Frustrated by lack of other unschooling families in my area - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 01-15-2013, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We belong to a local homeschooling group. For the most part, the other families are nice. The kids all get along. My kids enjoy playing with them. But, none of them unschool.

While they say that they understand unschooling and don't have a problem with it (it's just not for them), I'm beginning to feel like I'm getting little jabs here and there about things. I don't know if maybe I'm being overly sensitive or if it's real.

For example, a new person tried to join the group a few months ago. She joined specifically asking if there were any unschoolers she could talk with because that is what she was interested in. Every time I tried to talk to her about what we do, another person in the group would interrupt me and talk about the curriculum they follow or how they teach this or that subject.

More recently, people have been saying little things here and there about how unschooling is not for them because they want their children to have every advantage possible, don't want their children to be behind or miss out on important, core subjects. Maybe they don't realize it but the flip side of that is to say that anyone who unschools (me) is putting her children at a disadvantage. I've even heard, "I can't do no school," as if my kids don't do anything or aren't learning at all.

I disagree with the other parents on the use of technology and arbitrary bed times and eating and discipline/punishment. I guess feeling like I'm an outsider or oddball even in my relaxed homeschool group is getting to me. greensad.gif

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#2 of 18 Old 01-15-2013, 03:53 PM
 
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#3 of 18 Old 01-16-2013, 09:36 AM
 
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I think you need the number of that mama interested in unschooling, and invite her over or hit the park together.  That's a start.


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#4 of 18 Old 01-16-2013, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you need the number of that mama interested in unschooling, and invite her over or hit the park together.  That's a start.

I did but she has disappeared from the group and I don't have any other way to get in touch with her.

I have joined all the online unschooling groups that I know of in my state but have not found anyone close to me.

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#5 of 18 Old 01-16-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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what area are you in? Would it be possible to start your own unschool or AP group?


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#6 of 18 Old 01-16-2013, 10:30 AM
 
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Don't be afraid to call them out when they make those comments. Gently point out "this lifestyle isn't your you, but it's good for US and I'd appreciate if you wouldn't make these negative comments about my children's future". People may not realize they're putting their foot in their mouth, ya know? And if nobody ever points it out they will continue to do it.

Could you ask around for the contact info of the other mom? Do you know what her name was? Maybe look her up on Facebook?
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#7 of 18 Old 01-16-2013, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was in an AP group but once the kids turned school age it kind fell apart. Only me and one other family homeschools and they aren't unschoolers, although they are friends of ours. But, the don't live close enough anymore to do things together regularly. it's kind of interesting because they all consider themselves to be AP.

None of the other parents in the homeschool group had this woman's info. i only met her twice and didn't get her last name.

i don't want to reveal exactly where i live in case any of them might be on here and come across this. like i said, i've joined every online unschooling group that i know of in my state but have yet to find anyone close enough to us. it's a very religious conservative, military community.

i have talked about how comments like that are insulting and are certainly not things i want my kids to hear. idk. it still goes on, just in slightly different specifics. one of the things that really bothers me is the way they talk about their kids, kids in general, and discipline. they make fun of their own kids in front of them. they joke about what i think are mean punishment tactics like they are fun and it's funny how upset their kids get in front of the kids. whenever i start to disagree or bring up what i do that's different, i get cut off. i'm tired of listening to them talk about their kids in that way, even without the kids in earshot. It brings me down. greensad.gif

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#8 of 18 Old 01-16-2013, 02:32 PM
 
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 one of the things that really bothers me is the way they talk about their kids, kids in general, and discipline. they make fun of their own kids in front of them. they joke about what i think are mean punishment tactics like they are fun and it's funny how upset their kids get in front of the kids. whenever i start to disagree or bring up what i do that's different, i get cut off. i'm tired of listening to them talk about their kids in that way, even without the kids in earshot. It brings me down. greensad.gif

This sucks. hug2.gif


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#9 of 18 Old 01-16-2013, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This sucks. hug2.gif

Yeah, but I guess if my kids aren't bothered by it, I'll keep taking them to the group activities. shrug.gif

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#10 of 18 Old 01-17-2013, 12:57 PM
 
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I'm in a similar situation: we are in an area where there are a ton of homeschoolers, and in our broader region there are lots of unschoolers--just not close enough to really form bonds. I drive about an hour each way to go to a weekly park day because I'm so desperate to connect! I also get lots of comments from families that don't unschool, like the "friend" who said another child was "too smart to be an unschooler." I couldn't believe she said this, directly to me in a one-on-one conversation.  Yuck.

 

I'm sorry you're in this situation. It sucks to be isolated. I hope you find your community soon.
 

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#11 of 18 Old 01-17-2013, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.

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#12 of 18 Old 01-18-2013, 06:01 PM
 
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Were in a similar boat. We live in a rural town. There is a homeschooling co-op but I am pretty sure there are no unschoolers. We have another homeschooling (future homeschooling family) 4 miles away but mom went to college for elementary ed and is very curriculum oriented.

 

So I guess I can commiserate but not really help. Sorry. At least I am getting use to being the weirdo out here. haha.


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#13 of 18 Old 01-18-2013, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At least I am getting use to being the weirdo out here. haha.

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You'd think after 42 years I'd be used to that but I'm still not. I expect to not be an oddball in the groups I choose to join that have people with the same interests as me. I'm always surprised and a little dismayed when I realize that I'm still an oddball. I once got kicked out of an AP group because I was too AP, whatever that means.

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#14 of 18 Old 01-18-2013, 08:59 PM
 
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I'm another that will commiserate w/ you but not have any good advice.  I've tried twice now to start things that would lead to friendships for my children (& hopefully me) & we've had unschoolers here & there participate, but I think because I live in PA where there are lots of rules for hs'ing, people are intimidated & are very school-at-home-ish.  

 

In case anyone wants the ideas, what I started doing more than 4 years ago was to use the community room of my local library for a play time.  I've always had it in the morning because we've had naps but that doesn't tend to work for the school-at-home crowd because that's when school is in session.  blahblah.gif

 

The other thing was to participate in the start of a co-op.  Again, I've had people not participate because they're "not an unschooler!!!"  Bleh.  We've had people come & go, in some part, I'm sure because there still needs to be time for "schooling" and well, 4 hours a week at co-op doesn't count towards that.

 

It stinks.  I'd like to move somewhere that doesn't have as strict of rules so that maybe, just maybe, we can find more friends.  I'd also like to move to a place where the cost of living is less.  Dh makes a good salary but it is costly here.  

 

So, I can relate to not having unschoolers around & what it's like.  Sounds like the people you are hanging out w/ OP, just don't generally have respect for people - children or adults.  I can't imagine treating another adult the way they've treated you.  And, when people start talking shit about their kids, I start saying things like, "would you talk about your spouse/partner that way?  How long do you think they'd be your spouse/partner if you did?" dizzy.gif People don't like it when their ridiculousness is pointed out to them but I hate to hear children being talked about like that.  Then they wonder why they don't have good relationships w/ them when they're teens/adults.

 

I hope you find that woman again or some others who are can treat others better than the current crew you have. hug2.gif

 

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#15 of 18 Old 01-18-2013, 09:34 PM
 
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i just wouldn't talk about how you school. i've been in several homeschool groups & we just don't sit and discuss our curriculum choices or philosophies. i don't need the pressure of answering to other moms for why i do what i do ...or not following the trivium, or being CM inspired. yada yada.  is that a possibility? if everyone gets along and the kids have fun, that's all that matters imo. homeschool groups should be social and fun. if you find you are fairly like-minded otherwise, i'd just create a boundary that doesn't invite people to tell you why unschooling doesn't work for them. ykwim?  i hope you find other unschoolers in your area though, for those times that you want to discuss things and think outloud, etc.grouphug.gif


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#16 of 18 Old 01-18-2013, 09:38 PM
 
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i have talked about how comments like that are insulting and are certainly not things i want my kids to hear. idk. it still goes on, just in slightly different specifics. one of the things that really bothers me is the way they talk about their kids, kids in general, and discipline. they make fun of their own kids in front of them. they joke about what i think are mean punishment tactics like they are fun and it's funny how upset their kids get in front of the kids. whenever i start to disagree or bring up what i do that's different, i get cut off. i'm tired of listening to them talk about their kids in that way, even without the kids in earshot. It brings me down. greensad.gif

oh. i just saw this. i didn't realize there were other issues at hand. i'm sorry. that makes it very difficult.


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#17 of 18 Old 01-19-2013, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have pretty loose rules where I live and the cost of living is relatively low, I think. I don't know what the job prospects are like, though. It's nice, too, because we are very close to several beaches, unless you like to snow ski. Then maybe it's not so nice. winky.gif

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#18 of 18 Old 01-19-2013, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh. i just saw this. i didn't realize there were other issues at hand. i'm sorry. that makes it very difficult.

Yeah, I don't really talk about what we do. When the subject has comes up with a new person, I will mention that we unschool, especially if the new person is complaining about how difficult it is to "teach" her child or get her child to comply with doing the schoolwork (which they all do). I don't go into any further detail. If the person seems more interested, I tell her we can talk about it privately sometime if she'd like.

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