The following is an interview by Donna Marie Johnson with Keisha Sawyer about how to over come homeschool isolation. ------
What are some of the dangers or negative impacts that you have seen when homeschool parents become isolated?
Homeschool parents often lose their confidence to teach or to facilitate teaching their children when isolated. As a result, the homeschool students suffer because a homeschooler parent is not confident. Homeschool parents begin to question or doubt their ability to teach. We all know that if the mother and/or the homeschool parent is not empowered and self-assured, then there is great possibility that his or her students will not be productive students. Unproductive students and frustrated homeschool parents due to isolation defeats the purpose of homeschooling.
We are our child’s first teacher. You can not ask for a better educator. Keep in mind that successful people have reached their goals and accomplishments simply because of the support system around them.
Homeschool parents need SUPPORT (so they can overcome isolation). ~ Keisha
If a homeschool mom is feeling isolated, lonely and confused about how to fix this situation, how do you recommend that they get started addressing this problem?
There are several ways a homeschool mom can overcome isolation and remove feelings of loneliness and confusion. Join a Homeschool Support Group in her local area. Try to connect with a homeschool family with similar lifestyles and values that you honor and implement within your family. Once connected, stay connected.
Plan outings together with the other homeschool families both school-related as well as fun-filled. It is awesome to get great ideas from other families. It is encouraging to witness their experiences, successes, and accomplishments. It will make you work harder and challenge your homeschool teaching. Sometimes, it is just plain good to share ideas of what works well and does not work well in homeschooling. My personal philosophy is why reinvent the wheel if the wheel already exists and works really well.
Most importantly, do not forget to pray daily for God’s master plan for your homeschool family. Sometimes the answer lies in prayer.
I would also encourage homeschool moms or homeschool dads to keep a journal of your day-to-day feelings and experiences. Track your good homeschooling days versus the tough homeschooling days. Highlight what works and what does not work. After a week, analyze your journal to see what days you felt the most confused, isolated, or lonely. This strategy will help you pinpoint where your struggle lies. Then, execute a step-by-step plan to eliminate the confusion, isolation, and loneliness. Start small and gradually add other improvements.
What is the best local resource that you depend on to support you as a homeschool mom and your homeschool students?
(**Note: Local to Georgia, USA)
Of course, for me and my homeschool family the best resource was my local library and the South Fulton Homeschool Support Group, a non-profit organization that supports and shares local resources with other homeschool families in the South Fulton Community and surrounding areas.
Believe it or not, there are many interesting books about homeschooling that really gives insight to the history of homeschooling as well as addresses methods to make homeschooling easy.
Also, many local churches hosts events, seminars, and workshops that support homeschool families. Do not forget to check with different co-ops in your local area. They often offer classes in exchange for volunteering or offering donations, such as snacks, school supplies, etc.
Keisha’s Resource List
- SOCIAL MEDIA: Believe it or not, social media, specifically, FACEBOOK, is a great tool for homeschool families to locate resources in their community.
- NEWSPAPER: Of course, do not forget to check your local neighborhood papers.
- CREATE GROUP: If you can not find any local resources, create your own support group. I started the South Fulton Homeschoolers because I was new to homeschooling, and I needed to create a network of homeschool families for me and my homeschoolers in my community. Within less than a month of advertising, a large group of interested homeschool parents willingly gathered to meet at our local library to learn more about the Homeschooling Support Group.
- LIBRARY: The South Cobb Regional Library in Mableton, GA (Cobb County) actually has a notebook/reference book for homeschool families to view local resources in the area designed specifically for homeschoolers.
- LIBRARIANS: Talk to your librarians at the front desk and in the children’s/teen department. They know all of the homeschool families in the community by first name.
- RECREATION CENTERS: Virginia Grey Recreation Center in Clayton County (Georgia) offers free PE/Health classes for homeschoolers every Thursday for one hour in the morning. Activities Include: arts & crafts, sports, other physical exercises and field trips.
- COLLEGES: Clayton State University offers educational programming in the form of music and theater. Often, top-notch acts from around the country and world perform for audiences of children and youth. Some early morning and matinee events or shows are as low as $2 per ticket per person.
- MEETUPS: If you are a part of an online/virtual school, please attend one of their field trips or meet-ups. This is a great way to meet and connect with other homeschool families.
Keisha’s final tip on overcoming homeschool isolation:
Do not let homeschooling consume you. Just let it become a part of you. It is always good to have a healthy outlet after all that teaching. You will be modeling great habits that your homeschooler will always remember.
DONNA’S COMMENT: Yes! You set the pattern for your children and their children, too. Think of your homeschool as part of your long-term legacy-building plan. Thanks, Keisha!
Interview Guest: Keisha Sawyer
Former pro teacher in the area of Special Education/Early Childhood Education
Wife | Homeschool Mother of 4 | Community Activist | Business Owner
To Learn More About The Support Group in South Fulton (Atlanta Airport Region), click or go to this link:
Or Contact Keisha by email or phone.
Email: southfultonfriends @ yahoo.com
Phone: +1(404)585-1523 (Google Voice)