West Virginia Homeschool Groups & Co-ops
Even before you officially begin your homeschooling adventure, you will be curious about how other families in West Virginia approach home education. That is where homeschool support groups come in. These are social groups for homeschoolers that offer a community for both parents and students. Parents can get advice and encouragement from others who have been on the homeschooling path longer than they have, and children can interact with other students who are getting their education in the same customized way.
Below, you will learn about some of the support groups available throughout the state of West Virginia. You will also discover a unique type of outgrowth of homeschool support groups called a “cooperative” (or co-op). Finally, you’ll become aware of the many benefits of connecting with a local or virtual support group for your area.
West Virginia Homeschool Support Groups
Although West Virginia doesn’t rank as one of the larger states, it certainly boasts an active population of homeschool families. Chances are, you will be able to find at least one local homeschool group that you can join.
In general, most groups host the majority of their online interactions on Facebook. To help you with your search for homeschoolers near you, Time4Learning has put together a list of ten Facebook communities around West Virginia that have an active presence.
Even if there are not any local homeschool groups nearby, you don’t have to give up on the idea of finding a support system. The internet is full of virtual support groups for homeschoolers, including Time4Learning’s own West Virginia parent forum.
West Virginia Homeschool Co-ops
Sometimes a large or established homeschool group will desire more formal learning experiences. This can lead to the creation of a cooperative (or “co-op”). The idea behind homeschool co-ops is to offer children group learning opportunities. This can be particularly beneficial for classes and extracurriculars where multi-student participation is ideal, such as for physical education, lab science, or band. Often, parents who organize a co-op agree to take turns teaching or volunteering in other ways to keep the group sustainable and affordable for all families.
An example of a homeschool co-op in West Virginia is the Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative. This group in Davis, WV has the goal of creating engaging and challenging learning experiences while preparing students for a lifetime of civic engagement and close connection to their community. It offers Montessori-based programs for ages 3-12, four days a week, and students can choose between half and full-day participation. Each family with a student enrolled in the center commits to 25 volunteer hours each school year.
Benefits of Joining a Homeschool Group or Co-op
Obviously, the key benefit of joining a homeschool group or co-op near you is to connect with other families who have made the choice to home educate. But there are many other benefits to networking with a group that you may or may not have considered, such as:
- Homeschool curriculum advice
- Discovering local resources
- Academic groups, clubs, and fairs
- Opportunities to participate in unique extracurricular activities
- Group discounts on field trips
- Counsel from seasoned homeschoolers
- Park play dates
- Notifications about local educational activities and classes
- A safe place to vent or celebrate
Additional Resources for Homeschooling in West Virginia
Have other questions about homeschooling in West Virginia? You may find the following pages helpful.