Homeschooling offers a flexible and personalized approach to education. It can also be a rich social experience to make friends with kids of various ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Oregon has many opportunities to connect with other homeschoolers and build a vibrant community.

We polled the parents in our Homeschooling in Oregon Facebook group and came up with the following ideas to help you and your children make homeschool friends in Oregon.

Don’t worry, homeschoolers are socialized, too! Learn how how to make homeschool friends in Oregon with this big list of ideas and resources.

1. Church and Faith-Based Groups

Connecting with the church community is a wonderful way to meet friends! Sunday worship, youth groups, Bible studies, and more can be a great way to connect with likeminded families.

You can also find connection with faith-based groups such as Bible Quizzing, AWANAs, Bible Study Fellowship, Community Bible Study, and more.

2. Attend Homeschooling Conferences and Events

Conferences and events are excellent venues for meeting other homeschooling families, sharing experiences, and learning from experienced homeschoolers. Here are two you definitely don’t want to miss:

  • Annual Oregon Christian Home Education ConferenceThis annual event for homeschooling and family discipleship includes workshops, an Exhibit Hall, a Used Curriculum Exchange, and more. It is a family-friendly event with opportunities to connect, learn, and be encouraged!
  • Apple Pie Day and Capitol Day: Apple Pie Day is hosted in the spring by OCEANetwork at the Capitol during long legislative session years. Capitol Day happens during short legislative session years. (The years alternate between short and long legislative session years.) Both events bring homeschoolers together at the Capitol to rally for homeschool freedom, network with each other, and help educate legislators about the benefits of homeschooling. Apple Pie Day includes sharing an apple pie with the legislators and more grassroots efforts at promoting homeschool freedom.
Find a support group for homeschooling in Oregon

3. Join a Homeschool Support Group or Co-op

Homeschool support groups are most often informal groups that get together for encouragement and tips. They typically include social activities such as playdates or fields trips as well. Homeschool co-ops are groups where families come together to share resources, parents volunteer to teach classes, and build a community together. 

Find a support group or co-op that fits your family’s goals and personality! Some groups are just social while others do classes, whether electives or core subjects. They will also vary in terms of participation requirements, meeting frequency, and dates and times. 

To get you started on your search, OCEANetwork has a listing of support groups and co-ops that have affiliated with us, sharing our mission and vision. 

(Wondering about charter schools? These are technically public-school-at-home options and do not fall under homeschool laws. Learn more here.)

4. Enroll in Clubs and Extracurricular Activities

Fun clubs and extracurricular activities can help your child develop new skills and friendships outside the home. There are MANY options in Oregon to choose from. Here are just a few:

  • Homeschool sports leagues: Many cities in Oregon offer youth sports leagues specifically for homeschooled children, such as soccer, basketball, baseball, and swimming.
  • Dance classes (ballroom, English, ballet, etc.)
  • Theatre groups
  • Martial arts
  • Trail Life or American Heritage Girls
  • Homeschool choir / band
  • 4-H Clubs
  • Create a club based on what interests you!
  • Ask in your local or online homeschool groups for specific clubs and activities near you!

“We jumped into a theater company …all five of my children. We were all in with show after show for years. Now my oldest is married to a young man from that company. And new friendships keep forming and old ones continue.” – Rocio, Oregon homeschool parent

“Join or create a chess club, lego club, board game club, handwork club (knitting, crotcheting, embroidery, weaving, etc.)” – Stepper family

Specific Clubs and Extracurriculars in Oregon

(Ideas gathered from parents in our Homeschooling in Oregon FB group)

5. Connect on Social Media

Online platforms can be a valuable resource for finding and connecting with local homeschooling families.

  • Facebook Groups: Join groups like Homeschooling in Oregon to find local events, co-ops, and support networks.
  • Homeschool Hub: The Homeschool Hub is a network that was created by Joel from Glen’s Gizmos (in Oregon) and has an active community of homeschoolers and frequent opportunities that are posted.

6. Participate in Camps and Homeschool Outdoor School

Oregon’s natural beauty provides a perfect backdrop for outdoor education, which can also be a great way to meet other homeschooling families.

  • Church Camps: Look for summer camps hosted by churches that your children can participate in.
  • Homeschool Outdoor School: Several homeschool outdoor school programs are hosted in Oregon as well. It can be a great opportunity to be explore God’s creation and make new friends!

Specific Camps and Homeschool Outdoor School Programs in Oregon

(Ideas gathered from parents in our Homeschooling in Oregon FB group)

7. Organize Field Trips and Playdates

Take the initiative to organize your own field trips and playdates. This can be as simple as a park day or as elaborate as a visit to a local historical site. Here is a big list of field trips in Oregon for homeschoolers!

Oregon Field Trips for Homeschoolers

8. Get Involved in Community Service Projects

Volunteering as a family not only helps your community but also provides opportunities to meet other homeschooling families with similar values.

  • Food Banks
  • Pregnancy Resource Center
  • Homeschool Conference
  • And more

“I think one key to making friends is to serve. When you serve you’re putting in extra behind the scenes time and effort with others, building memories together, overcoming obstacles, having a shared interest, creating ownership in the event/activity/organization, etc. It helps confidence to have a role and not just have to show up especially if you don’t have friends yet. It also reduces the time you have for petty issues.” – Christy, homeschool parent in Oregon

9. Visit Local Libraries & Museums

Libraries and museums often have programs specifically designed for homeschoolers. You can also participate in other children’s activities that they host. Libraries can have Summer reading programs, craft activities, read-alouds, special presentations, etc.

“The library has a variety of activities for kids of different age groups. For example my teen just started going to their teen night and also their chess club too.” – Dawn, homeschool parent in Oregon

10. Attend “Homeschool Day” Events

Many homeschool groups organize regular park days where families can meet up, socialize, and play. Check with local homeschooling groups or co-ops to find out if there are regular park days in your area. These informal gatherings are a great way to build friendships. Or start one yourself!

“My 7-yo’s go-to move is to bring a remote control car to the park. Anyone who comes up to him and asks for a turn is automatically his friend!” – Ali, homeschool parent in Oregon

There are also attractions, organizations, and activity venues that organize “Homeschool Days” throughout the year. Here are some specific ones in Oregon, gathered from parents in the Homeschooling in Oregon FB group:

11. Create Community Where You Want it

Generally speaking, homeschoolers have no lack of opportunities for social activities and community. However, if you find yourself wanting something specific or in an area where the activities are few, create your own! You’re sure to not only bless your family but others along the way.

“Go places! Set a goal to meet at least one new person every time you go to events and church! Exchange numbers, get to know them, bless them in different ways and have people over for playdates and family meals! Pretty soon, you will have people you can connect with!” – Natalie, homeschool parent in Oregon

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