Is this also a Homeschooling reality? (the drop off play date) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 05-25-2010, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted a similar question in ages and stages without the hs angle. I'm hoping I can get a hsing perspective here.
In a nut shell, my 6 year old has been invited on a playdate (kid in his kinder class, we will hopefully hs next year) that is a drop off thing at said kids house. It's just aroung the corner and although I don't know the family well they seem nice. It's just that after my sons bday party recently (every child was dropped off, I was a little shocked by that) I am realizing that this drop off playtime thing seems to be the norm. I'm used to play dates where all of my children are included and there are various ages. I'm not feeling good about splitting up the pack just yet. The serious differentiation of friends, so-and-so is ds1s buddy and ds2 has his own buddies. Don't get me wrong. I realize that people tend to pair off naturally. There is just something about this new territory of the drop off that makes me uneasy.
For me it's all about not wanting to split up my little cohesive pack. And I am not ready to be that uninvolved on a regular basis.

My question: is this also the norm for homeschooling families? Or does the pack usually travel and stay together?

Thanks for reading my babble!

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#2 of 40 Old 05-25-2010, 09:14 PM
 
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We tend to do things as a family but my oldest is only 11. Many of my friends have multiple children, multiple ages... I suppose your milage may vary but among the HSers I know, it is usually family oriented.

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#3 of 40 Old 05-25-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I think it depends on the people in your area.

Where I live now, and where I lived previously, we have tended to socialize as a family.

However, I know that in both places, there has been a solid core of people in the group that preferred to segregate the children by ages. Sometimes it was a wonderful break to drop my oldest off, and go do something else. It is nice occasionally, when the kids are ready for it!

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#4 of 40 Old 05-25-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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My kids are 6 and 4, so I'm not sure how things may change as they get older. To date, the only things that 6yo DD has done that 4yo DS hasn't are one birthday party that was a tea party theme and a couple overnight stays with one of DD's closest friends. At least half the people we socialize with are HSers, maybe more than half. In our group, doing stuff as a family, with all the kids in the family, is the norm, at least so far.
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#5 of 40 Old 05-25-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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Pack mentality here.

My eldest, soon to be 11, is just getting the the place where he's ok taking karate classes while I am outside or nearby with the two younger children. But when he wants to, I'll have no problem dropping him off to play at a friend's house.

But for my younger two, aged almost 7 and 3...not yet.

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#6 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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My 9 year old likes being dropped off once she knows she's comfortable. It's just this year that this starting being okay with her.

My 5 year old anticipates being comfortable with it when she turns 9.

Our favorite playdates are definitely the family ones though!!
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#7 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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In general we are one solid team. However sometimes it's nice for drop off as well. And honestly most of the time it's other children being dropped off here. My little people are happy to have a playmate & I don't have to entertain another mom ~ not that I have a problem with that. It's just nice to get sometime to do what I want while my littles are happy.

Forgot to add that w/ hsing I feel less need to huddle our pack since we are literally together 24/7. You may find that separation won't feel as negative.

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#8 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 02:20 AM
 
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Both. We have some family playdates, and some drop off ones (either here or there). They're all good in different ways. Drop-offs can be handy for getting things done, as long as all kids are included. There are certain sets of siblings that can be dropped off here, and my kids are so distracted with playing, that it's a great chance to catch up on housework. There's are some cases where just one kid really hits it off with just one other kid, and not all siblings are included. That's more of a pain, but I think we need to allow for that sometimes too. And then of course, playdates with parents included are fun
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#9 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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Here most people do the drop off thing starting pretty young (and it was that way when I was a kid here too). Which I understand and have no problems with personally (I don't always feel up to entertaining someones whole family when the kid would be fine on their own).

The homeschooling families that I'm the closest with all have only one kid. So for us the parent usually stays and hangs out while the kids play. But the bigger families in our group seem to just take turns dropping the kids off at each others homes. I also see a lot of families take turns bringing a group of kids to our weekly park days and such. Lots of carpooling happens.

Zayla is almost six, and it's getting to the point where she will start going to her friend's houses alone. She knows the parents, she loves her friends, she just doesn't need me there anymore and I'm fine with that. It'll be nice to not always have to socialize for hours at a time just so she can play. And the break might be nice for me.

I understand though that all families got to do what feels right to them.

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#10 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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I live in a very dense urban area. We have many homeschoolers at our disposal but have to drive to them. Those playdates are multi-aged with the moms having tea together. I don't have the drop off planned playdates here. I have the *knock, knock, knock* on the door and can [kid] come out to play or come over to my house? I am perfectly content with this. They don't have to spend 100% of their time together. They are allowed different interests and different friends.

My dks are 4 and 7. A boy and a girl. I don't really understand the tribe mentality, to be honest. I feel like we are all equally connected and honestly, the break from having to socialize every time the kids do is nice. I have couple friends with dh and girlfriends I see outside of the hubby and kids. I feel like we have so much time together that I can't begrudge them a few hours with playmates of their choosing. It hasn't changed how my dks interact with each other and they still play well with the various homeschooled kids.

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#11 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 11:01 AM
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Personally, I love drop off play dates. Especially now as a homeschooler. The kids are with me all the time, I think it gives them a sense of independence to go to their friends house without mom (and everyone else). On the reverse, I love it when my child has a friend over to play. On that end, we don't exclude siblings in the play and everyone has a blast. Also, I get a chance to get a few things done or a chance to read and have a glass of tea uninterrupted.

Now, don't get me wrong, we have plenty of playdates with the whole family too. But, I am less inclined to invite the kids when I have to have the mom too. Sometimes, I don't want to be entertaining another adult, sometimes we don't have a ton in common either.

I would not drop off if I didn't feel comfortable with the family. Also, first playdates are usually shorter until we see how well it works for everyone.

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#12 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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DD is almost 6 and pretty much all get togethers include her and DH during the week. Luckily we've found an awesome community over the years that has welcomed a SAHD, but we also ran into some very weird people over the years who couldn't accept a SAHD. Luckily, we didn't have much in common with those folks anyway.

But, I do suspect that sometimes she isn't invited to play dates as often because she has a SAHD...not in a mean way or perhaps even consciously...just that the other moms in our circle are all great friends, and DH is a great guy, but he's still a guy, and he's introverted. It's been huge for him to put himself out there for DD. But, it's just a totally different thing for him. Everyone is gracious and friendly and warm when he's there, but I sometimes still feel like we're not really quite in the inner circle.

It's hard for me too because I'm pretty much the only mom who doesn't see the others regularly. So, I too feel like we're not really in the inner circle, and I'm far more sensitive about it for my sake and for DD's sake. But, when there is a weekend birthday party, we all go, and I personally will be disappointed when these become drop-off parties because it's social for me too!

Anyway, right now DD does have 1 friend with whom we drop off here/there, but she's in school now so we don't see her as much. Her parents are DD's horseback riding instructors which is why she feels comfortable being left at the barn/house with them. They just live about a mile away.

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#13 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 12:00 PM
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Well, our family is different than most homeschool families in the way that I was a full-time WOH parent when my kids were born. Moreover, I was in the military. Their dad was, too (and still is). My children spent a lot of time with their daycare providers....luckily, both of the home daycares we used were completely awesome and treated my boys like family members.

I got out of the service when DS1 was almost 5yo and DS2 was a little over a year. I still worked full-time for another 18 months, then dropped down to very part time for a year (and DS2 came to work with me). We pulled DS1 out of school when he was 8yo, but I've still worked part-time for all but 1.5 of the past ten years.

Anyway, my point is that my kids have always been used to being away from the pack. DS1 is not nearly as social as DS2, and DS2 has always gone to do stuff more with other kids in the neighborhood and such. That being said, DS1 is 18 now, and still does lots of things with us. That will lessen if and when the boy ever finds a job (not easy in this economy), but he still likes attending park days and such.

Drop-off playdates rarely happened for us, mostly because my children tend to befriend the kids of the people I befriend. So....if the kids are hanging out, chances are that me and the other parents are also hanging out. Yes, I've seen natural pairings off within larger groups, but I think it's safe to say that my boys are both friends with everyone. My DS2's BFF still considers DS1 to be a friend....they like each other and have fun when they're together, but they don't seek out one another's company.
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#14 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Both. We have some family playdates, and some drop off ones (either here or there). They're all good in different ways. Drop-offs can be handy for getting things done, as long as all kids are included. There are certain sets of siblings that can be dropped off here, and my kids are so distracted with playing, that it's a great chance to catch up on housework. There's are some cases where just one kid really hits it off with just one other kid, and not all siblings are included. That's more of a pain, but I think we need to allow for that sometimes too. And then of course, playdates with parents included are fun
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#15 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing all of your perspectives!
I really don't have a huge problem with the drop off. Especially this one, we can walk around the corner to his house. IT's the across town drop off that doesn't sound great. I have come away with the realization that another benefit of homeschooling is that the drop offs don't have to feel like that much more time my child has to be away from family. With all day school and frequent drop off dates, it could easily turn into all friends all the time.

Thanks again for sharing!

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#16 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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I was shocked when I first discovered the "drop off mentality". I invited a mom and DD over for a playdate and the mom dropped off the girl and split with her 2 other children. She had errands to run. I thought, "I'm not a daycare." I had fully expected that we would all be together.

I also experienced something similar when DD had a birthday party. Some moms hung around (the ones I know to be more family-oriented), but others left to do errands.

I don't think it has anything to do with the HSing culture. I'm an "older" mom and I can tell you that there wasn't even such a thing as "playdates" when I was growing up.
The "dropping off" idea is a sign of the times, IMO.

Honestly, I believe there are 2 things in play here: families are over-stretching themselves and so they don't have time to hang out as a family. So they need to use the time to run errands, run the other kids to soccer practice, etc. The other thing is that many moms are looking for "me" time. Sadly, I am seeing this widespread in the HSing community as moms use all sorts of avenues to carve out extra time for themselves (dropping off kids to supplementary classes, co-ops, summer camps, etc.)
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#17 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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I don't think it has anything to do with the HSing culture. I'm an "older" mom and I can tell you that there wasn't even such a thing as "playdates" when I was growing up.
The "dropping off" idea is a sign of the times, IMO.
I think the opposite, actually. I can't even imagine my mother coming with me when I went to someone else's house to play as a kid. We didn't call them playdates, but I definitely went over to my friends' houses to play with them for an afternoon. She'd use that time to run errands or do something with my sister and make dinner.

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#18 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I think the opposite, actually. I can't even imagine my mother coming with me when I went to someone else's house to play as a kid. We didn't call them playdates, but I definitely went over to my friends' houses to play with them for an afternoon. She'd use that time to run errands or do something with my sister and make dinner.
Perhaps there is a generational/geographical gap between us. When I was growing up, we played with friends in our neighborhood. If we wanted to go in someone's house, we'd ask mom. There was no "dropping off" b/c there was no driving. It was someone right down the street and the moms all knew each other. Otherwise we were all just hanging around outside or in the woods/fields, etc.

So for me, it's a very odd concept for someone to drive over to my house to drop off their child and leave.
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#19 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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Sadly, I am seeing this widespread in the HSing community as moms use all sorts of avenues to carve out extra time for themselves (dropping off kids to supplementary classes, co-ops, summer camps, etc.)
Why is that SAD??? Why is it BAD to want individual time? If it's not for you, fine, but to denigrate others for choosing to have individual time, well, that's another story. Most people believe it is a GOOD thing for all, parents and children, to foster independence.
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#20 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Why is that SAD??? Why is it BAD to want individual time? If it's not for you, fine, but to denigrate others for choosing to have individual time, well, that's another story. Most people believe it is a GOOD thing for all, parents and children, to foster independence.
What I am seeing is overscheduled kids and over-busy parents. Just my opinion, though. But I do know that when I talk to veteran homeschoolers, they comment on things such as this too. HSing isn't as "pure and independent" as it used to be.
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#21 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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Perhaps there is a generational/geographical gap between us. When I was growing up, we played with friends in our neighborhood. If we wanted to go in someone's house, we'd ask mom. There was no "dropping off" b/c there was no driving. It was someone right down the street and the moms all knew each other. Otherwise we were all just hanging around outside or in the woods/fields, etc.

So for me, it's a very odd concept for someone to drive over to my house to drop off their child and leave.
That was not the norm where I grew up. I would imagine there are geographical issues at play.

I'm also pretty horrified that you think a mother who wants some "me time" is somehow bad or defective. I'm sure you didn't mean that as horribly offensive and ridiculous as it came out. Particularly since you completely contradict yourself, saying that as a child you and all the kids ran around the neighborhood (presumably leaving your mothers alone), while implying that a mother who is separated from her child nowadays for so much as a boy scout meeting may as well be ditching her kid to run off to Borneo to find herself. Surveys show that parents, even parents who work full time jobs, spend more time with their kids than ever before.

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#22 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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What I am seeing is overscheduled kids and over-busy parents. Just my opinion, though. But I do know that when I talk to veteran homeschoolers, they comment on things such as this too. HSing isn't as "pure and independent" as it used to be.
That's a good thing, IMO. When I was homeschooled, I didn't know a single other homeschooled child. There were no coops, there were no classes designed for homeschooled children. If there were any curricula back then, I would imagine they were very religious. My mother had no support except for a few library books from the 1960s she found, and I lost many of my friends because they thought I had turned defective by being pulled out of school.

I find this thread very interesting. Usually homeschoolers are very eager to prove how much their kids get out, how independent they are, how many activities they do, how their kids social lives are normal and how many friends they have. This thread is showing a rather different trend, and one that I think is far more in line with the stereotype of homeschooling. Personally, though my children are young, I certainly hope that they have independent friendships and interests and activities.

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#23 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I don't care for drop-off stuff as a general rule. We did a drop-off co-op survival skills class for my oldest two girls this spring, and yes it was nice to get them out once a week, but I didn't really care for dropping them off with a person I don't really know that well for 3 hours once a week. The girls had fun with it, and I got a lot of stuff done while they were at co-op because I only had the toddlers to take for shopping and library trips and such, but honestly its not my taste. I personally PREFER playdates and activities where the parents and younger siblings all stay. Then the kids do their thing while the toddlers play and hey all the moms get to socialize too. Now THAT is my idea of a playdate. I have a hsing friend who hosts a monthly playdate with 5 other families (mine included), we all meet at her home and each family brings snacks to share. The kids all do some kind of activities or games (and this is a lot of kids, I'm talking like 40 kids, I have the smallest family of the bunch of us) and the moms all sit together and talk about stuff. We've discussed schooling issues that we come across (like my oldest dd and her math struggle recently), parenting stuff like sleeping through the night, pregnancy complaints, how we wish our dh'es would help out more with this or that, planning field trips and stuff, all kinds of things. The same friend also hosts a monthly book club for us all, we read the book out loud to our children during the month between those meetings and then we get together monthly and do an activity based on the book we'd been reading and then we get our new book assignment to read (and then the kids go off and play while the moms talk more LOL)

I don't know, that's how we ususally do playdates around here. They are great for the kids because they get to play with a huge variety of kids (in our group's case its kids from newborn to 12yo) and the moms get that outlet that they need socially.

But I have done drop-off playdates before, I just don't particularly care for them. And I also tend to limit myself to just the ones that I can drop ALL the kids off at so that I can go to the doctor or something important like that. Our favorite sitter is my hsing friend with her 5 1/2 kids (#6 is supposed to make its appearance in about 5 months or so) because she always does a drop-off playdate with her sister's hs'ed kids too when I need someone to watch my kids (how she watches 17 kids while pregnant like that is beyond me, she has the patience of a saint LOL)

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#24 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I think the opposite, actually. I can't even imagine my mother coming with me when I went to someone else's house to play as a kid. We didn't call them playdates, but I definitely went over to my friends' houses to play with them for an afternoon. She'd use that time to run errands or do something with my sister and make dinner.
This is how it was when I was a kid, too. We just ran around to eachothers' houses, and the moms only came along (beyond providing transportation if necessary, which it often wasn't in my small town) if they wanted to socialize themselves. In fact, the only times I can really remember having my parents along was when they took us to their friends' houses, who might happen to have kids who we got along with, but not necessarily close friends.

Because we traded off who went where, it wasn't any particular extra burden on any one mom.

At the moment, we do tend to do everyone-together playdates, and I do think that this is partially the byproduct of homeschooling - our kids are used to playing in mixed-age groups, and the moms know eachother well and have things in common, so it's a matter of both siblings going and seeing their mutual friends, while the mom-friends also hang out. It's convenient, and everyone has fun. This dynamic seems less likely to develop between kids who meet in public school.

However, I really don't understand the idea that being comfortable with not being around all ones' children 24/7 throughout their entire childhood is a bad thing. I'm not regularly schlepping my kids off to other's houses or classes with the goal of getting "me time", but when it happens, I appreciate it!

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#25 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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I think the opposite, actually. I can't even imagine my mother coming with me when I went to someone else's house to play as a kid. We didn't call them playdates, but I definitely went over to my friends' houses to play with them for an afternoon. She'd use that time to run errands or do something with my sister and make dinner.
I agree

When I was a kid the parents would rotate dropping the kids off at each others houses when kids were as young as late toddler/early preschool age. We were all doing sleep overs at each others houses by kindergarten. Parents stopped staying for birthday parties around kindy/first grade. Parents don't seem to be quite that carefree around here anymore, most people seem a bit more protective then they used to be. But nothing as protective as I'm reading about on here

I'm 26 and in SoCal (where I grew up). Funny how different it can be everywhere else.

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#26 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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I'm not certain that travelling as a herd has to do with protectiveness. For us it has to do with family bonds. One of the blessings that we received from hsing is that my children actually enjoy each other now! They really are best friends. We all enjoy it.

Also I'd like to agree that growing up my mother did not plan playdates either. We roamed the neighborhood without adult supervision. There were some wonderful lessons that I rec'd because of that (and many not so wonderful).. It would be great if we all lived in neighborhoods w/ multiple nice families available for socialization. We actually have 2 great families within walking distance (that's right a whole 2!) with children in age range that mine will walk over and knock... and on the rare occasion that we aren't at ballet, or baseball or them at school, soccer... insert additional class here... and about 2x per month that works out. I just don't think that's a healthy social life.. so I provide more.

As far as being "pure and independent" I would really hate for hsing to spiral into another motherhood **spitting** contest over who is more in the trenches.

Librarian & mommy to my jog.gif(2002) & jammin.gif (2005) married to superhero.gifsince 1999
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#27 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by NaturalMamma View Post
I was shocked when I first discovered the "drop off mentality". I invited a mom and DD over for a playdate and the mom dropped off the girl and split with her 2 other children. She had errands to run. I thought, "I'm not a daycare." I had fully expected that we would all be together.
This was my feeling at ds' bday party as well.

QUOTE=NaturalMamma;15448184]I can tell you that there wasn't even such a thing as "playdates" when I was growing up. The "dropping off" idea is a sign of the times, IMO.[/QUOTE]

Yup, we didn't do playdates either but I remember being dropped off for parties when I was older (8 and older maybe).

I appreciate your honesty.

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#28 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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I think the opposite, actually. I can't even imagine my mother coming with me when I went to someone else's house to play as a kid. We didn't call them playdates, but I definitely went over to my friends' houses to play with them for an afternoon. She'd use that time to run errands or do something with my sister and make dinner.
This is my childhood experience as well. My two are good friends but they also enjoy their time apart with their own peers.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#29 of 40 Old 05-26-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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I find this thread very interesting. Usually homeschoolers are very eager to prove how much their kids get out, how independent they are, how many activities they do, how their kids social lives are normal and how many friends they have. This thread is showing a rather different trend, and one that I think is far more in line with the stereotype of homeschooling. Personally, though my children are young, I certainly hope that they have independent friendships and interests and activities.
I don't think anyone who posted saying that they got together as a family unit implied that the children do not have independent friendships, interests, or activities. Having adults there just means that the adults hang out with the adults. The adults are usually good friends as well!

My child is slow to warm up to situations and she will stick by DH initially but then she drops him and takes off with her friends. This week is a perfect example. They are attending a child + parent week-long art/music/dance camp. DD knows a lot of the kids, and she's been to this camp for another activity recently. So, she warmed up pretty quickly. DH is around if she needs him, but he is basically her photo journalist for the week. She doesn't want/need him doing activities with her (he said she flat-out ditched him as a dance partner today, opting to go with friends instead!) but she wants him taking pictures to share with me. She's almost 6, and the age range is for 2-7 year olds so she's on the older age range. It's been a wonderful experience for her!

My DD attended preschool and pre-K and since bringing her back home she has actually become more secure because we are there for her if she needs us. For us, it's just a natural extension of AP.

Sorry, but this comment just really frustrated me because it's like people think we are forcing ourselves on DD. If she wanted to be dropped off, we would do it. She doesn't, and it is socially acceptable in our group of friends, thankfully, to gather as a family. I feel fortunate to have such a great group of AP families in our homeschooling circle who understand that all kids have unique needs.

Holli
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#30 of 40 Old 05-27-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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I was shocked when I first discovered the "drop off mentality". I invited a mom and DD over for a playdate and the mom dropped off the girl and split with her 2 other children. She had errands to run. I thought, "I'm not a daycare." I had fully expected that we would all be together.

I also experienced something similar when DD had a birthday party. Some moms hung around (the ones I know to be more family-oriented), but others left to do errands.
not *exactly* related to hs'ing, but to the drop off mentality on the whole. I was recently at my neices birthday party, at a large public park (which has open water as well as busy roads on 2 out of 4 sides of the park) and witnessed a mum come up, introduce herself to my sil and then say she was going to go and come back at 3pm if that was ok? She wasn't *really* asking, because it was quite obvious that she was going anyway...the answer was assumed.

Sorry, but if you have to introduce yourself.. should you really be leaving your kids there? I mean, it's different if it is a place where the 'carer' has a blue card (our govt working with children safety check) or something.. but a mom you have never met.. in a big park with probably 25kids and various ppl that aren't even connected to our group? If I were my SIL I would NOT have been comfortable being left with the responsibility for a child I did not even know.

So ... we don't really 'do' drop offs Later on when the kids are a little older, maybe. Relating all this to hs'ing... all of our activities require parents to be on site. My boys go off to their own classes in our co op and do their own thing.. but they know where I am if needed

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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