Saturday, July 4, 2009

Homeschool Groups


If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself, or even less, in proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct; and if you have more than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight. ~Leonardo da Vinci

I am often asked if we are in a homeschool group or what I think about these groups. I was an active member in one a few years ago and I did enjoy it, but it got to be overwhelming. While I think they are great option, I do not think homeschool groups are a necessity for every homeschooling family. Homeschool support groups of all varieties abound close enough for us, but here are many things that make them inconvenient or unnecessary, perhaps even undesirable for us as well.

  1. I think only reason I looked for homeschool groups is for the socialization factor because I only have one child, a highly social child. While I enjoy people very much, I am rather independent and not that fond of groups in general. I really don't feel the need of a group for emotional support. I have a great husband who is my best friend, a close-knit church, and a few good and sweet friends, which seem to be enough for me.

  2. We did well with unstructured play dates when my daughter was younger and doing activities at a discount with a group, but we had much more flexibility and fun with just meeting up with one homeschooling family for a year until things changed so we couldn't do that anymore.

  3. Most groups are co-ops and we only have one car, which is all mine when my husband flies out of town (quite often), but we only know a day in advance sometimes that he will be flying out and then we have to drive to the airport too. When he works from home, he needs the van. That being said, it is nearly impossible for me to plan ahead or participate with a group that requires it from its members. I barely make it each week for piano lessons! Even field trips have to be paid in advance. Now I am very good at filling in and helping out when I am there, but I cannot make commitments in advance at all. I have not found any flexible co-ops in my area that will give me credit for participation if I just show up to help when I am able. I did part of year book for one that I could do on my own time at home, but that was a huge commitment and it only counted for one of the two things required for me to keep my membership.

  4. Since I live in the Bible Belt, there are many Christian homeschool groups, but some can be a bit too selective, perhaps. As if to countervail that, the inclusive groups could also be too all inclusive. Let me just say that I did not understand why an inclusive group had such good rules of conduct for the children and yet would allow the children to witness such bad conduct from a parent and not have it addressed in the bylaws.

  5. Even if I had no commitment to fulfill, homeschool groups still require time. They take as much as they give. When I was a member of one, I had to prioritize and balance activities with my available time and transportation, when transportation was not a problem. If I only did the select activities, I still did not really have much time to squeeze in lessons and often the activities conflicted with other items in our weekly schedule, so we could not do many of them anyway. In the end, I felt it was more important to stick with the things that interests us, coordinate our outings with what we are covering in our lessons, and keep our priorities, which I could do better when not distracted by all those other unnecessary activities.

What should have made homeschool groups the most undesirable at this time, believe it or not, was that I felt my Lord was telling me not to join any and since it has worked out so badly when I did--yes, even though I was sure my Lord said not to, I did it...twice!--I have decided to follow His leading. Someday, my Lord may lead us to group membership, but until then we will remain independent.

~ Thank you for having patience with me, my Lord, when I go off doing things my way instead of Your way. ~

3 comments:

  1. Us too. Even if there was a group near~by, & there isn't, we wouldn't. Ditz has too much on her plate & we need that time to do some actual school.

    lol which reminds me; this week's funny: Ditz has been on~line chasing extras work for the Narnia movie shooting soon out our way ~ or, in the end, any acting work she can get. Found something but they were asking for an HSC [high school certificate}. Wanted to know if she could get one by the end of July. I about died laughing [it's a diploma] but now the penny has dropped that even the Arts want proof that you know how to learn we *may* see a changed attitude towards her work. ☺

    Glad to see you back. I've missed you. ♥

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  2. I agree, we too tried a homeschool group and while the boys enjoyed the playmates, I found that I had very little in common with the ladies there and did not fit in well. I also found that the group schedule and the one for our family didn't mesh well because of our odd hours. In the end we just decided to do things our way on our time and it's worked out much better.

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  3. Homeschooling families are usually a very independent and busy bunch. What I have noticed is that those in groups are your "friends" while you are in the flow of the group, but not so much so outside of it. I don't blame them, as they stay pretty busy just keeping up with the group activities.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.