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helping your kids when other parents are flaky - Page 2

post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post




 

Homeschooling is much worse than anything I experienced in high school with cliques!  People won't hang out with you because of your religion or lack thereof.  


Just wanted to say as someone who had home-schooled some and now public schools... I found this to be true as well. We were living in Georgia at the time and a lot of homeschoolers there are right wing religious... not my cup of tea.
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post




Wow. Is this really a common thing?

 

Probably due to my remote location and the lack of other homeschoolers around me I've not ever assumed a local support group or social network of homeschoolers to be a necessity. I just figured my kids were no longer spending the bulk of their productive time in the walls of an age-levelled pseudo-community, so we had the world at large within which to build social connections, the real community. And that's what we've done. And so I've always been mystified by the importance homeschooling parents seem to place upon socializing with other homeschoolers. 

The group of homeschoolers that comes to our parkday isn't cliquey but I'm the one that organizes it and promotes it.  Some people come once, take a look and never return.  AND then stop responding to my emails if they post an open invitation to an activity that I'd like to bring ds to!  Some email to ask "what sort" of homeschoolers we are (that is just as likely to be liberals trying to avoid conservative Christians).  There are a number of church organized co-ops in the area that satisfy the conservative Christians desire to keep their kids segregated.  My group, when I was in school and now, has always seemed to be a catch all of everyone who doesn't have a place elsewhere.  I don't care who we hang out with as long as everyone treats each other with a basic level of respect and ds is having fun. 

 

It's not so much that I place importance on homeschooled friends in particular as we want to be able to do things during the day with kids and homeschooled kids are the ones that are theoretically available.  Our neighborhood is filled with families where both parents work.  Not unusual but it means no kids are home until evening and they are rarely outside.  I know there must be kids in our neighborhood but we only see older ones roaming around, ones old enough to be latchkey kids or ones old enough that they are told to wait at the library (where the school bus drops them off) until their parents get off work and pick them up.  When ds has fun with random kids, he really wants to see them again.  He'd get truly upset realizing he wouldn't and I actually started avoiding taking him to playgrounds unless we were meeting someone.  That's why I put so much effort into giving him the opportunity to have consistent friends.  But it doesn't seem to be much of a priority to other families.  All I can figure is that their kids have more neighborhood action and not being only children means they satisfy some of their social needs by interacting with their siblings.

 


 

 

post #23 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post




 

Homeschooling is much worse than anything I experienced in high school with cliques!  People won't hang out with you because of your religion or lack thereof.  




Just wanted to say as someone who had home-schooled some and now public schools... I found this to be true as well. We were living in Georgia at the time and a lot of homeschoolers there are right wing religious... not my cup of tea.


yeah, i've been dumped at least twice. but i find that many more parents are turned off by my "free range" style of parenting. many religious parents keep their kids on VERY short leashes, and since mine run wild, they are instantly offended by this. (here to on MDC lol)

post #24 of 48
I was thinking more about this. I think hsers tend to over insulate thier children from influences they don't like. There seems to be a tendency to value comfort over community. One of the things I like about school or church communities is that you're thrown into a group of people, some that you like and some that you don't, and you have to find a way to coexist with everyone. (that doesn't happen so well in the school system, obviously, but the attempt is there). When you hs, it's easy to say, 'I don't like that child or that mom' and just drop them, rsther than make an effort to understand the other person's viewpoint or work through differences. I think that's a diservice to our kids....to just say that if you don't get along with someone, walk away. In our group, we avoid large group gatherings because the kids fight. I think it would be better to let the kids fight, to work through their differences and talk to them aboutit, rather than just walk away or avoid the situation. People are all different and that's something to celebrate and value.
post #25 of 48
Thread Starter 

people you have a hard time with have the most to teach you about yourself. but very few people actually embrace this idea. 

 

 

post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

It's not so much that I place importance on homeschooled friends in particular as we want to be able to do things during the day with kids and homeschooled kids are the ones that are theoretically available.  

I guess there are three things that make this not an issue for us. First, we're night-owls, so it's unusual for my kids to be up before 9 or 10, and the rhythm of our day is such that they start out by doing individual home-based things like housework, animal chores, reading, computer-based learning and recreation, music and such. It's only by mid-afternoon that they're typically ready for social activities, and by then the schoolkids have been released. Secondly, we're in a town without a lot of overscheduling ... it is just too small and too isolated and unemployment is high enough that two work-out-of-home parents is a very rare situation. So there are a lot of kids to play with after school. Thirdly, I have four kids of my own, so they have each other to do things with. 

 

Miranda

post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post




I guess there are three things that make this not an issue for us. First, we're night-owls, so it's unusual for my kids to be up before 9 or 10, and the rhythm of our day is such that they start out by doing individual home-based things like housework, animal chores, reading, computer-based learning and recreation, music and such. It's only by mid-afternoon that they're typically ready for social activities, and by then the schoolkids have been released. Secondly, we're in a town without a lot of overscheduling ... it is just too small and too isolated and unemployment is high enough that two work-out-of-home parents is a very rare situation. So there are a lot of kids to play with after school. Thirdly, I have four kids of my own, so they have each other to do things with. 

 

Miranda

Yeah, having an extroverted only child who craves meaningful interactions with people adds to the challenge...  There is a new boy his age down the street we've been trying to meet for weeks.  I know his dad from back in the day so that aspect of getting to know the parents isn't an issue but the kid seems to be at school or an after school program or at a friend's all the time.  It is so hard to meet the neighborhood kids.  We've lived here all ds's life, walking and biking around the neighborhood regularly, and only know the 6 yo down the block and a teenager on the next block, neither of whom can be playmates.  It's ridiculous!  
 

 

post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post




It's only by mid-afternoon that they're typically ready for social activities, and by then the schoolkids have been released. . 

 

Miranda

So I wonder as a homeschooler, especially one who never did preschool etc - how do you actually meet the local school kids? We've been here for 2.5 years and only met the twins a month younger than DD who live on our block less than six months ago. I don't drive so we walk everywhere when DH isn't around and we've met plenty of shopkeepers and elderly neighbours that way but no children.
Also, it seems nightowl homeschoolers wouldn't have much crossover time with schooled children? DD is also ready for activities in the early afternoon, but then she's ready for the long haul and not the 60 minutes that children who must get home to have dinner to be in bed early to get up early for school have to spare.
These are honest questions I've been pondering as the vibrant hs community we moved to 2.5 years ago seemed to start fading away when two key families moved away recently.
post #29 of 48
Soccer teams, parks and rec classes, dance classes, hanging out at parks in the afternoons or on weekends, at the library, Saturday morning farmer's market, local coffeehouses, kids of people I met...

That might have more to do with where you life as far as areas of a city, though.. I've heard that in the suburbs its harder to meet other kids, but we generally lived in actual cities. Well, except when we lived on the farm, and we never met kids around there, but there actually weren't any living for miles, so...
post #30 of 48
Thanks for the suggestions. We're not really into sports but we have done/do everything else on your list and sure, we run into plenty of people we know already (like I said, it was a vibrant hs community when we moved here) but we haven't met anyone new (aka school kids) that way. We certainly don't see any school kids at the library although sometimes we see mothers whom I know have children in school there with their toddlers.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmama2 View Post
We certainly don't see any school kids at the library although sometimes we see mothers whom I know have children in school there with their toddlers.

The library is about the only place we do see schooled kids, but that's because it is the school bus stop and many of the kids are told to wait there til their parents pick them up, a sort of unofficial after school day care.  When the weather is nice, they play outside so we've been trying to time our bike riding then.  But school will be out for the summer in a month.  At least some faces are familiar at this point and ds is entering the age demographic of those kids.  The 5 yos are shuttled directly to official after school care or picked up immediately.  When ds was 5, we'd hit the playgrounds after lunch and sometimes see kids who were his age and done with their morning school program.  Then we had to tweak the time to after 3 to see kids his age.  Since they weren't super local playgrounds, we'd never see those kids again which was hard on ds.  I felt like a sleuth trying to figure out which aged kids were where when. 

 

It really does vary from location to location, even from block to block in the same neighborhood.  I have a friend who picked their exact block based on there being kids in her son's age bracket.  He'd meet his neighbors when they get off the bus and they'd play until dinner time.  And the kids at the city park can be much more friendly (willing to play with strangers) than the kids in the suburban parks.  I know it would be easier if we had kids in closer proximity (like on our block), had a neighborhood park (rather than a community one with absolutely no shade over a mile away), and had a parks and rec department.  I'm amazed at all the community resources, like swimming pools, in some other areas.  We don't even have fast food places with play places nearby or malls with play areas anywhere that I know of.
 

 

post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmama2 View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. We're not really into sports but we have done/do everything else on your list and sure, we run into plenty of people we know already (like I said, it was a vibrant hs community when we moved here) but we haven't met anyone new (aka school kids) that way. We certainly don't see any school kids at the library although sometimes we see mothers whom I know have children in school there with their toddlers.

I was thinking it was odd that parks and rec classes would be all homeschooled kids but then I saw the ages of your kids... I think with the under-5 crowd it may be a bit different, but as kids get older they may find their way to more outside classes. Also, at least where we lived in California the schools themselves offered some after school classes that were pretty neat, and while kids from that school had top priority if there was room left they allowed other kids to sign up...
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post



  I have a friend who picked their exact block based on there being kids in her son's age bracket.
 

 

LOL, DH and I actually looked more favourably on the house we live in because when we came to inspect it there was a group of girls aged 10-12ish playing outside who waved at us as we drove along this street. Haven't seen them since though...

Dar - that what I meant by sports. DD does dance (ballet classes) but no sport which I assume are the kinds of classes offered at parks & rec. I actually have no idea what that is but I assume it's similar to PCYC clubs that we have in some city suburbs (not in my area) or Sport and Recreation centres. We actually did a tumbling class at a sport & rec centre last year. The class was huge but DD didn't connect with any of the schooled kids because she had two older homeschooled friends in the class (one of which has moved away, the other one busy with other stuff doesn't travel in this direction anymore).
post #34 of 48

Im late to the thread but I want to jump in. DS is 10 and is finally making a few friends.  We've tried the HS group thing, I even coordinated the group and it just didn't work for us.  So I turned the group over to another mom to run- that was 5-6 years ago.  Since then DS and I have been bumming around for lack of a better explaination.  DS did many many library programs over the years but never really clicked with any of the kids.  I also found myself working full time so the opportunity for activities was limited.  Just this past year DS found drama classes and loves them.  While the kids are not the same each session he loves theater and the kids who attend are nice!  He recently joined a quasi swim team 2 months ago and loves that as well.  Again, not overly social but the kids are nice and politics are kept to a minimum.  None of these are 'homeschool only' activites.  

 

During the summers DS attends sometype of 'edutainment' camp for a couple weeks.  Last summer it was a gifted program at the local university and he liked the program- the program was an extension of a school year program.   This summer he is taking some technology classes at the local community college and some 'fun' classes at a new Academy that is opening up.  If friendships happen great, if nothing else the kiddo has fun and meets new folks.

 

We dont live in the most friendly town and at this stage I'm more concerned about DS being involved in a class or program vs the friend aspect.

post #35 of 48

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmama2 View Post

So I wonder as a homeschooler, especially one who never did preschool etc - how do you actually meet the local school kids? 

Also, it seems nightowl homeschoolers wouldn't have much crossover time with schooled children? DD is also ready for activities in the early afternoon, but then she's ready for the long haul and not the 60 minutes that children who must get home to have dinner to be in bed early to get up early for school have to spare.


We live in a small town. That helps.

 

The other thing ... I've created clubs and such within our community to attract other kids and their parents. The first was the music education community. I play violin and viola, so I started teaching violin to kids when my eldest was 2 in order to create a music education community within which my kids could grow up, and I ran a free parent-child music enrichment class for a couple of years as well. I also started a community gardening club for kids. Campaigned for space, got a couple of grants, etc. etc.. We got together on a weekly basis for gardening, nature crafts, sustainability educational activities, field trips and such. I ran it on Saturdays for free and we got lots of schoolkids coming. The gardening club gradually fizzles as my kids outgrew it, but it served its purpose for several years.

 

My kids are probably older than yours, so their schooled friends are not in bed at 7:30 pm or anything. There's lots of time for us. Today my 12yo went to the school at dismissal time at 3, socialized until soccer practice at 3:30, wrapped that up at 4:30, and then hung out with friends until I picked her and her sister up at the community fitness centre at 5:30. Tomorrow violin group class starts at 6:30. We'll be there at 6 to set up, and my kids will hang out with the whoever is around until 6:30, then group class wraps up at 7:30 or 7:45 and there's social time until 8:15 or 8:30 (or sometimes later, now that it's staying light out until 9). Their younger friends go home by 8 but the older ones are good for at least an hour after that.

 

It's not a huge chunk of time, but my kids don't have huge social needs since they fill a lot of their social needs with each other and with adults. And they do have one family of homeschooled friends whom they see once a week or so.

 

Miranda

post #36 of 48
Thanks for that Miranda, sometimes I really struggle to envisage how things could work practically irl. That clarified a lot. Yep, I guess the difference in "must go home now" times between my nightowl unschooled children and their schooled peers will narrow as they get older. At just turned 5 it's usually a huge difference. Lots of kids we know are in bed before DD is even hungry for dinner. Did you actually have that goal (longterm social opportunities/community) in mind when you started teaching? Or was it more of a "there's no string teacher here and I can fill the gap" kind of thing?
This thread is really helping me get an idea of how we will (endeavour to) meet the children's social needs over the long term as they mature, and also to have realistic expectations of homeschool groups wink1.gif
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmama2 View Post

Did you actually have that goal (longterm social opportunities/community) in mind when you started teaching? Or was it more of a "there's no string teacher here and I can fill the gap" kind of thing?


More the first. I grew up in the fold of a large, stable, warm and supportive string music education community. I knew from before my first child was born that I wanted her to have access to that kind of community. Since there wasn't one, I set about creating it. We weren't thinking about homeschooling at the time, but I knew I wanted them to have that kind of community regardless. As it turned out it was a great way to meet non-homeschoolers and get connected to a bunch of really neat families with kids.

 

Miranda

post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post


Wow. Is this really a common thing?

 

Probably due to my remote location and the lack of other homeschoolers around me I've not ever assumed a local support group or social network of homeschoolers to be a necessity. I just figured my kids were no longer spending the bulk of their productive time in the walls of an age-levelled pseudo-community, so we had the world at large within which to build social connections, the real community. And that's what we've done. And so I've always been mystified by the importance homeschooling parents seem to place upon socializing with other homeschoolers. 

 

My kids' friends mostly go to school. My 12-year-old has a close homeschooling friend, but she's the only one. Three of my four close friends in our little town are schoolteachers. Our friendships revolve around our interests, not around what schooling choices we've made. That's been out of necessity, but thankfully it seems free of the cliquishness you are all describing.

 

Miranda

I know this is an old post, but moominmamma you are still around, and I wanted to know if you could elaborate about this. I am shy myself and lack social skills (I went to 12 years of public school and never learned them there). I attribute this partly to my ADHD, partly to being the adult child of an alcoholic, and partly due to never having friends as a kid. Anyway, how do you do this? I have no social connections at this point of any significance and am feeling very isolated. How do you do it?

post #39 of 48

Hi Pookietooth, I explained part of it above. We live in a very small town where word-of-mouth networking happens almost without any effort. There's a newsletter where you can put out notices about meetings and get-togethers, even just "we're going on Sunday afternoon hikes, and welcome anyone who wants to come along" sort of things. And even though I'm pretty introverted, I found it easy enough to organize stuff here. I started a music program for young children (I'm a violinist) and then a gardening/environmental club for families with children. Now, part of my success in organizing stuff came from the fact that I did have a social network already going, so a fair number of people knew me and were happy to support stuff I was organizing. I didn't have any really close friends at the time, but I did have a fair number of contacts.

 

To establish that social network I started volunteering with local non-profit organizations and at the local school (library stuff, helping organize the arts-and-culture festival week, etc.). I prefer low-key, behind-the-scenes work, for the most part, like setting up chairs before and after community events, baking for receptions and open houses, cleaning up after choir concerts, doing litter-picking by the highway, but gradually I got known as a decent community-minded person. A lot of that volunteer work I was able to bring along and include my kids in, which was a bonus, because people got to know them as well, and that really developed their social networks too. Yesterday, for example, my 9-year-old worked as a volunteer number-caller at a big mountain trail race near here, radioing in the numbers of approaching finishers to allow the announcer time to cross-reference stats, names and locations before doing the finish-line announcing. It was a real, important job, more responsibility than most 9-year-olds would be granted, but my dd has been so busy at community events over the years that people trust her with these sorts of jobs. 

 

So I guess I would highly recommend volunteer work as a way to involve yourself in your community, help make it a better place, and begin to develop a social network, even just of acquaintances, on which to draw for possible friendship and support. For both you and your children.

 

Good luck!

 

Miranda

post #40 of 48

Thanks, Miranda. And you brought your kids along, I'm assuming?

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