We're currently in the process of buying a home in Rochester NH and I'm looking for new friends, groups, and resources in the area. We've been house hunting for a couple months up here and had been kind of avoiding Rochester since it sometimes gets a bad rep, and we weren't all that thrilled with what we had seen there anyway. But we recently found a great house for a great price in what seems like an adorable little neighborhood near the southern border of the city. I'm starting to get excited about it all and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the buying process continues to go smoothly. Anyway, I'm a certified childbirth educator (but I'm not 100% sure what I plan to do with my business now that we've relocated from NY). My ultimate goal is to go back to school to become a CPM. We're a homeschooling family - we have a 7 and 4 yr old - and prescribe to most of the cliche stereotypes you can think of as a natural crunchy family. lol Any suggestions for doctors and dentists in the area that are non-vax friendly, intact-knowledgable, won't push fluoride, etc? How about homeschooling or other playdate groups? I joined RHNH but haven't found anything specific to the area listed there. By the way, in what "region" is Rochester considered? It doesn't seem to be included in a lot of Seacoast stuff and I'm wondering if there's some keyword that I'm missing while surfing around the internet. :P Any info anyone has about the area would be great. And if you're in the area and would like to get to know each other, please let me know!
Congrats on the move! I am bumping in hopes of a reply!
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Hi, congrats on the new home! As long as you're not interested in the public schools there, I think Rochester is just fine so long as you're living on the "outskirts" - there are some really beautiful areas, especially the views near the Farmington side of town. I say the farther north, the better. We moved to Dover four years ago, partially because they had a decent school reputation and my oldest really wanted to go to PS - what a disappointment to say the least. My 3 year old I had planned on homeschooling but she keeps begging to go to "school", so we'll probably be checking out some of the private schools soon I guess...
For a pediatrician I highly recommend Coastal Pediatrics in Portsmouth if that's not too far for you. Knowledgeable, open-minded, & non-judgemental with the benefits of a traditional medical practice.
As for a pediatric dentist. I need to find one soon as my youngest is way overdue - hoping others have some recommendations.
Sorry, no recs on homeschool groups (too young) or playgroups. My youngest is finally getting past some social anxiety so we're getting a late start there as well. There's a Seacoast Mom's group out there but I haven't seen anything less formal/smaller scale around Dover. I'd say sign up for some kids' activities like swimming/karate/gym/art/music, etc.
Rochester I believe is technically in the Lakes' Region but don't quote me on that, and I recall seeing it sometimes included in "Seacoast area" activities.
Welcome to the area, and let me know if I can try to answer anymore questions!
Welcome! I think the best way to find homeschooling groups in the area (and I know there are a bunch of them!) is on Facebook. Rochester is probably considered part of the Seacoast. It's technically in Strafford County, but no one really calls it that. I know that ChildLight Yoga in Dover has special kids yoga classes for homeschoolers. Also, The Children's Museum of NH in Dover is always packed with homeschooling groups during the week. There's a great cloth diaper store in Epping called Green Earth Baby Works that has a Facebook Group as well and could be a good resource for you. Good luck!
Thanks, Kotapop! We don't mind traveling a bit and Portsmouth is definitely doable. My husband works out there too, so we'll check out Coastal Peds. I've been on the lookout for kids activities, especially for my youngest. He just turned 4 and I'm not sure what he'd like to do. lol Maybe art classes? I signed my oldest up for rock climbing classes in Manchester (before we knew we'd end up in Rochester) and he is absolutely in love with it. So even though that's a bit of a hike I think we'll continue to do that for a while.
And thank you, Doverdoula, too! I was actually on your website earlier this evening. I've been considering getting my DONA certificate and branching my business out to include doula services for quite a while now. But I'm not sure how quickly I'll be ready to jump back in to birth work just yet. Do you know of any NH birth professionals groups, either in person or on facebook? I managed one on fb back in NY and found it to be extremely helpful for networking, especially for the newbies. :)
Welcome to the area! I'm in Barrington, NH with my 4 year old son - who just turned 4 as well. I also highly recommend Coastal Pediatrics in Portsmouth, we switched to them just before my son turned a year old, we started with Dover Pediatrics, and I would recommend that you stay far away from them! While I do still vaccinate my son, I space them out and have refused some that I wanted to hold off on until he was older and I don't do the flu vaccine, and they've been pretty good about that so far. Not sure what their thoughts are on no vaccinations, so you might want to discuss with them. I also really like Beth Devlin with Elemental Medicine in Dover, NH. She's a naturopath, and I've gone to her occasionally for my son, however, she is not covered under our insurance so I'm not able to use her full time as we pay the full cost for each visit, but if you have insurance coverage that covers naturopath, I really recommend her.
We go to Pasternack in Barrington, NH for all of our dental work. While they are mainstream, they don't give me a hard time when I refuse fluoride for my son, and I also tell them I only do limited x-rays and they seemed fine with that as well, so I've been very happy there so far.
I do not homeschool, I work full time so my son is in a preschool/daycare, however, my husband is a work a holic and I am often interested in finding fun things to do with my son on the weekends if you ever have availability and want to meet up with someone on the weekends. We enjoy lots of outdoor type activities!!
Thanks, irishmaji! We ran into some issues with the house's title search, and something to do with the foreclosure deed. This whole house buying process is so ridiculously convoluted and frustrating. But we'll (hopefully) be near the Barrington border soon! I'll look into those drs and dentist recs as well. :)
There's a NH Doulas group on Yahoo Groups, but it's not very active!
Can you come to the Seacoast Mom & Baby Expo on Wednesday, November 6th? It is at the Red Barn at Outlook in South Berwick, ME (probably 20 minutes from Rochester). It would be a great chance for you to connect with naturopaths, chiropractors, doulas, etc. www.seacoastmomandbabyexpo.com and it's FREE!
Sorry about the house search, hope it all works out. I've found traveling sometimes necessary and worthwhile around here if you want the best Rx care & activities for the kids. We travel all the way to Derry for my daughter's Chinese class (when I can get her out of the house on time...) ; )
Thanks for the dental recommendation!
Welcome to the area! I also live in Rochester, and while I'm worried about the schools, there is hope! My daughter is 2, and while I don't plan on homeschooling, there are lots of resources for all families in the area. Rochester just opened a very successful magnet school, and we are close to many private schools. There is a rock climbing gym in Dover which I have heard good things about, as well as one at UNH. The Special Olympics offers a FREE Saturday Am group for ALL children at Oyster River high school (run by a special educator) which focuses on early sport skills which is wonderful. We take dance class at Dance in Motion 2, great group and Saturday classes!
I agree about avoiding Dover peds. I've heard good things about Costal, but we love our nurse at Salmon Falls, Claire Menard. We delay and separate vaccines, and there has never been any question from her or any of the staff there. Great hours, open late, always available! Claire gives out her cell phone number to all patients, so you really do have 24/7 access. Very knowledgeable and supportive of extended nursing, intact babies, and natural parenting. Great for natural ideas for medical needs, but willing to give an RX if it is necessary (I prefer to not treat ear infections, but she helps us keep an eye on them so they don't go on too long - I may be a crunchy mama, but I'm also a speech pathologist!).
Love to get to know more local moms! Drop an email if you'd like to get together (once all the chaos of house buying is done!)
Bumping to say another 'Welcome to the area!' I hope you're getting settled in....
I know this is a long way off for you, but for those who are concerned about the local schools keep in mind that there is an Arts and Technology charter high school in Dover that's free to all NH residents -- Cocheco Arts and Technology Academy
I've also heard good things about the new magnet school in Rochester... There's a great charter elementary school in Kingston, but that's probably too far for a daily commute from Rochester.
Welcome to NH!
We've FINALLY moved in to our house! Woot! I'm a member of RHNH and there are events and groups I'd be willing to drive to, but I've been also looking for homeschooling groups specific to our new area. I haven't found anything that quite fit our family's needs. So I created my own FB group. If anyone is in the area or knows someone who would be interested in joining, send 'em on over! :)
I was just visiting this thread en route to the Teen forum (YIKES!) and saw some references to Rochester schools. I wanted to offer another perspective by sharing my family's experience. I am a homeschool mother-at-heart and home schooled my two boys, now 11 and 13 for 4 years. They wanted to try school when they were 8 and 10 and as much as it broke my heart, I let them go. And they loved it. They both went to William Allen School (one of Rochester's eight elementary schools) and this year they will both be in the middle school. I cannot say enough good things about William Allen School and the middle school has been great. The Magnet School is available by lottery, but the kids go to school for 200 days as opposed to 180. From what I understand, they follow the same state mandated curriculum, but offer French. They have five terms and are project-based, using themes, for each term. If the Magnet School proves to be successful (I cannot recall the time period for this experiment), Rochester plans to move all of it's schools to this type of model. While public school is not perfect, and I would much rather be homeschooling, my children are thriving socially and academically. Not everyone will have the same experiences, but I just wanted to offer ours for those people moving to the area and hearing only negative messages. Most private schools in the area are religious-based or very expensive. The Seacoast Charter School has a wonderful reputation (also available by lottery), but it is quite a hike from Rochester. I hope this helps!
I hope your feeling nice and settled by now! My kids are quite a bit older than yours and in school, but I would be more than happy to try and help you connect with other homeschooling moms in the area! Also, my kids are very involved in Rochester sports so if you need any assistance with that, please let me know! PM me anytime! Again, ((( welcome )))! I hope you're loving it :)
I think we have the best location! A short drive to the ocean, tons of lakes and mountains! :)
PS… Sorry for the multiple messages! I haven't been on Mothering in forever and it was so exciting to see this thread! :)
I've got a huge smile on my face! Perhaps we may cross paths one day This was the lovely group of moms that I was going to connect you with!
Have a wonderful day
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