Most states have a homeschool association. Most of these associations serve several purposes, such as representing the needs of homeschoolers with state government leaders, influencing the legislative process to benefit homeschooling, and to provide seminars and conventions for the homeschooling community.
A homeschool association can be an excellent resource for you in several ways.
Participating in a homeschool association can lead you to homeschoolers and homeschool groups in your area. In fact, most homeschool associations can put you in contact with groups in your area. For example, some associations divide a state into regions and have a representative for each region who maintains a list of groups in that region. These representatives can put you in touch with those groups.
A homeschool association can keep you informed about homeschool events in your state, including conventions or other special activities.
An association can keep you informed about significant legislation related to homeschooling that is being considered in your state. An association also attempts to influence such legislation for the betterment of homeschooling.
Most associations hold conventions these conventions can be very useful to you and are discussed in more detail in the next section.
Many associations also hold seminars and other opportunities for you to learn more about homeschooling.
Finding a Homeschool Association
In what is probably becoming a familiar pattern to you, checking your homeschool network is one way to find out about homeschool associations in your area. (Are you starting to really see why it is so useful to have a homeschool network?) Just ask your fellow homeschoolers about any associations they participate in or of which they are aware.
And, you can use the Web to find associations in your area. You can use the same steps as you would to find homeschools, except this time search for "homeschool association yourstate" where yourstate is your state. It is highly likely that the first link on the search results page will be the homeschool association for your state. Click its link to visit its home page.
When you visit the association's homepage, you can explore all that it offers; be prepared, however, to spend some time here as most associations have quite a lot to offer.
Participating in a Homeschool Association
There are several ways in which you can participate in a homeschool association, such as the following:
- Take advantage of the information resources provided by the association. All associations provide a variety of information to you, which can be especially useful when you are getting started. For example, most publish periodicals that keep you informed about homeschooling activity in your state. Association Web sites typically have lots of "how-to" information that you can use along with contact information for homeschoolers in your area and information about homeschool events.
- Attend homeschool conventions or seminars offered by the association (more on this in the next section).
- Become actively involved in the association by volunteering your time to support the association's activities.
Homeschool associations require dues for you to become a member; these dues are usually quite modest. Although you don't have to be a member to take advantage of some association resources, such as Web sites, I recommend that you do join associations that you find useful to support them.