Ways Social Media Is Helping Us Plan Our Move

Guest post by Melissa Batai

My family has lived in Arizona for nearly eight years. Recently, my husband secured a job in New York, so we’ll be moving 2200 miles in the next few months. While any move of that size is challenging, we’ve found that thanks to social media, planning is much easier.

How Social Media Is Helping Us Plan Our Move

I’m amazed how much social media, especially Facebook, has helped us so far! That was also true when we moved to Arizona in 2014, but we’ve gotten even more help with this move, likely because more groups have formed on Facebook in the intervening eight years.

Asking about Local Neighborhoods

I joined a Facebook group of 40,000 moms in the area we’re moving to. I searched the files and read comments about all of the nearby suburbs. After I had that information, I asked the questions I had about the neighborhoods that other people hadn’t previously asked. Over 70 people responded, giving me the answers I needed and more.

Finding Friends for Our Kids

My 12-year-old daughter has a Facebook Messenger account. During the pandemic, I used a Facebook group to find kids she could interact with throughout the United States. She has three friends online with whom she interacts regularly.

In one of the homeschool groups for the area we’re moving to, I asked if anyone had 12-year-old daughters. One woman piped up; we shared our kids’ Messenger codes, and soon they were chatting. When we visited the new area in person recently, our family met with her new friend’s family. So, at least one of my kids already has a friend in the area. That helps make the move a bit less stressful for her.

Finding Homeschool Groups

Through Facebook homeschool groups for the new area, I now know about several co-ops nearby and which groups are more active and arrange more get-togethers. I am also learning what suburbs have the most homeschool activities and which don’t. If we choose to live in an area without a lot of homeschool activities, I know I’ll need to drive 20 or 30 minutes to get to activities. Pre-social media, I would have likely had difficulty determining this.

Learning How to Homeschool in a High Regulation State

Perhaps most challenging for me is moving from a low-regulation homeschool state to a high-regulation one. To homeschool in Arizona, all I have to do is submit a homeschool declaration once. If I stop homeschooling, I must notify the state. That’s it.

New York is a high-regulation homeschool state. I must submit a homeschool plan to the local school district, submit quarterly progress reports, and have my kids take a standardized test yearly or every other year depending on their age.

Thankfully, I found a Facebook homeschool group that exists only to help parents navigate the New York homeschool system. There are files and videos that walk parents through the process step-by-step.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning a move, don’t underestimate the power of social media. We’ve used Facebook to help us narrow down the area where we want to live, find our kids friends, find homeschool groups and activities, and learn how to homeschool in the new state. We already have all of this information a few months before we move.