How crunchy & homeschool-friendly is Richmond, TX - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-26-2009, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay... need input and help. We are a homeschooling family that eats pretty much fresh, whole, organic foods. We are considering relocating to Richmond from central NJ--where I have the world at my fingertips and therefore I'm panicked about moving. I have a kids nature museum, a free public library with free kid stuff to do, plenty of other museums and lots of non-religious homeschool groups for playdates. He takes a class at the local arts center and some at the Y. We always have something to do. And NYC is only an hour trip (and Philly is 1-1/2 hours... Sesame Place is also only an hour). Pick-your-own farms are within an hour. I'm a-skeeeerd to leave all the places I can rattle off to go and do things on a whim.

The heat is already an issue for us and we're going to visit in late August on a relocation-potential mission. I know Whole Foods is relatively close for the few things we wind up having to buy there.

But what's the homeschool scene like? Do you have naturopaths nearby? Are there lots of parks or kid-based stuff? Do you have CSAs or coops? And what's the "in season" there (or is it year-round?)?

I should check to see if there's an HMN chapter, too.

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Old 03-27-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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Richmond is just a Houston suburb. So you have all of Houston.

Homeschooling is easy- no requirements.

Kid stuff - there is tons, but be prepared to drive.

-Angela
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought homeschoolers had to register as a private school and test? When you say "no requirements", where I live now is "no requirements"--literally: no testing, no attendance records, no notification (unless you pull out of public mid-year for truancy purposes)... nothing. I got the impression TX had testing requirements even if your child was SpEd...?

I really was coming back to bump the thread. I knew Richmond was a Houston suburb; but Houston is HUGE (my family has also lived in Humble and La Port... but they aren't even REMOTELY crunchy and it was a while ago).

Is there a HMN chapter nearby at least? Is it active?

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Old 04-02-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
I thought homeschoolers had to register as a private school and test? When you say "no requirements", where I live now is "no requirements"--literally: no testing, no attendance records, no notification (unless you pull out of public mid-year for truancy purposes)... nothing. I got the impression TX had testing requirements even if your child was SpEd...?

I really was coming back to bump the thread. I knew Richmond was a Houston suburb; but Houston is HUGE (my family has also lived in Humble and La Port... but they aren't even REMOTELY crunchy and it was a while ago).

Is there a HMN chapter nearby at least? Is it active?
NO registration. NO testing. No attendance. No notification. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Technically homeschooling is considered a private school and there is NO regulation of private schools for TX.

-Angela
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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(hi alegna!)

uh. i happen to think its a great area! (wonder why??) let me see if I can hit the highlights. for one thing-- which area of Richmond are you looking at? closer to Katy, TX (south of I-10) or closer to between Sugar Land and Rosenberg (off US-59)?

there are some good inclusive/non-religious HS group options, farmer's markets that run year round, co-ops and CSAs, a good natural history museum, a great family friendly art museum, a cooler than cool AP playgroup, an awesome library system and i could probably add some more info, but i have to get little ones settled for bed.

let me know which Richmond area you're looking at and I can give you some more specifics. and i'll tack on a little info about the heat too.

Crunchy Mama to the Triad of Chaos-- DD1 (9/03) & the Twinadoes- DS and DD2 (6/06)
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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Well we can't do much about the heat! But there are plenty of kid activities to do in Houston. The science museum is great, there's a good zoo, there's a children's museum that's just had a huge renovation/expansion (and was pretty cool even before the renovation). It's a huge city and there's plenty of things to do on a whim!

I'm more of a northside gal, but there are pick your own fruit farms around Magnolia (probably around an hour from Richmond, but maybe less).
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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i'll speak a little about the "crunchy" factor around here. I agree with the PP's about access to museums--- but as far as "green" or "crunchy" goes-- I don't think Richmond really is.

People don't recycle very much, even with curbside pick-up. If you don't go to church or aren't religious, you are in a minority. If you are vegetarian, you are in the minority. Not baby wearing, from what I see.

I often feel like the "weird one" because our family is vegetarian, we do not attend church, we live a very green lifestyle- and find that we are the odd duck out in a lot of social situations.

don't get me wrong, Richmond is a fine place to live- just making sure you aren't expecting a super crunchy, hippie-type, free thinking, diverse city.

But... this is all my opinion and my experience from living on the border between sugar land and richmond for 7 years.

Jennifer- wife and mom, dreaming of country living
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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i agree that the recycling programs leave something to be desired. we have to take ours in, but we have found drop off points that will take everything. usually the curbside programs are pretty selective.

also, to be crunchy/green in this area is to be in the minority yes. but i haven't found a problem finding a community where my kids and I feel comfortable and well-supported in our lifestyle choices-- (organic/local, i'm vegetarian, but the rest of my fam is not and i have several vegan friends, more liberal political beliefs, extended breastfeeding, homeschooling, when we go to church, we go to a UU one, non-vaxing, cloth diapering, etc.) ITA though- the Houston area is not a super crunchy, more liberal area as a whole. but there are good sized pockets of lovely folks that I feel very at home with.

as far as the heat goes. we moved here from the DC area and I found that the thing about the heat is that since it's normal for the area, the area is prepared for it with a fair amount of indoor or water-related activities so you can still get out of the house, but can also beat the heat. many neighborhoods have these things called splash pads with water fixtures and fountains the kids can run around in and get all wet. things like that.

certainly this area isn't for everyone, but we're much happier here than we were in the DC area and much better off financially too.

if you decide to move here, feel free to PM me for a few inclusive/non-religious homeschool group options if you're interested in them.

Crunchy Mama to the Triad of Chaos-- DD1 (9/03) & the Twinadoes- DS and DD2 (6/06)
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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Okay, I need to check out your blog (saw it yesterday, didn't click). We have dietary restrictions too and I'm always looking for new food ideas.

I live in Sugar Land and I have found enough like-minded people to feel comfortable. I'm part of a secular, inclusive homeschooling group, Learning Adventures at Fort Bend (Fort Bend County), and it includes crunchy people and people who don't care if I'm crunchy (and I've never seen/heard of people anti-my-crunchiness, so that's plenty good enough for me).

It's a huge city, so if you search out groups with common interests, there should be someone around. I do get a lot of my social interaction through our homeschooling group, so I haven't had to go much beyond that, but that's been my area of interest since we got here.

re: the heat, well, no fun, but you get through it.

And seriously, the homeschooling requirements (lack thereof) make life so much simpler. I think if kids have been in the local school district, you need to notify the district that you're withdrawing to homeschool (not an issue for you) but after that, you're good.

I haven't searched really hard for a HCP who can actually help us. I have a ped who's a backup in case someone gets hurt (cause I don't know a lot about injuries, but it seems like we could get past my ability to deal with it fairly easily), but I know of one or two people who have very alternative-minded HCPs. I just haven't had the need to work with them for our health stuff.

In general, there's a lot of agriculture around Houston, and being in Richmond you'll be more on the outskirts and should have better access. I go to a farmer's market in the middle of the city, which is an okay drive, but I'd hope there's something farther out that would work better for you.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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I'm also in Sugar Land. There are some farmer's markets further out (Wharton, Needville, north in Katy). Whole Foods is here in Sugar Land. And there may be other food co-ops around, too. I used to be part of one but lost track of it when they made some changes.

There are definitely a wide variety of people here! It's a great city with lots to do (even if it's not NYC). So I hope you'll be happy if you do settle here!

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:26 AM
 
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heather--- FYI, Needville Farmer's Market has closed. I think Wild West is still open.

Jennifer- wife and mom, dreaming of country living
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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I am so very thankful to have found this site.  I had no idea Learning Adventures at Fort Bend  even exsisted! Thank you for the info Tanyalynn! 

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Old 07-27-2012, 06:41 PM
 
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700Best Homeschool Groups Ever Here!!!!

 

I live in Richmond,Tx and we have the best homeschool group there is. Katy,TX have also thrived with the decision to homeschool. So much to do so many things!Way toooo much to list here,but it's awesome!

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