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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new and looking from some advice from all of you intelligent women. My husband and I have been living in southern CA for 9 years and have wanted to move ever since we have had kids because of the extreme emphasis on image and materialism in this area. He is very close to being offered a job in Newtown CT, so of course we are getting cold feet. I am looking to find out if the area has some nice, down to earth people with liberal and natural (meaning attatchment parenting type stuff) values. I am also looking to find out if there are any parent co-op preschools and especially any homeschoolers in the area. I have a 6 year old daughter and a 9 month old daughter. Would anyone recommend this move as being a good one for a nice, liberal family? Oh, I am robyn by the way. Thank you so much.
 

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A nice liberal family Connecticut?! Of course! We are a Blue State after all (with a Republican governor
: ).

Seriously, though, CT is a great place to raise children. You have access to the big cities of Boston and New York, but there are enough museums, aquariums, parks, and other attractions to keep you happy within the state too.

There is at least one AP playgroup that I know of called Friendly Forest -- search for it on Yahoo groups or maybe someone from it will chime in. I'm not in the playgroup because my son is older (7 next month) and in school (Montessori) so we're just not available for meetings.

There is a Waldorf school in Newtown. I know you're homeschooling, but I think that with a Waldorf school there, you'll probably find like-minded families.

Around Newtown there is the Brookfield Craft Center, Quassy (an amusement park in Middlebury), several pick-your-own orchards, and museums/historical sites. Go here and click on "Litchfield Hills": http://www.tourism.state.ct.us/travel/default.asp

Here's the Newtown town website: http://www.newtown-ct.gov/Home/

There is so much to do in this state that there really aren't enough weekends. I would say that the downsides of CT are the cost of housing (and the whole area around Newtown is quite expensive) and the urban sprawl that is happening as more affluent people build more McMansions.

I lived here from 6th to 12th grade and then came back 3 years ago from a long absence. DH moved here after only having been here once, and he loves it as much as I do.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by miasandhadleysmom
I am new and looking from some advice from all of you intelligent women. My husband and I have been living in southern CA for 9 years and have wanted to move ever since we have had kids because of the extreme emphasis on image and materialism in this area. He is very close to being offered a job in Newtown CT, so of course we are getting cold feet. I am looking to find out if the area has some nice, down to earth people with liberal and natural (meaning attatchment parenting type stuff) values. I am also looking to find out if there are any parent co-op preschools and especially any homeschoolers in the area. I have a 6 year old daughter and a 9 month old daughter. Would anyone recommend this move as being a good one for a nice, liberal family? Oh, I am robyn by the way. Thank you so much.
Not to discourage you, but what you mentioned is a huge reason why my husband and I want to leave CT. The emphasis on materialism and image, like you mentioned, is so evident in southeastern CT, along the shoreline where we live. It's just crazy. All you really see are BMWs and Mercedes and Volvos. Our plymouth grand voyager sticks out like a sore thumb in Stonington


The average age state-wide is increasing by leaps and bounds because the cost of living has increased so much and young families are leaving the area because they can't afford to live here.
The Hartford Courant recently ran an article where they mentioned that the average home price has increased by 63% between 2000 and 2005 and the average income has only increased slightly (I just wrote a paper on this
I don't normally put statistics out of thin air!). Teachers, nurses, firefighters, are all having a tough time.

Like a pp mentioned, all of the construction everywhere is for the mc-mansions. People are buying decent, average homes, only to knock them down and put up some monstrocity in its place.

I think it really depends on where you live.. I'm not familiar with Newtown. I know I've heard there are some more 'average' spots in CT towards the north a ways, but I don't know for sure. I really only know southeastern CT, but I've searched the real estate ads for the whole eastern part of the state, and it didn't leave me with a fuzzy feeling


We were recently at the zoo in Rhode Island and they had a news crew there and the woman asked if she could interview me about this very topic- I jumped at the opportunity to let them know what I think about this! So if you see some nutjob on the news, ranting and raving about this very topic, Hi!

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mama2babybeans
I think it really depends on where you live.. I'm not familiar with Newtown. I know I've heard there are some more 'average' spots in CT towards the north a ways
That's where I am. I live in Winsted (about 50-60 minutes north of Newtown, Robyn) and we are pretty "normal" up here. We are getting a bit of the Affluenza up this way, creeping down from Norfolk and Canaan while it creeps up from New Hartford and Canton/Avon/Simsbury. A friend of mine in town bought a 4 BR/2 BA Victorian almost 3 years ago for about $165,000. It has been reappraised at $210K. But even still, that's wicked cheap for CT and it is not the norm. Hopefully we can buy a house before it gets really nuts. The market is beginning to slow down, but it's still outrageous in many parts of CT. I don't think it's as bad as CA, though, so you may be pleasantly surprised, Robyn.

At the other end of the spectrum, like Mama2babybeans was saying, my parents live on the shore (Clinton) and their old, semi-refurbished (and I do mean semi) house was appraised at $350K. There is such a lopsided and unfair spectrum of house prices in this state.

Quote:
We were recently at the zoo in Rhode Island and they had a news crew there and the woman asked if she could interview me about this very topic- I jumped at the opportunity to let them know what I think about this! So if you see some nutjob on the news, ranting and raving about this very topic, Hi!

Will it air in CT? I would love to see you because I would be raving too!
 

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It was actually being taped to show to some politicians first~ this group is trying to spread awareness that this is effecting everyone in the area- rich and poor. If nothing is done about it, we'll be left with no diversity at all


They said that it should air in the early fall once they've gained momentum with their project.. I want to say the woman I spoke with was with the fair housing coalition? I looked it up online when we got home that day and I'm pretty sure that's what it was called.
 

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I'm in MA, which although it is a blue state and I LOOOOOOOOOVE it here, isn't exactly super-crunchy. There's a lot of materialism here, and while physical image is probably about in the middle of the importance radar (horribly mixing my metaphors here), out-of-state friends who visit have commented on how people here seem to judge others by their level of education and intellectualism-- insults and put-downs seem to focus on those factors rather than money or physical attractiveness.

Have you considered Vermont? All the crunchy people I know well want to move to Vermont and would do so if they could get a job. My husband and I keep considering it on and off.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CorbinsMama
That's where I am. I live in Winsted (about 50-60 minutes north of Newtown, Robyn) and we are pretty "normal" up here.
no helpful info, just butting in to say i went to HS at a charter school in winsted, and lived in east hartland when i was a teenager!

Quote:

Originally Posted by CorbinsMama
We are getting a bit of the Affluenza up this way,
LOL
 

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Originally Posted by grumpyshoegirl
Have you considered Vermont? All the crunchy people I know well want to move to Vermont and would do so if they could get a job.
Same here, with either Vermont or New Hampshire. A couple of our best friends own an inn in NH (shameless plug: http://innatcrystallake.com/) and we would love to live closer to them. Every time we go up, they and their friends ask why we don't live there yet.


DH's job is pretty specialized and can't be found everywhere (he's an animator for computer games). If he was a teacher or doctor or something, we would be there in a second. As much as I do love CT and being close to my parents and other friends, it's just so expensive. If we could just afford a house, I would feel so much better. And DH makes good money too. It's ridiculous that we can't buy a house yet! (We are awaiting a raise so that might change things.)

Sorry to hijack!
 

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Originally Posted by homemademomma
no helpful info, just butting in to say i went to HS at a charter school in winsted, and lived in east hartland when i was a teenager!
Oh, cool! That must have been Gilbert, right?
 

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Hey,
Does anyone live in Storrs or nearby? My dh is thinking of applying for a job at U Conn. I grew up in Seattel but have been in Texas for the last three years. Want to be in a place good for bringing up kids and where you can still by a family home for 300k or less. I have been to the East but just don't know it very well! Thanks!
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We would love to move to VT but the job situation hasn't worked out. My husband has been applying places in VT and around Portland, ME for about 5 years and we have had no luck. The job in Newtown is the first real offer we have received. I live in a suburb right outside of LA and the it is rather conservative. Also the pressure in the schools is amazing. My daughter just went through kindergarten and it was actually okay but I have heard the work gets much harder through first grade. It seems like everyone here sends their kids for tutoring just to get ahead and I am worried that my daughter will feel behind even if she is doing just fine. That is why I would love to homeschool although she really wants to go to school. Also the kids here see movies and watch television that is just so mature and I don't want my daughter to grow up before she is ready. I sometimes wonder if this is a problem everywhere these days though and not just due to where you live. I would love to send her to a more alternative school option but they are so expensive around here and we just can't afford it. When I read these boards, it really gives me hope that I will be able to find people like me out there. I hate to judge people here but it feels like the majority of people are so uninformed about child developement, the environment, and the impact our life choices have on indigeneous people. I also know so many women who have bodies that are altered and while I don't want to judge, I don't want my daughter thinking that she has to live up to that. We went to NYC for my husbands job and even in the city the women and children just seemed calmer and more down to earth. I am hoping that the east coast in general might have that feel. Thank you again for all for your opinions. They are giving me a lot to consider. robyn
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CorbinsMama
Oh, cool! That must have been Gilbert, right?
no, it was a small charter school called explorations
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by homemademomma
no, it was a small charter school called explorations
I always forget about that one! (Obviously I don't have a HS age child!)
 

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The social community you're describing sounds more like something you'd find in the Northampton/Western Mass. area or in parts of Vermont than in Connecticut, particularly in the tonier Western part of the state. I don't have a lot of specific experience with Newtown but I do know it's a gorgeous, wealthy little place.

But, really, it seems like if you keep your eyes peeled for flyers at the library and such, you can probably find a few like-minded people wherever you go... but crunchy mamas with babies in slings, nursing toddlers, co-sleeping? Probably not the norm anywhere in CT. That said, implants and nose jobs are not de rigeur, so it might be a step in the right direction...

Mama2babybeans: You've got to stay out of the Boro! That's your problem right there!
 

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Originally Posted by goldfinch
The social community you're describing sounds more like something you'd find in the Northampton/Western Mass. area or in parts of Vermont
That's where I would like to live -- the Northampton/Amherst area or near Great Barrington/Stockbridge/Lenox/Lee. We love going to Northampton especially in the Autumn.
 

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But, really, it seems like if you keep your eyes peeled for flyers at the library and such, you can probably find a few like-minded people wherever you go... but crunchy mamas with babies in slings, nursing toddlers, co-sleeping? Probably not the norm anywhere in CT. That said, implants and nose jobs are not de rigeur, so it might be a step in the right direction

Well as far as CT goes, there is quite a community of MDC'ers here in the central to northern parts and our community is growing. I cosleep, nurse a toddler and all my friends and I use slings. Sometimes I am the leastAP of the crowd and I consider myself pretty attached. The natural birthing community is very active as well.
Once you get out of Fairfield county you get a bit more affordable. The East coast in general is just over priced, but so is the west coast. My sister is in San Fran and her small house would be more affordable here in CT than there in CA.

Also just to add, CT is more liberal than VT in many ways. Homeschooling in CT requires nothing. You can, if you want, file an intent but it is not needed. And for us raw milk lovers it is illegal in VT.
Dont get me wrong, I love VT but not all of CT is like the coastal areas. There are lots of pricey towns but also some great people.
I am actually skeptical of moving away from here because of the community we have found here after having children and before. Although it's not the "mountains" of CO (neither is VT in comparison) there is tons of rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, whatever.
HTH~ Northhampton and those areas are more expensive than central to northwestern CT. My house there would be tripled in price..
 

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Originally Posted by gratefulmom
HTH~ Northhampton and those areas are more expensive than central to northwestern CT. My house there would be tripled in price..
That's very true. I'm just fantasizing here.
 

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gratefulmom. HTH~ Northhampton and those areas are more expensive than central to northwestern CT. My house there would be tripled in price..[/QUOTE said:
: Tell me about it! We're moving from the Hartford area to Northampton in September, and even though we searched high and low for a house to buy in the area for about 6 months, we're still empty handed! So...we'll be renting a cute duplex in town while we continue to look!

Anyway...I agree with Gratefulmom - there are areas in CT that are very "crunchy" friendly. Newtown is situated in a gorgeous area, but it is quite $$$! But I think that no matter where you move you'll be able to find a community you jive with, it just might take a bit more searching, that's all. I love the fact that we have lots of local farms that you can purchase from, that there are CSAs all around and lots of people who practice naturopathic healing. Homeschooling isn't unheard of and not hard at all to practice.
Will you have a chance to visit CT before you make a final decision?
 

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I live very close to Newtown in a 1M home, my dd's attend the Waldorf school in Newtown. I see a Natropath in Newtown, gave birth to 3 babies at the freestanding birth center in Danbury, bfd one dd to 4.5 yrs (even in public), I am currently nursing a 10 month old, I cloth diaper, actively co-sleep, eat organic and use natural cleaning products (well have my housekeeper), I don't vax and don't circ. Just b/c we have pricey Real Estate doesn't mean we can't be AP/NFL. I have many friends who live in these towns who are AP/NFL. I have some well off friends who homeschool, there is a big homeschooling community in this area. Yeah it is expensive but you CAN find affordable homes, relative to what you are used to in SoCal.

This is a great area, Danbury has the ONLY freestanding birthing center in the state, families travel far and wide to birth there. I have a wonderful pedi that supports my AP/NFL lifesytle.

You will find many likeminded families in the Newtown area, not the majority but there are many!
Good luck to your DH, please feel free to PM me if you have any questons or want to chat.
 
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