I join homeschool groups. Before we even move to a new place, I connect with local homeschoolers via homeschool groups. I've been able to find out so much about the homeschool climate and necessities for our family in new cities/towns.
As a military family, we move frequently. In 12 years, I've homeschooled in 4 states and one foreign country. In order, they were VA, WA, LA, Germany (legally) and TX. These states are all homeschool friendly. Germany is an entirely different animal, as it's illegal for the Germans to homeschool, but it is legal for American military families.
When we were coming to Texas for our last move, finding out about sports for the kids was vital. Our oldest was entering high school and playing 2-3 different team sports, so I really wanted to see what was available for him. Interestingly, Texas is one of 3 states that doesn't allow private schoolers (which includes home schooled kids) to play on the public school teams. I submitted a querry on one of the local homeschool group's forums and I got answers to all of my sports questions. There are numerous options, and the best for my son was club sports. Club sports are year round in TX, so after one season, he decided it was too much to play on 2 club teams and he decided to focus on soccer. Sadly, he dropped baseball.
He also played on a homeschool high school soccer team that won state championships. This team was sort of like a homeschool group because the families and players became close. We became friends. We hung out.
Some other benefits? perks? positive elements? Not sure how to word that. But, anyway, some other fortuitous outcomes that I've had from being involved with homeschool groups are finding out about field trips that I never would have known about otherwise, having my kids sharing outings and experiences with other homeschool friends, making lifelong friends, and, of course, talking with other homeschool moms!
I realized that I needed to talk to other adults occasionally one evening when I went to a family's house for dinner with just adults. As I sat there with my dinner plate cutting up my own meat into little bite size pieces before I started eating, I slowly realized that I could actually just cut one piece at a time the way etiquette dictates....uhhhh. Do you know what I mean?! I was used to cutting up all my little ones' meat before they ate. I was just glad I didn't turn to the person on the side of me and start cutting up his meat . Now that would have been embarrassing!