Camden, you founded Homeschool Alumni to provide support and networking opportunities for homeschool graduates. Why are these opportunities so important to you?
In some ways, homeschooling is a lifestyle and an element of culture. Certainly it’s a value to many of us who have been raised as homeschool students. In this way, I relate the importance of support and networking to the way ethnic immigrant groups formed fraternal organizations to retain and develop their culture and values in the midst of a greater society that didn’t share those values and that culture. Homeschooling is a minority practice, and although it’s socially acceptable now, it will probably never be the norm for social values. And although we do graduate from our years as a homeschool student, we never really leave our experiences—the experiences of our formative years. Those experiences are the common ground shared between all homeschool graduates. Although our experiences are more diverse than those shared between public school classmates, there’s still a sense of camaraderie whenever homeschool graduates get together. You don’t have to explain yourself to these people, the homeschool graduates that you meet. They may have never met you face-to-face, but they have an experience that allows them to relate to your childhood memories. With a community like Homeschool Alumni that reinforces your values, you’re more likely to maintain the homeschooling vision. That’s where I find value in networking.
Camden, I look forward to talking with you again next time. Until then, I’m Mike Smith.