Getting to Know Your New Hometown

Day 9 of Surviving a Cross-Country Move series.  The boxes are unpacked and life is a little less chaotic, time to get to know your new hometown!

Getting to Know the Area BEFORE a Move

We spent quite a bit of time researching on the internet what area we wanted to relocate to, and then we spent a good deal of time exploring the area via the internet too.  Before we moved I had Jacob signed up for baseball and the other two boys signed up for soccer.  We researched TaeKwonDo studios, gymnastics spots, riding therapy and attachment therapy.  

Once we knew the area code of the home we were going to be living in, it was very easy to look for activities on-line.

It was extremely helpful to not be so clueless about the amenities our town had to offer.

I’m not sure how people survived without the internet! The same goes for GPS.  I have a much higher level of comfort navigating our area, knowing that I can’t get lost.

Making Connections

So far we have found the people in Florida to be very friendly and welcoming.  Maybe that’s because most everyone is from someplace else and knows what it’s like to be the new kid on the block!

It has been easiest for us to start getting to know other parents on the baseball team as well as neighbors.  We haven’t yet settled on a church, at this point we really like two and can’t decide, but once we do we will start to get involved. I suspect once the boys start playing soccer that will be another avenue for making friends.  

I also have some acquaintances in the area that I have plans to get together with.  Thanks to Facebook and Blogging for making those relationships possible!

Know Homeschool Laws

It’s also extremely helpful to know the Homeschool laws prior to a move.  I was able to gather everything we needed before we left Michigan and have it ready for when we arrived in Florida.  This was a bit of a change for us as Michigan has no reporting requirements, but Florida does.  We were able to get physicals for all the children with our pediatrician before we left, instead of having to scramble to get them completed once we arrived in Florida.  Believe me, we had enough to do!

HSLDA has a listing of the requirements for each state and  Jenn @ DazeofAdventure has a post on Homeschooling laws in Florida.

This is an area where you must do your due diligence! If reporting is required in your new state, don’t “forget” and don’t be unprepared, it’s much too important.  

Also, joining a homeschool support group right away can be very beneficial as well.  Particularly if you still have questions about the laws in your state.  Victoria @ SnailPaceTransformations has a post on 3 Ways  to Find a Homeschool Support Group.

Homeschooling Resources by State

Colorado Resources

Homeschooling in Georgia – at See Jamie Blog or HodgepodgeMom – a FREE resource!

Homeschooling in Illinois – A TON of resources!

Homeschooling in Kansas – FREE!

Homeschooling in Michigan –  Also a FREE resource – a pretty darn good one if I do say so myself 😉
Homeschooling in Ohio – Lots of great links

Homeschooling in Utah – Field Trips & Destinations

Homeschooling in Wisconsin – $2.99

Autumn 2013 Hopscotch


  1. Michelle Cannon says

    I’m happy your experience is that people are friendly and welcoming. I don’t know if Tampa is simply different from the rest of Central Florida, but that certainly wasn’t my family’s experience. We moved to Orlando from Tennessee. What a different … everything! We found the people to be severely lacking in hospitality. Then again, we may have just been accustomed to that true southern hospitality having lived in Tennessee, Georgia and northern Florida. I was recently in Georgia and was so pleased to experience that hospitality from each and every person I came across. It’s such a different experience.

    I’m curious (and you could FB message me with the answer if you like), which option did you choose for homeschooling in Florida? Did you go under the county school system or a private school?

  2. Jen4Ever4Always says


    I used the Florida Unschoolers that you recommended! I have been meaning to let you know that – thanks for your help. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t as pleasant as ours has been. I keep hearing that Tampa is a pretty transient town, perhaps that makes the difference?

  3. Michelle Cannon says

    I guess that could be it. Orlando has a high mobility rate but I’ll tell ya the truth about it: You can live there for 20 years and never meet your neighbors. It’s weird.

    I love Florida, don’t get me wrong. I love all the unique things about it from animals to weather. I love traveling it as part of our homeschool. But Central Florida isn’t the most hospitable place, in my humble opinion. I am so happy you’re not finding that in Tampa.

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