Many veteran homeschoolers advise other homeschoolers to join a homeschool sustain group. They can provide encouragement, sustain, advice on state standards, and socialization. There are so many sustain groups obtainable, chances are there is one meeting in your area. Before you join a homeschool sustain group you will want to ask a few questions to make sure this group is a good fit for your family.
1. When are the meetings held and how are they run? Do the meetings fit in with your schedule? Are they meeting during a nap time or when your husband doesn’t want you to be gone? Are they regularly scheduled or just as needed? Do they meet too often, more than you have time to attend or just about the right amount?
2. What is required of me? Is there a membership fee or required time commitment? Do I need to sign a statement of faith or is anyone allowed to participate?
3. Do most of the homeschoolers have the same philosophy of homeschooling that I do or is there a variety? Do I have enough in shared with the members of this group to feel comfortable or assistance from their input?
4. Do they have someone you can contact if you are new to homeschooling or need help along the way?
5. Do they communicate well? Is there a phone or e-mail system set up to relay messages about group events?
6. Are there enough/too many activities for you to participate in? If a group is not active in meeting or planning activities, you might not get the help or sustain you need. however, if the group is too active and make you feel that you need to be at most of the activities it, may hinder your homeschool year and cause you to burn out.
7. Is everyone doing their proportion or are just a few people doing all the work? If everyone does at the minimum a little bit and contributes their special talent, then you’ll find that the group and leadership are well run and satisfied.
As with anything in life, balance is the meaningful to finding the right sustain group for your family. You need to know what you want and what you are willing to give to a sustain group. If you decide that this is not the right time in your life to join a sustain group, then don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for making that decision. Sometimes one or two homeschool friends that you can call on for sustain or advice may be all that you need. If you desire to join a homeschool sustain group, then these questions should help you find a group that will meet your needs.