Just lonely. So lonely thinking of sending her to school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all! I have a four-year-old who has never been to school or daycare.  I love the idea of unschooling/life learning. But the reality is I find it lonely.  I have no family support so I don't have any "me" time (and I have an almost one year old).  I haven't been alone in almost two years - literally.  And now everyday my daughter is asking if we can go someplace where there are a lot of kids.  She just wants a kid village and I completely understand. I want a village too.  But I can't find one.  I have tried and tried but nothing has clicked.  And I think both my daughter and I are lonely.  We have some friends but the mamas work and the kids are in daycare/preschool all day.  

 

So I just learned about a Jewish Montessori in the city.  I know some parents who love it.  It looks like it is cool, child centered, blah, blah, blah.   And she would become fluent in Hebrew there.  But I find it hard to hand over my baby to school.  And summer is coming, which in Phoenix is like everyone else's winter - you just have to stay inside when it is over 100 degrees.  So even more loneliness.  Advice? BTDT? Anyone live in Phoenix and want to be part of our village :) ?


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#2 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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If you check it out, and it seems like a good fit, it's okay to send her for now, and then you can either stick with it, or reassess and pull her out again later.

All my kids did some preschool, partly for their benefit (regular social contact-- its hard to find friends when everyone else is in preschool), and partly for mine (little kids can be intense, and I needed a break).

I'm sorry you haven't found the village you were looking for. FWIW, I think you're at the roughest time for socializing as a homeschooler-- all the school-bound kids are in preschool, and your kids are too young to fit in easily in homeschool groups. So, if you try again in a couple years, you may have a much much easier time finding a good group for you.
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#3 of 17 Old 04-02-2011, 10:13 PM
 
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Have you tried any of the homeschooling groups? http://www.home-school.com/groups/AZ.html

 

We live in Tucson and have tons of homeschooling friends. I would think you'd find others in Phoenix. 

 

Because of family reasons, we had to send our son to preschool shortly before he turned 4. It was a good school only blocks from our house. It's Emelio Reggio (or is it Reggio Emelio?) I was miserable. He missed me. We were so grateful when we could pull him out.

 

What part of Phoenix are you in? When we visit my parents we used to go to the Scottsdale gym for open gym. We don't go now because my daughter naps at that time, but it was great when we went. Maybe you could find an open gym near you. And of course the public pools will be opening soon.

 

I babysit (for free) twice a week just so my son will have a playmate. It's great. Unfortunately I think she's going to go to school in the fall. However, we are building up more friends all the time. Just last week we went to the mall to buy shoes. The kids were playing in the play area and my son started playing with another kid. Turns out he's a homeschooler as well and we will probably get together more. (He goes to homeschooling open gym. As soon as my daugher outgrows naps we'll be able to start going to that as well.)


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#4 of 17 Old 04-03-2011, 12:41 AM
 
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I live in phx, my son is 10 and we are lonely too.  I dont really fit in with many other HS in the area- I find them to be too religious. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place but after 6 years of HS I kinda know the local groups ya know?

 

My son has found friends in his theater class and the library.  He does go to an inhome daycare when I work. (but that may be on the way out, there are some issues that Im not real happy with).

 

IMO phx just isnt a friendly town and yes you are right, its getting HOT here...


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#5 of 17 Old 04-03-2011, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Zebra- I am a Phoenix native and I still can't find friends!! Even though I was schooled but went to larger ones and moved schools quite a bit.  I always remember wanting to have had that core group of friends that I grew up with and I never did.  I see this kind of wish in my daughter now and I have tried so many homeschool groups, unschool groups (which never actually meet. Seriously, getting unschoolers together is like herding cats), different classes, parks, put out requests on yahoo groups, at my synagogue.  I have been doing this for years.  

 

So I am thinking that since is a small school that goes through eighth grade that she might enjoy having these kids to play with.  I would still be unschooly in my attitude towards school.  I just don't know. Like I said this is all being brought about my an immense feeling of loneliness/isolation.  And I know if I just had two families nearby it could all change. I could have a village. But alas...


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#6 of 17 Old 04-03-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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Tucson has a really active unschooling group. Maybe form your own.
 

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unschool groups (which never actually meet. Seriously, getting unschoolers together is like herding cats), 


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#7 of 17 Old 04-03-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tucson has a really active unschooling group. Maybe form your own.
 


oh trust me I have tried! Ever heard of Phoenix Rising Free School? The democratic/sudbury school that tried to start up last year and this year? And it had the unschool community center attached to it? I was on the board. I volunteered hundreds upon hundreds of hours and it went no where.  I tried to make connections but they didn't work. Maybe it is just me.

 


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#8 of 17 Old 04-04-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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I think the social aspects of homeschooling are the hardest.  I've been working it for years, putting us out there, going to events, hosting things, etc.  But I know school wouldn't be any better for my ds...  No one gets together in the summers, here, either.  And winter has us hard up for places to meet too.

 

Last year was pretty good.  A fair size crowd came to parkdays.  This year, a lot of the older kids stopped coming though new younger kids started coming.   Until recently, ds had a regular playdate with another friend who seems to have lost interest in getting together.  I'm hoping the spring weather brings some new people to the park.  We just keep trying.   


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#9 of 17 Old 04-07-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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Or maybe you aren't in the right community for you. Have you ever considered moving?

 

I mean, many of us would consider moving to get ourselves or our partners a good job, but when you consider how long your kids will be learners (whether at home or at school) doesn't it make sense that this might be a reason to move, too? 

 

We moved away from our home town last year, and it was one of the most important considerations in choosing a new community that it have a thriving homeschooling community. We would have turned down any place that made finding such connections difficult. 

 

Not sure if moving is a possibility, but thought I'd throw it out there anyways.

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#10 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 09:34 AM
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If I lived closer I would totally be in your tribe! I agree with the poster who said that this is a tough age for finding buddies - too young for homeschool groups, but too old for toddlers, and everyone else is in preschool.  I'm not sure if this is helpful to you, but we've been successful with parks and rec type classes for my daughter, where she gets to spend 45 minutes with same age peers in the morning, so either these kids don't go to preschool or it's their off day. We also have a great free weekly drop off storytime for preschool age kids, so she gets time with someone other than me (for 30 minutes while I try to corral DS in the library), and to be with other kids, and I get somewhat of a break. Those two mornings, one for class and one for storytime, plus our weekly trip to the children's museum, are our "anchor" days where we connect with the community, and that seems to be enough for everyone.  I've been pleasantly surprised to really connect with some of the other parents, and DD likes seeing the same groups of kids every week, and she's made some friends too.

 

And yes, I expect that most of these kids will go to school, but I'm hoping by that time we will fit in better with the homeschooling community, once DD is "homeschool age."


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#11 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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Lurve, that Montessori sounds really cool!  If you're feeling like it could be a good thing and you're able to afford it, I'd say go for it!  You can change your mind at any point you choose.  What do you have to lose?  You might really like it!


 

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#12 of 17 Old 04-14-2011, 12:56 AM
 
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You know, we used to unschool until a few months ago. My dd was curious to try school, so we did. She slotted right in and really enjoyed it. A month later my ds (who is older) found he was then lonely and we lost our spark. So he started too and also is enjoying it and completely happy there. We're just taking things day by day. I see school as an extension of our unschooled life (it's child led afterall) and we are still the same family, doing the same things when we can. So far the kids have maintained their curiosity and are exposed to things they haven't been before. Both are aware of the differences and the pitfalls of school (by their own relisation) but seem to have weighed it up and suck up the things that annoy them (crowd control, witnessing all the rewards/bribery/punishments that go on, wasted time, limited time to do the things they want to be doing etc). They have discovered the social side and one of the really cool things is that they have some wonderful problem solving skills to handle the many schoolyard interactions (ds told me the other day that he enjoys helping other kids problem solve when they approach somethign with a black and white outlook - not sure if this is just his personality, or his extended time at home learning these skills. But, I keep an open mind and this isn't to say that we'll still be a school family forever.

 

One thing I have always struggled with is finding a supportive home/unschooling community with enough peers for my kids. There were a few other unschool families with children quite a bit older, so while that was ok for some of the time, we really did lack the exposure to kids of similar ages for the kids to form comfy friendships with.


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#13 of 17 Old 04-14-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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I don't know if this will help, but I second moving. I agree that people move all the time for things like jobs, even the weather!

Why not try to move to true community? =)

 

We have done this twice, and not regretted it. The last time (which was only two months ago) was the best. We are *surrounded* ~ LOL!

 

We moved to a place where there is a very active HS community. There are play dates, project days, field trips, all set up thru the HS group at our church, but there are other HS groups here too. (Even our neighbors HS and they have nothing to do with our church.)

 

With the internet today, I think it can be pretty easy to find a good place and move.  Both times, my DH found a new job online.

 

And coming from someone who just moved 3000+ miles with 6 DC while pregnant-- it is worth it to find a place where your family fits in, your children and you can have a social group and form real friends, and all of that.  =)

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#14 of 17 Old 04-15-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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This coming fall, dd will probably go 9 hours a week (3 hours/3days) play-based preschool (YMCA or a co-op) to get the kid-time she loves and get me some free time. Mostly because dh will be gone for some part of 2012 and I want dd to already be comfortable there before I really need it for a break.

 

I don't feel this is in anyway incompatible with unschooling.

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#15 of 17 Old 04-17-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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i am in va and i looked on yahoo groups and found an awesome homeschooling group.. i love it.. we dont meet up too much but we are trying. my kids thankfully have each other because my girls are 4 and 3.. and my son is 1 and the baby wil.l be born soon.. so all my kids have playmates but im trying to start a moms group because my kids are lonely as am i.. lol but im homeschooling because the schools here suck and my husband and i feel that biblically this is correct :)  good luck and maybe look online at yahoo groups and see if there are any

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#16 of 17 Old 05-14-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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I have to echo the loneliness feeling. My kids have never been to a public school or day care either. My kids are older now (15 & 12) and it's always been harder to find that homeschooling group to fit in with. We tried to join the groups here, but this is a very religious town and I'm not at all. When we did get chummy with some of the homeschooling stay at home moms, some of them just couldn't understand that I couldn't meet them at 8-9 in the morning to do activities. I'm a single parent so I have to work outside the home or we wouldn't be able to eat. After awhile, I got the cold shoulder from a mom and that was it for me.

 

It just seems so much harder to meet people just to have a good time with. I've seriously thought about just trying to find single moms or something. I always feel like the lone ranger and I hate it. I'd love for my kids and me to have friends to talk to and laugh with, etc.

 

The last few months I've seriously thought about getting out of this town and starting over with the kids. I've always wanted to move and just have a fresh start. I wonder if a bigger town would be better?

 

And here in Arkansas, it gets very hot as well. You feel like you bake outside once summer hits. I know how you feel.


I'm a single, self-employed, homeschooling mom of 2 great kids. Girl 9/95 and Boy 3/99.
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#17 of 17 Old 05-15-2011, 03:26 AM
 
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I think at the Y they can go two hours in the play room while the parent uses the facility and then you really would get a break every day.  Your daughter also could sign up for indoor classes that interested her to stay active in the summers.  Can you plug into a thriving Y or a JCC?  If you don't want to work out, you could just read on the couches or sit in the hot tub.

 

My kids do home school swim team and see the same kids, and also gynastics teams.  And dance.  All indoors.  And it sounds like in Phoenix you can't really go just hang out at the park to see kids, so maybe you might consider whether you would be willing to be a swim, gym or dance mom and whether your DD would like any of those activities.  Four is an appropriate age to see if there's a passion for any of those yet, and as for swim, it's a good idea to be able to swim a lap of the pool unassisted anyway.

 

My other thought is, can you temporarily relocate in the summers, maybe take a seasonal job at a summer camp or resort and let the kids grow up summering there? 

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