If you are new to the Christian Homeschool Moms community, Welcome! It is so important to stay plugged in with like-minded folks so you can stay encouraged and keep growing. Being able to do that online through the CHM community has been priceless for me. I pray that it will be for you, too, and help you connect to your local community more, as well.

IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL COMMUNITY FOR HOMESCHOOL

Getting and staying plugged into your local community is very important. In a previous CHM article series, I shared why being isolated is a big mistake you can avoid, especially for those of us who love the Lord. If you’d like to read those articles, please click here for the “Big Mistake” article series.
The feedback that many of you gave on that series was very encouraging to help the CHM community know this is an important topic to discuss. Thank you for sharing! It also helped me to see that some parents are having a hard time figuring out how they can start the process of getting plugged in. So, this article is for the purpose of helping you get started so you can keep your family plugged into the local community.

How To Plug Into Local Community With Your Heart

Before you read on, I just want to encourage you to:
  • take things step by step, especially if you have younger children
  • allow older children to learn by helping you research
  • keep your heart open to the Lord about what He wants plugging in locally to look like for your homeschool and family

Trying to add too much to your plate all at one time will sabotage your efforts. If you end up right back where you started, it could frustrate you and send you back into isolation mode again. Also, make some of this research into local events a homeschool project that your older children can help with. It will be good for them to build their research skills and good for you to have help.

Also, in the previous article series, I shared about why it is important to open your heart to Father God so you’ll allow Him to build community around you in whatever way that He sees fit to do that. He will always send you help through other people. You just have to be willing to let them into your life and heart.


 

Three Ways To Start Plugging In To Local Community

  1. Attend local library events, even if they are for the wrong student ages, learning stages or not completely relevant to your interests.
  2. Attend local alternative or non-traditional education events sponsored by homeschool groups and educational entrepreneurs.
  3. Join local theater, crafting, cooking, urban farming, chess club or other groups that are totally relevant to you and your children’s interests.

Recommended Local Community Research Resources

Start with the library because, usually, it is the very best local resource for most homeschool families since it is free, public and easy to gain access in the USA.

How To Find Your Local Library System

If you are not sure how to find your local library, start with your state’s website. Your state  government (or city / county government) website should list the names of the regional libraries within your area. To Find Your State’s Website, go to USA.gov and then click on the “State government” link in the section called “Government Agencies and Elected Officials”.
Sometimes good old fashioned ways of finding local resources work well, too:
  • While driving look for library street signs
  • Ask a neighbor or a postal employee
  • Look in the Yellow Pages or YP.com website {or call 411 – not free}

Get Event Announcements From Library

Once you have found your local library, pay attention to the events they are announcing online and in the building. Also, pick up the fliers that people leave at the library. Some of them may not be for library events, but may lead you to community events that align with your interests.
If your library announces “Friend of the Library” types of events, which are usually organized by local community leaders to fundraise for the library, make sure you go to those. In our area, Fulton County, Georgia (Atlanta metro), they usually do used book sales and baked goods sales. Our local library friends group also has a homeschool support group that meets at the Wolf Creek Branch  of AFPLS Library (3100 Enon Rd in SW Atlanta).

Build Relationships

Librarians Are Priceless!
Build relationship with your local librarians and let them know you are a homeschool family seeking to plug into the community more. They are community members, too. And they usually are very passionate to see families thriving and will go above and beyond to help you.
Other Library Patrons Are Priceless!
As you attend events, you will begin to see familiar faces from your community and develop familiarity with some newer faces. Getting to know fellow library patrons will help you, not just at the library, but as you are out and about. This is a great way to connect with like-minded folks so you can support each other. Exchange contact information, including social networks like Facebook, so you can connect easily and discover common interests.
Be Curious (aka nosey)!
While you are at the library or other venues, ask questions about what is going on. Ask staff and other patrons. Also, remember that your neighbors may be curious about you (especially if you are new to the area) and willing to give you information if you ask.

Your Questions And Feedback

In the next articles in this series, I will share more tips on how you can plug-in locally. Please share your questions and feedback about this. I will share them in the next article.
Thanks for reading. And Happy New Year!
~ Donna Marie 🙂

About Donna Marie Johnson

Donna Marie Johnson is a wife, homeschool mom and marketing consultant and trainer who inspires and empowers women leaders to #MarketLikeAQueen. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia USA and works with clients online, by phone and in person. She invites you to ask her for a free marketing clarity session on her main website at DonnaMarieJohnson.com . The God-given purpose and vision which guides her family’s homeschool and her business is based in the Holy Bible’s first book: Genesis 12:2-3; which shows us that just as God gifted Christ Jesus into this world to bless the whole world, He has also gifted Christ-like-ones, or Christians, to bless and change the world. As a mom of children who are gifted and who have special needs, she totally gets that schooling at home does not look the same for everyone. So this understanding makes her very passionate about encouraging home educators to seek God for wisdom on his purpose for their homeschool and direction on how it is going to look day by day by day.

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