Are you new to homeschooling this year? Or have you been homeschooling for a while but feel like you need to do something different this year? Like your homeschool life needs a little more oomph? Perhaps what you need is a new online homeschool community, where you can connect with other parents in a similar situation and discover new resources to bolster your homeschool experience.
A homeschool support group can be a great place to build friendships with homeschooling parents and share experiences. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you will want to check out the new homeschool community offered through the iugo.world web and mobile app.
I received access to the iugoPRO Plan for review purposes and I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own and I am not required to post a positive review.
While socialization in homeschool is not the epic struggle that many non-homeschoolers make it out to be, there’s always the risk of homeschooled children—and their parents—becoming too isolated if an effort is not made to connect with others regularly.
When we put our heads down and focus too much on accomplishing our academic goals, we can lose sight of all the wonderful learning opportunities happening out there in the world.
Local homeschool groups have been a big part of our homeschooling journey since very early on. We are fortunate to live in a region where homeschooling is very popular so there is no shortage of homeschool groups here.
Over the past ten years, we’ve had the joy of joining others for field trips, social activities, and, for several years, an annual conference. Monthly moms’ nights have also been a popular event.
But what if you live in a more rural area or a place without much of a local homeschool community? You still have a need for connection but finding local families available for regular meet-ups might be challenging. In that case, you may have better luck with an online homeschool community.
The Benefits of Online Homeschool Communities
In addition to our in-person groups, our family has also had the privilege of connecting with fellow homeschool parents and kids through the Internet.
I belong to a few thriving online communities where I can shape my educational philosophy, participate in discussion groups, and help new homeschoolers overcome the early challenges of homeschooling.
I enjoy participating in these communities because:
- They are convenient. I can access and participate in an online homeschool community from anywhere at any time. I don’t have to worry about attending a monthly in-person meeting or fulfilling specific duties on a regular basis. (Not that I’m not happy to do either of these things—there are just seasons in life where I’m looking for the lowest possible barriers to entry and, in those seasons, it’s essential that I’m able to cut down on my commitments).
- They are wide. Within a narrow geographic area, the group of families you’re able to connect with might not be particularly broad. Depending on how big your local homeschooling community is, you may or may not find enough of a support network that you genuinely connect well with. Online communities allow you to meet people all over the world and expose you to a diverse range of perspectives and experiences.
- They can also be deep. Sometimes there’s a benefit to connecting with people you don’t know in real life. Chatting with other parents who don’t have the same friends as you and attend the same social events can allow for a relationship that is more open and honest than we sometimes get with people with whom we are overly familiar. For example, I feel more comfortable posting specific questions about dealing with my kids of high school ages in an online support group than I do in a group that is made up of the parents of their friends. The anonymity makes it feel safe.
- They offer additional benefits. One thing I’ve noticed about online homeschool communities more so than local homeschooling groups is that they often come with additional benefits such as group purchasing power, special discounts, and vast homeschool directories (of service providers, homeschool curriculum options, and online resources.) They can be an excellent source of information for all things homeschooling.
What is iugo.world?
iugo.world is a new interactive web and mobile platform, launched earlier this year with the goal of connecting parents with each other and other educational experts.
Targeted at families whose children aim to enter Ivy League schools, private and public universities, or state college systems after graduation, iugo.world strives to offer support, creativity, and encouragement.
There are two main membership levels on the website: the iugoCONNECT Plan and the iugoPRO Plan.
The iugoCONNECT Plan, which is available for a one-year free trial, is primarily about making connections. It allows parents to join an online discussion board, access local events calendars, view the homeschool directory, and receive weekly free resources.
The iugoPRO Plan gives you more of the homeschool co-op experience. For $12/month, parents get all of the iugoCONNECT Plan features but also so much more.
They have unlimited access to curated K-12 curriculum and resources for all grades, a personal homeschool consultant, access to private discussion groups based on specific ages and interests, free access to all courses and workshops, and access to all events, competitions, fairs and expos.
Currently, only California-based events are scheduled, but the iugo.world team plans to add more events as the community grows. If you live elsewhere in the US and want to request events in your area, send them a message with your location and curriculum interests and they will host events that match.
With the iugoPRO Plan, members can subscribe to any number of Units of Inquiry programs. These are year-long, grade-specific programs designed to cover a wide range of academic subjects and serve students with a variety of learning styles.
In addition to these two offerings, iugo.world has a private satellite school called Iugo World Academy (IWA) that operates as one of California’s umbrella schools.
Parents can register their kids in Iugo World Academy for $55 per school year and get access to a homeschool management and record-keeping system that allows them to keep their homeschools organized.
IWA provides transcript services and diploma issuance for students from across the United States. As the school is registered with the California Department of Education, students who enroll with IWA are considered CA private school students.
Be sure to check your state’s legal requirements before enrolling with an umbrella school. Only members of the iugoPRO Plan can enroll in Iugo World Academy.
Founded by Windy Fama, a former homeschool mother and head of the IB International School, American Institute of the Gifted and Talented, iugo.world seeks to bridge the gap between outstanding academics in homeschooling and fostering rich social connections.
Why I’m Excited About the iugo.world Online Homeschool Community
This year has been a hectic one for our family. We renovated our house, sold it, bought another one, traveled for a month, moved, and started renovating another house.
One of our four kids is enrolling in a traditional school for the first time this fall and another has decided to do a hybrid model of online and in-person courses that will hopefully require less academic planning from me but at the cost of a lot of driving and logistics.
All that to say, I have put virtually no effort into planning the homeschool year for my other two children. And school is “supposed to” start tomorrow.
If you’ve been following this site for any length of time, you know this is not like me. Normally, I am all about homeschool planning, finding the best homeschool planner, and setting up a structured homeschooling schedule that allows for plenty of free play time.
But this year, I need a bit of help getting going. I have so much on my plate and I’m feeling overwhelmed.
What I like about iugo.world is that it makes home education accessible to those who don’t have a lot of experience with homeschooling or those who, like me, are finding themselves short on time for planning everything from scratch and sifting through all the hundreds of homeschool resources available online.
I love that I can access a simple homeschool program through the drip learning subscription and get weekly plans for cohesive educational activities appropriate for each of my children’s skill levels.
I also appreciate that I will be able to connect directly with other homeschool parents who are using the same resources as I am for the same ages and discuss additional ideas and suggestions with each other.
I will likely add other resources and activities into our schedule as the fall progresses, but this is a great resource for getting us started on the right foot.
Although iugo.world currently only offers California-based events, which I won’t be able to participate in, I plan to incorporate weekly park days, regular nature study lessons, and frequent trips to our local library into our schedule to round things out and increase our social interactions.
How to Get Started
If you want to try out iugoCONNECT to join the discussion and get to know other homeschooling parents, you can do so for free here. If you’re looking for more opportunities for niche conversations, a full-year’s worth of homeschool lesson plans for each of your kids, and access to events, homeschool conventions, and fairs, you’ll want to take iugoPRO for a spin.
I’m excited to see what social and educational opportunities this online homeschool community delivers, and maybe I’ll even see some of you in the discussion groups.
Sophie Agbonkhese is a writer, homeschooling mother of four, and a recovering overachiever (who occasionally relapses). She is the founder of My Cup Runs Over, a site dedicated to helping busy women simplify and enrich their lives. When she’s not writing or debugging websites, Sophie spends her time reading, dancing, bullet journaling, reading, gardening, listening to audiobooks, and striving fruitlessly to have a clean house for at least five minutes.