As the popularity of home education has grown in the state, finding local and regional Ohio homeschool groups to connect with has never been easier. When you begin your homeschool adventure, you will have an enormous amount of questions. Internet research can be incredibly helpful in answering some of them, but there is no substitute for personal advice from other families who have “been there, done that.”
An additional type of local homeschool support network you should be aware of is a homeschool cooperative (or “co-op”). Cooperatives are often an outgrowth of an already existing support group with the intent of providing regular group educational classes or activities for members. Read on to find out how to connect with local homeschool groups and cooperatives near you.
Ohio Homeschool Support Groups
In recent years, homeschool support has primarily moved to where parents are already hanging out: Facebook. That doesn’t mean that you can’t sometimes find a large or longstanding group by traditional search methods, but for the most part you’ll want to focus your radar on Facebook groups.
Start by entering your city, county, or region name plus terms like “home educators” or “homeschool” into Facebook search to discover potential existing communities.
To give you a head start on your search, we’ve put together a list of ten active Facebook groups for homeschoolers around Ohio.
Ohio Homeschool Co-ops
Veteran homeschoolers often remark that the term “homeschooling” may be a bit of a misnomer. That’s because being in charge of your child’s education allows the flexibility to create learning opportunities anywhere and everywhere. One educational option that has grown in popularity with homeschooling families is a cooperative, or co-op.
Co-op homeschooling groups are usually organized by parents who decide that their students would benefit from a collaborative learning experience. Parents are often in charge of taking turns teaching courses and volunteering in other ways that make the co-op operate smoothly.
An example of a homeschool cooperative in Ohio is the Columbus Unschoolers Cooperative. During six-week sessions, members of the cooperative meet weekly for classes and free play. Parents are expected to volunteer to keep the co-op running smoothly, and there are many types of volunteer tasks available. Session fees per student cover the expenses of running the co-op, as well as materials for classes.
Benefits of Joining a Homeschool Group or Co-op
If you don’t think of yourself as a “joiner,” it can be hard to see the benefit of joining a homeschool support group or cooperative. Certainly, a homeschool can function without being connected to local support. There may be some benefits to participation in a local or regional homeschool organization that you haven’t considered yet, though, such as:
- Club enrichment opportunities in activities such as chess, band instruments, 4-H, or geography
- Mom’s Night Out events where moms can chat about homeschool (or not!) with others who understand what they are experiencing
- A Facebook group or email chain where you get to share questions and concerns any time of day as they arise
- Group discounts to local educational offerings in your area
- Field trip opportunities with other families
Even if a local support group isn’t something you feel like you want to join right now, you can still get answers to your Ohio homeschool questions. Time4Learning’s virtual support group for Ohio homeschoolers is available to access any time of day or night.
Additional Resources for Homeschooling in Ohio
Have other questions about homeschooling in Ohio? You may find the following pages helpful.
- Homeschooling in Ohio
- Ohio Homeschooling Laws
- Ohio Homeschool Associations
- Homeschool Field Trips in Ohio
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