A community for homeschooling parents can mean different things to different people. But at its core, a community is where someone can be seen and known, and accepted, for who they are right now. That’s the kind of community parents are building at Learnwell.

It’s not a perfect community, but it is one that aims to live by a set of shared values that look different in many homes and families. For example, our school values intentional margin — the time and space students and families need to reconnect, play, and explore. But not every family does this in the same way. That’s what a truly supportive community for homeschooling parents is about: embracing similar values that play out similarly or a little differently in each family.

Here are four additional perks of homeschooling in a community.

1. A Community for Homeschooling Parents That…Supports Other Parents.

At Learnwell, we can’t mandate how anyone acts or what they believe. But we do tend to draw families who try to major on the major things and minor on the minors. In other words, they support each other where it counts most.

This is the kind of community you can’t manufacture or win by playing the lottery. It’s a shared vision of honoring shared values: loving others well, caring without judgment and honoring God with the awareness that we all mess up sometimes and need His grace and the forgiveness of others.

Some of the ways parents tell us they feel supported include being able to ask questions freely. Whether you come to homeschooling as a first-timer or you’ve been doing a version of homeschooling for years, Learnwell offers a community for homeschooling parents that are listened to and heard when they ask questions. Another way parents tell us they feel supported is in acts of service.

Yes, our school organizes opportunities to serve together throughout the year, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Acts of service from within the community often show up organically simply because someone chose to care about someone else. It could be an encouraging note that one parent mails to another, the offer to help a parent who needs a break, or a meal delivered to a family who has been sick.

Support for homeschooling parents is a unique form of assistance. It’s the kind of support that asks questions first, listens second, and problem-solves third. It’s a format where parents cheer on other people’s kids when they make it to the state competition for the Tech & Engineering Expo, where parents aren’t afraid to admit they don’t have it all together, and where teachers and administrators are kind and responsive to felt needs.

2. A Community of Homeschooling Parents That…Collaborate With Teachers.

The partnership between parents and teachers is unlike many other hybrid schools. It’s our desire that every parent gets to provide input into how his or her child learns. In fact, it’s so integrated into our educational model, particularly as students get into middle and high school, that our curriculum helps students learn how they learn best.

Parents and teachers communicate regularly about more than just grades. They talk about how it’s really going at the kitchen table on a student’s at-home day.

At Learnwell, students attend on campus two days each week, and they learn at home three days a week. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or tutor who is teaching them on those at-home days, teachers value hearing how it’s going. They routinely provide support for students who need additional help, who want to dive deeper into a particular subject, or just need a little extra motivation.

Learnwell teachers do an excellent job of resourcing parents to actually teach on their at-home days. They’re not just homework monitors. Teachers understand that parents know their kids best, and parents are given huge amounts of flexibility about how a concept is learned. For example, a teacher may write in the lesson plan to “practice the 4’s multiplication tables.” Parents have the freedom to cover that however they choose: writing in the sand on a beach vacation, asking times table questions while their student jumps on a trampoline, or playing a matching game using a deck of cards.

Collaboration between teachers and parents is the hallmark of a Learnwell education.

3. A Community of Homeschooling Parents That…Receive Professional Development.

Parent professional development helps Learnwell parents receive what they need to teach their children at home. Learnwell hosts parent coffees regularly where topics can be everything from how much freedom parents have using their child’s lesson plans to ideas for motivating students when they aren’t interested in a particular subject.

At Learnwell, we understand that there’s a connection between how a parent views learning and how students view it. So we want to create an environment of knowledge sharing. Parent leadership is so valuable in our school community because it promotes the truth: Parents can teach their children at home with confidence. Students can enjoy the learning process from anywhere: the comfort of their kitchen table, desk, or in the backyard.

This knowledge sharing between parents is done in multiple ways: through organized meetups, such as the parent coffees, and also through our private Facebook page where parents can pass along ideas, through YouTube videos designed just for Learnwell parents and through our annual Parent Boot Camp.

Don’t worry; boot camp isn’t as tough as it sounds. In fact, parents tell us it gives them confidence, allows them to connect with other parents in their child’s class, and provides resources so they know where to go when they have questions.

We value parents’ ability to teach their children at home, so why wouldn’t we offer them the same kind of professional development that all teachers receive throughout the year?

4. A Community of Homeschooling Parents That…Communicate.

Another unique aspect of Learnwell is that we aim to communicate regularly with parents. Instead of just a twice-a-year progress report, parents are looped into the academic and non-academic progress their students are making.

Teachers update parents and students regularly through email and Google Classroom. It may be about a math quiz a student aced, but it could also be a soft skill they learned. Perhaps a traditionally quiet, reserved student overcame a fear of public speaking and delivered an oral presentation with a group of classmates. That’s the kind of “win” our teachers pass along to a parent, and in the hallways, you’ll see multiple examples of students who are thriving through posters, bulletin boards and photos.

Other means of communication between Learnwell and parents are weekly newsletters and seasonal surveys. Our admissions team follows up with every family during the school year to see how it’s going, what our school can do better, and where their students are thriving. We strongly value the feedback we receive from parents, and it helps us adjust how we do what we do for the benefit of our entire school community.

Weekly newsletters provide details about everything happening at school. They’re chock full of school event information, extracurricular activities, and even photos of what’s been happening that week in different classrooms.

Finding a community of homeschooling parents to walk alongside you is one of the primary reasons many families tell us they chose Learnwell. Homeschooling alone can be hard. We want to help not just our students thrive but the whole family too!

Would you like to see if a Learnwell education would be a good fit for your student? Find out at our next parent information night: Discover Learnwell.