Saturday, August 30, 2008

Homeschool Socialization

We've been homeschooling for 13 years and have belonged to various support groups. Three years ago, we didn't renew any memberships and just got together with other homeschool families regularly. Last year, I became involved with a group of homeschooling families who are working with organizations in the community to mentor students in the area, both homeschool and public school students. My students enjoy attending the mentoring sessions, but haven't made friends with any of the other participants.

My older children recently learned that all of their homeschooled friends will be attending "regular" school this fall. Some of their friends will be part-time public school students and others will be full-time public school students. This has left my older children with huge holes in their social calendar.

We got together with a group of 10 homeschool families last week. I am close friends with the host family, but don't know any of the other families well. My children had a difficult time finding common ground with the other children. The other families downhill ski several times a week during ski season, participate in gymnastics, take tennis lessons, participate in show jumping (horseback riding) events, own dirt bikes, go water skiing at their lake homes, etc. My family is not in the same economic situation. The other children were polite and kind during our stay. But my kids were glad when it was time to leave.

Another "Mom and kids" evening is being planned around the middle of September. I'm struggling with whether to take the children or stay home. I don't want to be a reverse-snob, but we cannot participate in the activities the other families enjoy. The only support group that is available in our area is a religious group. The group is highly pentecostal and tries to convert other Christians. I do not want to get involved with this group. There are very few children in our neighborhood. Decisions, decisions.

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