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mamas in Columbia, SC?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Help!   I'm moving to Columbia in June and need to get hooked up :-) 


I'm a mom of five children, all of whom were born at home.   I'll be looking for a women's health care provider for pap smears and so on, and a homebirth or birth center midwife (We are not expecting but it is nice to know whom to use, just in case).   Recommendations?


None of my kids (from age 20 to 5) have ever had the first vaccine.   I'm looking for a ped or family doctor who will take us.  Ideas? 


I have homeschooled for a dozen years.   What are the laws?  + Any great groups or co-ops I need to know about?  (I'm pretty academically-minded.)


My kids have done Waldorf kindergarten.   Anyone likeminded?   I couldn't find a Waldorf school online.  


We're Episcopalian.   Are there particular neighborhoods that have several Episcopal churches or where Episcopalians tend to congregate? 


Thanks a bundle, 




post #2 of 9

Hi there!  I grew up in Columbia, SC and I'm moving back there in the Spring and so when I saw your post I had to respond.  I'm a sister of 4, 4 of the 5 of us were homeschooled by my mother.  I too, was raised in the Episcopal church.  I don't have too much info. to give you, since I've not lived there for 5 years, and now that I'm a mom too, my perceptions have changed as well, I'm sure, but I just wanted to acknowledge you.


Do you have a place to live already?  My favorite areas in downtown Columbia are the Shandon and Rosewood neighborhoods.  West Columbia, just across the river can be quite nice as well.  And when I mean nice, I think yards, shady trees, walking, kid friendly ares, close to fun amenities, potential of like minded neighbors.  In Shandon, St. John's Episcopal church, where my godmother attends, I remember as having a reputation as quite liberal.  (their youth even have a blog!   http://stjohnscolumbiayouth.blogspot.com/


The health food stores (both in Columbia, proper), Earth Fare on Devine St. and Rosewood Market on Rosewood Dr. are GREAT places to meet like minded folks; they also have community events and billboards where you could find out more. 


I think there is a free standing birth center in West Columbia.  (i am curious about this as well.  My son was a never-made-it-to-the-birth-center, born at granma's house, so home is where I want any future births to happen) Try searching on google.  At Lexington Medical Center, Marie Bridges is the nurse midwife who birthed my sister some 26 years ago.  She just might be a good contact for other professionals in the area.  On another post, a woman said to check into the Sterling Sharpe Pediatric Center. 



here is a link to homeschooling in SC.  Click on Richland County and then scroll down for contact info.  I believe the groups my younger sisters were a part of (the SC homeschoolers weren't quite so organized when I was a girl in the late 80s) were N.I.K.E. and REACH. 


Blessings and safe travels for your move!  Feel free to message me w/ any future questions if any of this info feels useful!  Sorry these website links don't work, my pc's acting funny. 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you!! Thank you! I like old neighborhoods but it looks like we will be out a bit, in Elgin.

It sounds like your mom is way cool! I will message you :-))
post #4 of 9

I'm in Columbia! I'm the mama of 4 with another on the way in March/April. We live on the other side of Columbia, closer to Irmo.  Columbia is pretty spread out.  


The birth center is Covenant Birth Center on Sunset Blvd and the midwives there are awesome!  I'm seeing them now and I had a friend who gave birth there in August.  I can give you more info if you want.


My kids go to Sandhills Ped. They have satellite offices all over the city so I'm pretty sure they'll have one near where you'll be.  


As far as I know, there aren't any Waldorf schools here :( There are, however, a lot of enriching activities here.  Riverbanks Zoo is awesome! The family membership, which includes unlimited visits for a year, is like $65 or so.  They have homeschool Mondays, which are specifically for homeschooled kids.   The State Museum is $1 on first Sundays and the Museum of Art is free on Sundays. There are lots of festivals and parades. The SC Aquarium is in Charleston, less than 2 hours a way.  I love Columbia and I hope you will, too.


post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi! I spent a week there last week, what a fun place!   

What are the schools like?  Do you homeschool or send your kids to school? We will be in Elgin.   Lots of hubbub! 

I am so eager to meet new friends, have lots of decisions to make.   So happy you emailed :-)



post #6 of 9

I am happy with my kids' school.  They are in Richland One. The district tends to get bad rap, but that has to do with the enormity of it. It's a big district with at least 50 schools. None of the other local districts are anywhere near that size. It's very diverse and there are a lot of opportunites and extra curriculars availabe.   My kids do very well. My 5th grader travelled to MD last year with OotM, my 3rd grader reads on an 8th grade level, and my 5K is already beginning to read independently. 

post #7 of 9

I just joined the MDC... Have you moved here yet? I second the shandon/rosewood recommendation, though I know you said you'd be further out. Just in case plans change..

Also, the All Local Farmer's Market is on Whaley St. They are open Wed nights and Sat mornings. I work at City Roots, an urban farm in rosewood. Honestly, the All Local is the place to meet all the farmers.

There isn't a Waldorf school that I know of, but there is a montesorri school (again, in rosewood). My little guy is only 8months, but I've wished for a naturkinder of some kind...

The ped we see is Dr Lynn Wilson at the Sterling Sharpe Ped office on Monticello Rd. I was refered there by my midwives and doula. She's a pretty standard doctor (no herbal/ homeopathic remedies), but she truly believes that parents are the ones who should make the decisions. So, she might give you a little grief, but I think would still take you. (We are doing a very slow and alt. vax schedule, and she's fine with it)

Good luck on your move!



post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Not moved yet!  Marriage planned for May.  I will be there this weekend -- I come to Columbia once or twice a month.  I joined the LLL and cloth diaper moms groups on Facebook, but never can seem to make it to any outings when I am there.  Boo hiss.  


I'm deliciously happy to hear that CSA (community supported agriculture) is alive and well in Columbia!  


My kids have vaccine exemptions in Alabama, and our doctor, while I'm sure he wishes we'd vaccinate, has never given me a moment's grief.   None of my kids, from 20 to 5, has ever had the first shot.  It was a decision I made decades ago, before the Internet, Andrew Wakefield, et al.  


Is it a pain to get an exemption in SC? 





post #9 of 9

Our son is just 81/2 months and we don't plan on putting him in daycare/ public school, so I haven't looked into the exemption thing at all. Our ped didn't mention a thing when I told her we were just doing the pertussis shot.


If you're here on the weekends, you should try to come to the All Local market. It's a great place to meet people and start to feel a part of the community. I'd be willing to meet up with you if you'd like. They have great breakfasts!


CSA is absolutely alive and well in Columbia. There are several different options depending on what's important to you- organic, lots of produce, price, duration, season, ect.

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