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Topic: Where do you get support?

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Subject: Where do you get support?
Date Posted: 10/7/2008 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
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Since we started homeschooling last year we've had a few rocky roads... I felt like all my friends abandoned me.  Not that they dissaproved of our homeschooling.... we just lost all commonality!  We have little to talk about.  I've made a couple homeschool friends locally, and I joined a larger homeschoolers coop in the bigger town near us, but with gas prices I just can't drive in every day for coop activities.  So I don't get lots of contact with other adults it seems. 

Where do you find friends, and get support for homeschooling woes and concerns?  I'm probably just hormonal (time of month) and glum right now, but after a rough morning with the kiddos NOT wanting to do much school work... somedays I wonder if I should throw in the towel.  Is this REALLY the best thing for them?  I always have doubts even thought I see great improvement in overal behavior since we brought them home for school.  Sigh.  I feel like I'm going round and round today.

Edie

 

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 662
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That's a great question; I'm looking forward to everyone's answers.

This is my tenth year homeschooling, and over the years I've found support in different places.  Involvement in local homeschool co-ops has helped me more than the once-a-month support group meeting.  I find that I'm more likely to get to know someone when I'm working on a project with them (such as teaching a co-op class) than sitting next to them listening to a speaker.

However, the nature of homeschooling means that there is not a lot of "grown-ups only" time with my friends.  My other homeschool friends are busy teaching their kids during the day, and keeping up with the kids' activity schedules in the evenings.  If I want a sit-and-have-hot cocoa date with a friend, I usually have to schedule way ahead of time.  In the mean time, I use the phone (after their kiddies are in bed) and e-mail to stay connected.  Sometimes we can plan on meeting at a scrapbooking event if it fits in our schedules.

Lately, I've found that online homeschool forums have been pretty supportive.  There is usually a small group that does most of the posting, so you get to know the main posters a little bit.  I like knowing that other moms are dealing with the same questions, and I like being able to answer questions of moms that I might not meet in person.  I hang around in this forum here on PBS as well as one on Shelfari.  However, in the end, I find I still want a few "live" moms to talk to sometimes.

Okay--Now I'm ready for everyone else's answers!

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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I have found it in different places at different times to fit different needs.

The best of all is face to face friendships with people I've known over time and who know the different parts of our family, good times, bad times, happy and sad times and stil are there for me. I get the most out of seeing those people face to face. Lately that has been fulfilled visiting with the moms when our kids are in the same class or event. Also seeing some at the homeschool park day that happens once a week in the fall and spring helps. I no longer need to see those people at adult HS support group meetings to get the face time with them.

Some of my HS mom friends have entered our lives in other ways like joining the Cub Scout and Boy Scouts with our sons. Then we see them even more at those non-HS events.

Sometimes we don't even have to talk about HSing but just being known and accepted as being a HSer is helpful in and of itself. I can have fun talking knitting with a HS mom and it feels different when talking knitting with a non-HSer. I can't explain it. I guess what I'm saying is that when I'm with my HS mom friends we don't just talk HSing and HS stuff but we all leave feeling filled up with friendship and also feeling good being tied to the HS community.

I get some other support online especially to talk about specific topics that I might not have local friends who share them with me. There are groups to discuss using a certain math curriculum or writing curriculum, special needs HSing and other stuff like that.

I get some other support from reading happy HS magazine like Home Education Magazine. I get other good support from reading a HS book that supports a certain teaching method.

I personally need to feel not isolated in this journey. The thing that helps me the most is my local HS friends as they somehow make me feel more connected than the online and book/magazine connections. I know everyone is different but if you feel you need face to face friends keep trying to make those connections.

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Sometimes you just have to have "mental health" days...like "snow days" in public/private school.  :-)  Don't be afraid to take off a day b/c you, or your kids, need a break.

I get the majority of my HS support from online friends.  I also have a good local Yahoo Group, as well as many YG's related to my main curriculum.  This is a good 'net board, too!

We're part of a co-op, but it's a large, multi-age one, from nursery to 12th grade (and some teen/newly graduated HS'ed kids who teach).  It makes it easier for those with multiple ages.  We meet for three hours on Friday afternoon.  I really think it's important for my son to have *consistent* HS friends.  Just going to field trips and play dates, etc., doesn't give him time to establish connections.

In addition to HS co-op, my son also does "non" HS'ing activities:  Cub Scouts (soon to be Boy Scouts); bible club (at a church different from our own - it's closer); and three running "seasons" - cross country, indoor track, & outdoor track.

My best support comes from my online friends - many of whom I've known for six years.  I've been on 'net boards/e-lists/groups for 13 years, though, so I'm very comfortable in the environment.  I don't know what I'd do w/o my lists!  :-)

Oh, and please remember that even a bad day of HS'ing (or week) is better for most kids than a good day at PS!  :-)  We school year-round so we can take breaks when we need to.  I have one child in HS and one in PS - it's hard being a "half and half" family.  I always feel guilty not being a room mom for my DD's class.  Instead I help with field trips (tomorrow is pumpkin patch) since the kids in her class are multiply disabled.  It gives my HS'ed son a field trip (he's typically free) and exposure to other disabled kids.

JC

Date Posted: 10/8/2008 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
Posts: 24
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Edie,

I can relate to the way you are feeling!  I am at home with five children all day, everyday. I want to be more social with other moms;talking on the phone, getting together to go to half priced books, meeting up to thrift store together, anything, but that means something else will have to be left out! I struggle with keeping myself disciplined and staying on task as it is, so to throw off the family's schedule is risky for me. The other day I was just sitting all by myself (while waiting for a childs activity to be over with) thinking about how I wish I could have a bigger circle of friends, and a moment later the Lord revealed something to me that I had been overlooking for some time! What about the friends that I have already given you?! It was like a light bulb went off in my head, I have been feeling lonely because I have let myself get so overwhelmed with my daily tasks that I have neglected to take a time out for myself! When I called a couple of these friends to chat they expressed the same feelings, that they feel alone from time to time too! I belive that women need other women to share their lives with! I encourage each one of you moms out there to call at least one friend daily to see how they are, you will feel better after you do, at least partly because you will have taken your focus off of your own feelings and helped another mom like yourself ! (Yes I am preaching to myself at the same time!)

Christine

Date Posted: 10/8/2008 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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Honestly most of my homeschooling support comes online. It's sounds silly, but we can all check in on each other as we can throughout the day. They understand a schedule that says "Oh I have five minutes" instead of trying to have a disjointed phone conversation when you are short of time.

 

My dh is very supportive of us homeschooling, but he's not "chatty".

 

 

Date Posted: 10/9/2008 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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One thing I do so that I can actually see people is to do a "Girl's Night" about 2 times a year. I try for once a quarter but it usually is more like twice a year. I clean the house and invite the ladies I have met who are interesting to me. I invite people from homeschooling groups, church, brownies, dance, soccer and even old friends of mine. I am always surprised who knows who and conversations are great. People are often willing to bring something to eat or drink and I take them up on it so the hard part is clearing out the clutter and cleaning. Very few people are doing parties especially ones where there is nothing to buy or sell so my turnout is usually good. I also end up with lots of calls and e-mails and even more conversations before and after. My husband sometimes suggests I plan one when I am feeling too isolated.