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It seems there is such a push to have HS kids actively involved in groups, is anyone else finding this? Some people I know are run off their feet trying to find every socialization opportunity for their kids they are so involved in their groups they seem to never have any down time. We are more rural and while we do have a local HS group I'm not actively involved in it. I did join when we first started out a few years ago but gradually stopped when we moved out of town and was ill from my pg, then busy with the baby, plus we only have 1 vehicle which makes it tough. I will likely get back into it soon, but not be at every event. Anyhow, we are close friends with a family in our church that homeschools and are friends with several other homeschool families, we travel to different churches from time to time as my dh is often a guest speaker so my kids are always meeting and making new friends, plus they have their regular gang of family and friends here in town. I don't feel my kids are suffering from social starvation.
We live out in the country and have no neighbour kids, but my kids love to visit the older folks on the farms on our road, they will sit and have tea and chat all about different topics with the farmers, plus we go to plenty of different places each week (library, grocery store, church, etc).

Today MIL's sister was visiting and she asked my ds what grade he was in, he replied he was in grade 2, but he homeschools. She launched into a preach to me about how she seriously considered homeschooling (her youngest is 9) but just couldn't agree with the lack of socialization they'd get and then said very pointedly "I hope you are very busy with a homeschool group" and went on and on digging up every negative reference she could find in her memory of some weird backwoods hs family who's poor kids were so sheltered they couldn't function in the real world. Yeah, thanks.
My MIL was great, even though she was initially very unsupportive of HS she went right to bat for me and my kids. Alas there is no convincing someone who is just downright ignorant and likes to remain that way, I think it was really guilt that she didn't hs that she clings to her one flimsy excuse so tenaciously. I even told her that we in HS circles call socialization the "S" word and laugh because we all know better!!

Call me crazy, but I think people can manage to raise normal healthy kids who are not only homeschooled, but not busily involved in hs support groups too. A lot depends on how you raise them and what their personalities are like. I like our quiet life out here in the boonies, it has really been wonderful and my kids are still so young (7, 5 and 1) they still have lots of time left to get involved in the hs group in the coming years....Thoughts? Experiences? Validation?
Thanks!!
 

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I think hs groups are great for letting kids know they aren't the ONLY ones that hs in this world of everything focusing on 'school' stuff. But I don't think that their only, or even main, socialization opportunties come from those groups...nor should they really.

The entirety of our involvement with the very busy hs groups around us is 1. weekly art & gymnastics class that one group organized and my kids enjoy. and 2. the fortnightly 'required' (in '' because we only HAVE to attend 2 days per term) extra curricular days with our distance education school. That's it. So 3 days out of every 2 weeks, part of a day is spent with homeschool groups
My kids go to the library, the shops, etc and have no problem saying hi to the coffee shop lady who knows us well, or the particular cashier at the supermarket that always asks what adventures we're off to have today, or telling the librarian that we're checking out planets books so we can learn about the solar system


The group I take the kids to art & gymnastics with USED to have something going every.single.day of the week! Obviously not everyone attended everything.. but yikes, ya know? That'd be overkill for even the most social of butterflies!
 

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I have a very social DD who often begs for me to let her go to regular school because she wants to be around other children. We don't have any homeschool groups and we currently don't know any other homeschooled children her age (we know some in preschool only). So, we have DD in some outside activities: Ballet (2x a week), Piano (1x a week), and Brownies (2x a month). Granted, the only one she really gets any socialization is Brownies (and it's her favorite). She is very close with our neighbor, her Japanese "grandma" and will go over there to hang out and watch TV or cook with her several times a week. She's very comfortable with adults and when my BFF still lived here she would go to her house once a week just to hang out. However, she does crave children her age to hang out with and there aren't many near us (there are some Japanese girls she likes to play with, but they are busy everyday with school and extras). Also, like you, we only have one car and DH often uses it to get to work.

I think the socialization argument really depends on your child. I don't think DS will require as many activities as DD does. . .DS is very happy when it is just us, whereas DD gets very lonely when she's not around others her age.
 

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We are not very involved at all in a homeschool group or even our "school" charter. DD does have friends and family kids that she plays with about 1-2x/wk, and she usually takes part in a group class 1-2x/wk, as well. She's on a break from her group class right now, but I think she's had several spontaneous play dates with kids of various ages this week.

I don't worry about it. Sometimes she'll go awhile without a play date, and I don't think that it's going to ruin her life or future social standing.

Especially since your kids have their sibs---it's such a lame attempt to burn the homeschoolers, the old "socialization" argument. I just say I don't worry about it and pass the bean dip.

*I just wanted to add--I look to dd for my cues, and when she's around other kids, she doesn't act like a reject. She joins right in. Like anybody, sometimes she's uncomfortable in a new situation, but it's not like she sticks out in a group of kids as "the homeschooler" at all. Plus, I really didn't like the "socialization" that she was getting in public school, I thought it was horrible! She was learning all kinds of social lessons that I did not want her to internalize. So I say, no thanks to that kind of socialization! She plays perfectly well with her peers and is missing out on a ton of negative conditioning, too.
 

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I don't know that you need to be super involved in group activities although I do think that homeschool groups can and do provide great support structures and opportunities to connect or participate in larger group things (drama, sports, science fairs etc).

With our homeschool group, as families get established and make connections they seem to move away from lots of group activities and instead make more personal connections. So they might do fewer large group field trips and instead organize more get togethers, field trips, co-ops etc with their friends.

I do think it is valuable to have connections in the homeschooling community and to be able to both call on that group for support or connection, and to support newer homeschoolers in your community. You may never know when life will change and you and your kids might be grateful to have those connections.

Karen
 

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It does depend on your situation. We don't go to church, so I do rely on our homeschool group. But you can fill that need many other ways, and I don't think a HS group is necessary for everyone.
 

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We're not. We live in a very small town. There's a small support group in a town 90 minutes away, but we're not involved. It's too far, considering how much driving we already do to support our kids' interests.

My kids don't feel like oddballs. They live in a community that is very supportive of outside-the-box choices, where at times up to 10% of the school-age population has been homeschooled. Our closest friends are another big family of unschoolers. My kids also have a pretty robust and consistent group of friends through their musical studies and activities. Some are homeschooled or schoolkids within the community. Many live scattered around the province and are also homeschoolers.

We did try a few different co-op type things over the years, but they didn't work out that well for us. Most homeschooling families seemed to want a range of casual exposures from group activities. My kids, if they're going to do something structured in a group setting, want more depth and focus than they can get by exploring stuff at home. So for them the group experiences were always underwhelming and lacking in the challenge they wanted. We've had better luck with more focused interest-based activities within the general community.

Miranda
 

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We're not. I felt as though our local unschooling group was negatively biased towards our socioeconomic situation. I also felt like they were already very closely-knit by the time we found out about them. I'm a bit frustrated because although I've made many, many attemps to help my daughter be around others, they all seem to fall through. Our neighboring girl's parents just decided to stop returning my texts asking for them to play ... my other friend just kind of decided she was done with us ... and my good friend's daughter is so little. She's starting dance in March and when she's 5 she'll take horseriding lessons. She enjoys her trips to the museums and such when we can make it. So that's about it. It's hard to be a part of a group specifically geared towards children who don't go to school -- they may not have anything in common, interest-wise.
 

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I wasn't going to reply because DD is not quite four but I was interested in what moominmamma said. We are involved in an unschooling group which has been great from our pre-school-age perspective for DD to see that not all older kids go to school etc but in the last six months it's dropped off because a couple of the mothers started a co-op and that has become the social event of the week. That's no bother to us, once a month or even less meets our needs atm. What is a bother though is that I can't see DD ever being interested in getting involved in the co-op, it is precisely as moominmamma described; just sort of dabbling around the edges of this and that. Almost like having a class just to have a class. So even if DD's social needs do change I can't see us getting involved because it just doesn't suit her way of being. I'm glad to find there are plenty of others who manage without
 

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Currently we are not active in the homeschooling group locally. We attend a UU Church every Sunday, visit other homeschooling friends on occasion and have a couple neighborhood kids who come over to play every once in a while.
 

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I wish we were. We live in a very rural area where there's nothing and homeschooling is not thought of fondly. It's hard for the kids to make friends and for me as well. The only group here is super Conservative, though, and we are not.
 

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We're not, either. We're really rural, and the closet groups has some major ideological differences. My kids get together with a few other families (we're doing that in a few mins here, actually!) and at church and story time.
 

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Me.

The extent of my homeschool invovlement has been an informal "gym" class with couple of other moms. It was nice but I don't think I'd have managed more than that. We visited a homeschool support group, and it was nice, and gave dh and understanding that homeschooling families are mostly normal people.
But they were very *intense*, and at the time there was some drama and upset going on over the direction of the group.
 

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We are but DD gets overwhelmed some weeks and doesn't want to go to any of them. She has made friends with a few kids, but she still doesn't feel totally connected to any of the groups. It's also hard because her 3 favorite ones all meet on the same day, which makes it impossible to go each time to any of them. So, I think she loses a continuity she would otherwise have by attending any of them weekly. It also takes her a while to get used to people so not having the regularity makes it harder on her. I'd do just about anything to have one of those groups move to a different day but they all seem pretty committed to it so we just do what we can. They are all mostly groups doing field trips, park dates, etc.

All of her homeschool friends are about 20+ minutes away, which means everything has to be planned in advance. I would love for her to have a good friend who lived in our neighborhood, but all the kids go to school and she's too young (5.5) and the spacing between houses is too big to let her just roam.

I think she needs more free play time with other kids than she gets. If she had siblings, I think it would be easier on all of us, but that's just not an option for our family.

Holli
 

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nak... My kids socialize with the neighbor children, the twins that I babysit and family children. Occasionally there is a playgroup but it's hard to get to it, because there's only one vehicle and DH works a lot of weekend overtime. On the whole, I don't feel like they're missing out on much, although I do eventually intend to get them involved in something like music lessons or sports as they become more interested.

I was recently accused by a hateful sister of being a terrible parent for keeping my children "away from real people in the real world."
As if I live in a secluded underground bunker away from civilization because I homeschool. I didn't worry too much about this opinion though, since this person's own children are both at least one year behind their age group's grade levels due to being moved around like nomads through multiple states and families as my sister repeatedly marries, divorces and relocates herself and her boys.
I feel bad for THAT kind of "real world" socialization. I think my kids are okay. They get out quite a bit more than some homeschooled children I've seen.
 

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We're not. We're also in a rural area and the local hs group is very conservative. We are not.

Ideally, I'd love to meet a few other relaxed hs families in the area to get together with.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MrsJewelsRae View Post
It seems there is such a push to have HS kids actively involved in groups, is anyone else finding this? Some people I know are run off their feet trying to find every socialization opportunity for
down time. We are more rural and while we do have a local HS group I'm not actively involved in it. I did join when we first started out a few years ago but gradually stopped when we moved out of town and was ill from my pg, then busy with the baby, plus we only have 1 vehicle which makes it tough. I will likely get back into it soon, but not be at every event. Anyhow, we are close friends with a family in our church that homeschools and are friends with several other homeschool families, we travel to different churches from time to time as my dh is often a guest speaker so my kids are always meeting and making new friends, plus they have their regular gang of family and friends here in town. I don't feel my kids are suffering from social starvation.
We live out in the country and have no neighbour kids, but my kids love to visit the older folks on the farms on our road, they will sit and have tea and chat all about different topics with the farmers, plus we go to plenty of different places each week (library, grocery store, church, etc).

Today MIL's sister was visiting and she asked my ds what grade he was in, he replied he was in grade 2, but he homeschools. She launched into a preach to me about how she seriously considered homeschooling (her youngest is 9) but just couldn't agree with the lack of socialization they'd get and then said very pointedly "I hope you are very busy with a homeschool group" and went on and on digging up every negative reference she could find in her memory of some weird backwoods hs family who's poor kids were so sheltered they couldn't function in the real world. Yeah, thanks.
My MIL was great, even though she was initially very unsupportive of HS she went right to bat for me and my kids. Alas there is no convincing someone who is just downright ignorant and likes to remain that way, I think it was really guilt that she didn't hs that she clings to her one flimsy excuse so tenaciously. I even told her that we in HS circles call socialization the "S" word and laugh because we all know better!!

Call me crazy, but I think people can manage to raise normal healthy kids who are not only homeschooled, but not busily involved in hs support groups too. A lot depends on how you raise them and what their personalities are like. I like our quiet life out here in the boonies, it has really been wonderful and my kids are still so young (7, 5 and 1) they still have lots of time left to get involved in the hs group in the coming years....Thoughts? Experiences? Validation?
Thanks!!

We have not been actively involved in HS groups. We are not rural.

I think you have to trust your instincts and yes, your children are young.
 

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we're involved in a homeschool co-op that meets every other friday. this is our first year with one. my daughter attends, but my son doesn't want too, so he stays home with daddy. it's a far drive honestly (an hour away), but it meets my daughter's needs & she absolutely loves it. aside from that, we are not actively involved in a group at all. there are a lot of homeschool activities, and often we will "piggyback" for the discounted group rates to attend theater shows, field trips, etc. but i don't care about making friends there or anything. our town is small and very far away from homeschool activities. it's too difficult to try and foster friendships when the other families are that far from my home, as it requires an hour's drive for a playdate. so my kids attend the local awana group in town & have playmates in public school in our town. i prefer this, as it's a lot less driving and gives them the opportunity to make local friends. we do have local homeschoolers, but i don't know any of them really. their kids are older and i don't think we have a lot of common interests. as my kids become older, i'm sure we'll join more classes and participate in more activities (more driving for me) but oh well.
 

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We're not. In the beginning, we did a few things with the local group, but it was more stress and money than it was worth IMO.
My children have no problem interacting with both adults and other children on the fly. They DO have friends we occasionally meet up with, however, I feel it's more important for them to spend time together and with our family at this point. Aside from errands out, we don't have a weekly class or anything and we are quite happy.

Public school being the "norm", it's hard for people to think of the world any other way. I'm not around huge groups of people every day for the sake of "socialization". It's absurd to think children need to be, too. Frankly, I think quiet inner reflection is much more important and harder to come by in this day and age.

I just let my kids tell me when they'd like to schedule a play date and we do.
 
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