4 Main Types of Homeschool Support & How to Choose
This episode of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast dives into the wonderful world of homeschool support. We’ll explore the 4 main types of homeschool support and how to choose the best fit for you, your family, and your homeschool journey.
As homeschoolers, we long for a strong support system. There are four different types of holistic homeschooling support to consider: curriculum, online membership communities, online courses, and in-person trainings, retreats, and conferences.
And there is a fifth option, too. That’s going it alone without any support. While this may work for some, it’s important to consider that homeschooling can be a rewarding and also a challenging experience. At times, even overwhelming and lonely. I believe it’s crucial to recognize that homeschooling does not have to be a solo endeavor.
Feeling good about the important work you’re doing in the world is motivating. It will help you to continue on the homeschooling journey and make it sustainable. So I encourage you to get the support you need, whatever stage of the homeschooling journey you’re in at the moment.
I also want to point out that the best type of homeschool support encourages you to connect with your own intuition and creativity. And to observe your children and seek to understand what the next right step is for them on their learning journey. The best type of support for you helps you innovate and individualize the learning to suit your children and your family.
4 Main Types of Homeschool Support & How to Choose
Let’s explore the pros and cons of the main types of homeschool support, so you can determine which one resonates with you the most. And I have a fun little surprise for you ~ a quiz!
#1: Curriculum Support
First up, curriculum support.
Many families rely on curated curriculum options that provide structure and guidance. The pros of using curriculum support include having a clear roadmap for your child’s education, pre-planned lessons and activities, and a sense of confidence that you’re covering the necessary subjects.
However, one downside to consider is that fixed curricula may feel rigid and fail to cater to your child’s individual learning style or interests. We can end up feeling behind often because we rarely complete everything that’s laid out in a fixed curriculum. So keep that in mind the pros and cons with this type of support.
#2: Online Membership Communities
Next, we have online membership communities.
These communities offer a supportive network of homeschooling parents and mentors, allowing you to connect, share experiences, and gain valuable tools and insights. The pros of joining an online membership community include access to a diverse range of perspectives, opportunities for feedback and reassurance, and the ability to ask questions and seek advice in real-time.
Just be mindful that finding the right community that aligns with your values and educational philosophy is key because some communities can be dogmatic in their approach.
#3: Online Courses
Moving on, online courses provide another avenue of homeschooling support.
There are really two possibilities here. Because there are online courses for parents. And relatively new on the scene are online courses for your children.
Courses for parents often include videos and PDF printables, and have the benefit of being self-paced.
Courses for students are designed to supplement your curriculum or cover specific subjects.
The pros of online courses are the flexibility they offer, allowing your child to explore a wide range of topics and learn from expert instructors.
Nonetheless, one potential drawback is the need for parental involvement as well as additional financial investment. And it’s also important to note how much time a student is required to be online each day and week.
#4: In-person Events
Finally, we have in-person trainings, retreats, and conferences.
These events provide opportunities for homeschoolers to gather, learn, and connect with like-minded individuals.
The pros of attending in-person events include the chance to engage in hands-on workshops, learn from experienced homeschoolers and experts, and form lasting friendships.
However, attending these events may require travel, time, and financial commitment. And large conferences or conventions can be impersonal and even overwhelming.
How to Choose: A Quiz for You
Now, let’s help you figure out which of the main types of homeschool support suits you best with a quick quiz. Remember, all four types of support are valid, and the right choice depends on your unique needs and preferences.
Quiz Question 1: Do you prefer a structured curriculum or more flexibility in your child’s education?
a) I prefer a structured curriculum
b) I prefer flexibility
Quiz Question 2: How important is connecting with other homeschooling families to you?
a) Very important
b) Somewhat important
c) Not a priority
Quiz Question 3: Are you willing to invest financially in additional resources for your homeschooling journey?
a) Yes, I’m willing to invest
b) No, I prefer free or low-cost options
Quiz Question 4: Are you interested in attending in-person events and workshops?
a) Absolutely, I love in-person interactions
b) I prefer online options for convenience
c) It doesn’t matter to me
Now tally up your responses to find out which main type homeschool support is right for you!
Have you jotted down your answers? Let’s go!
Mostly A’s: If you answered mostly (a)’s, it seems like structured curriculum support might be the best fit for you. Consider exploring well-known curriculum options to provide the structure and guidance you desire. Keep in mind that working with a mentor can help you customize that curriculum to suit your children’s and family’s needs.
Mostly B’s: If you answered mostly (b)’s, online membership communities could be a great fit. Joining online groups and communities will offer the flexibility and connection you’re seeking on your homeschooling journey. Of course, I’d love to have you come join the Inspired at Home community if it feels like a good fit for you.
Mix of A’s & B’s: If you answered a mix of (a)’s and (b)’s, online courses might be your ideal choice. They allow you to learn at your own pace as the homeschool teacher OR supplement your curriculum with additional subjects or explore specific topics of interest for your children. BTW, I offer a variety of online courses which you can find out about here.
Mix of A’s & C’s: Lastly, if you answered mostly (a)’s and (c)’s, attending in-person trainings, retreats, and conferences could be the best homeschooling support for you right now. These events provide valuable opportunities for hands-on learning and connecting with others.
If a small immersive event for holistic homeschoolers sounds good to you, come join us at the Taproot Teacher Training in August! It’s like a personal retreat, teacher training, and summer camp with friends all rolled into one great long weekend.
No One-Size-Fits-All Homeschool Support
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to homeschool support. And you can always combine different types of support based on your current needs.
You can find types of support that complement each other, too. For example, working with a homeschool mentor can help you use your curriculum to meet your children and family’s specific and unique needs. Attending a live event, training, or workshop can give you the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion about your purchased curriculum or online trainings you’ve attended. And joining an online membership after attending a live event, training, or workshop can deepen your connections to a supportive community.
Remember that homeschool support can be customized to fit your unique homeschooling approach and goals. Whether you seek assistance with curriculum, lesson planning, or guidance in the day to day, finding the right support system can enhance your homeschooling journey and provide a network of individuals who understand and support your educational choices.
Whatever type of support you feel you need most right now, the key is to find what resonates with you and makes your homeschooling journey more fulfilling and enjoyable.
The most important thing is to feel good about what you’re bring to your family. And to create a culture of curiosity so that you can foster lifelong learning and enjoy your homeschool journey!
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