or dad to take the time to invest in building friendships with other homeschool families. Having someone who understands what you are going through is invaluable. And having someone to connect with on great, hard, or somewhere in-between days, makes the homeschool journey all the better. As you build a network of support and friendships, I hope you will be richly blessed.

Meet the Author

Debra Schroeder - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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