Almost every home-school family has heard one oft-repeated question: “But what about socialization?” It’s a common concern among those more accustomed to traditional classroom education, but it’s proven no setback for a number of Adventist families around the greater Portland metropolitan area who use a home-school network to combine the best of home schooling and group gatherings.
The Portland Adventist Homeschoolers group was created in May 2012 as a way to help Adventist home-school families get together, support each other and share resources. The group has expanded to include about 25 families, and more join regularly.
“This group provides a forum for sharing curriculum ideas [and] asking questions from others with experience,” says Jody Neufeld, the group’s founder and leader. Connected via a Yahoo email group, the participating families also have an easy way to invite others to go on field trips or let each other know about great resources for home-schools.
Recent group field trips have included visits to the Oregon Zoo, the Beaverton Police Department and the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn.
Families also gather annually to share their thoughts on home-school curricula. They talk about what works and doesn’t work for them and why.
Many Adventist families choose this method of education as a way to really emphasize God in every aspect of their children’s lives, according to Neufeld. “Home schooling provides a way to be closer to one’s children, to know where they are both spiritually and academically,” she explains.
For families interested in creating a similar group in their area, Neufeld recommends starting a group using a central system like Yahoo Groups or Gmail. The Portland-area group requires interested families to request membership so they can ensure the security of the information and events shared. For more information or to request membership in the Portland-area group, email email@example.com.