Friday, September 3, 2010

Finding a homeschooling group?

In our family it is VERY important to us to socialize our children. I was not socialized very well growing up and I know the value of socialization. I am not a social butterfly, I am not a socialite of any means. I am shy, have no clue how to talk to people and often just clam up to people. My husband on the other hand is the epitome of socialization. He could talk to anyone no matter who they were, how they were or what they looked like with such ease that I feel a twinge of jealousy sometimes. However he is in fact my shield. No matter where we go I know all I have to do is stand there and he will do all the talking.

Oh, I was raise by a strong women, I am very opinionated when it comes to handling household endeavors. I could chew out the electric company with the best of them, I can also type until my fingers fall off but when it comes to "personal relationships" I fall VERY short. Outside of my husband, I have no real friends, because I never know what to do or say. My awkwardness kills me every time!

I I NEED my children to be just the opposite of me and the very vision of their father. I have my strengths, strength being one of them but socialization is my biggest weakness. This is why when we decided to home-school I KNEW we needed to be a part of a playgroup or home-school group. If we were still members of the LDS church this would not be a problem because a good half of the church seems to home-school. But we left the church with no intentions of going back just so our children could socialize. I believe strongly in my father in Heaven and I know that his intentions for me do not include going to any church lacking faith. And faith in the Mormon religion is something I do not have. It was their incredible socialization when you first become a member that lead me to them in the first place. It was so nice being accepted in a way I never had before. No, that is not an option. We now go to a small, intimate non denominational church which we love and we plan on keeping it that way.

So where do I look? I have looked on craigslist,, and every other .com I can find. I have posted ads in search of a group but never had a response. I did find ONE group half an hour away I was willing to join but they were full with a waiting list a mile long. This waiting list told me that there are NO other groups near me. So , I decided to start my own group only I have no idea how to get the word out. I simply cannot afford to pay the ridiculous fee for on the off chance it works. I posted an add on craigslist,, as well as various other locations. I even posted in the calendar section of our newspaper but they pick and choose which groups they are going to advertise so who knows if they will ever post it. All I do know is that it has been a few weeks and we have not had one social event. I do NOT want my kids to become "those" homeschoolers. You all know the ones I am talking about! Those kids who, well, are like ME.

So how did YOU do it? How did you manage to find your group? Did you start it yourself? If so , how long did it take to get another family to join you?

I admit it, I need help! This is not my idea of what I want homeschool life to be...

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  1. I found one looking on yahoo groups. Eventually we left "the group" and now we just hang with a few families that we enjoy. You could also meet people by doing sports or other lessons.

    And just because you left the church doesn't mean you still can't be friends with people there whom you care about.

    I'll be praying that you find just the right social outlet.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. Good for yo for being proactive in your search. It can be tough to find a good group. My advice would be, since a lot of homeshoolers seem to be "crunchy" you could put up notices as at local health food stores, libraries...wherever stating that you'd like to start a local homeschool meet up. You could just start one day a week/month at a local park-till you're sure you haven't attracted any crazies :) You might want to list a hotmail, yahoo or gmail addressd too - not your "usual" one. Just my two cents ;)

  3. I can't speak as to how to start a group because I've never done that, but I will tell you how I found the ones I participate in and how I have found other homeschool friends outside of co-op. Maybe that will give you some ideas???

    The first co-op I participated in, I found by a very small ad that was placed in our (small) city newspaper. It was just about 5 or 6 lines and had the lady's phone number. I called, and we started getting together once a month. The other one, I discovered from a mom in the first one.

    I have also met so many other homeschoolers at the park or library. Maybe you could meet some there and either ask if they participate in some sort of co-op or if they're interested in just getting together once afternoon a week to play/visit. We've also bumped into lots of homeschoolers at Chick-Fil-A, I guess because it's a Christian company and lots of homeschooling families are Christians.

    Another idea for starting a group might be to see if your library would like to offer a book club for homeschool students your kids' ages. That way they're doing the publicity, and it will probably reach more families.

    But if there's another group in your area with a waiting list, I'd go with the newspaper. It's obvious people are wanting it; they just need to find a group, just like you do!

    Hope you have success!

  4. Thanks for all the comments ladies! I really appreciate the input and advice.

    I did want to address Giggly girls in that we would love to have remained friends with the people from church but they all turned their backs on us when we left. The few people we have seen around town just make us feel guilty by not going to church. That is the only reason it isn't an option. I don't want the girls to be in a fake homeschool group. I want them to actually be accepted without having the religion forced down their throats. KWIM?

    Anyway, I never knew Chick fil A was a Christian company. Our biggest issue is that our town is SO SMALL and half an hour from the nearest town. I think I might shell out the money for a small ad in the paper if they don't run our meeting ad. I just hate giving in to

  5. I just wanted to pipe in too - definitely check out yahoogroups. In our area, there are a TON of homeschooling yahoogroups - some I like, some I don't.

    Do you know anyone else (outside of your old church) who homeschools? If so, just even word of mouth with them, might help to grow a group.

    I've only been homeschooling for a year and a half, and it has taken me that long to find a group of people that I want my kids (and me) to socialize with.

    Also, I felt like I was reading about me when I came to your blog. I'm very shy, too - it's taken me a long time to step out of my comfort zone. Baby steps are a great way to go. :)

    Take care!

  6. I would call one of the other churches in your area and see if they know of any homeschooler groups or even just homeschooling families. Hanging out at the library or park is another good idea.

    I don't know how old your kids are, but community activities like sports and dance can be great opportunities for them to meet other kids.

    My kids are 12 and 15 so they are each taking one class at the local public school. We live in a small town, so this has been great for them to meet other kids their age.

    Good luck!!

  7. Kim - I don't know ANYONE who homeschools. I sure wish we did because I wouldn't be having such an issue with this.

    Catherine - My girls are 3 & 5 years old. My youngest is too young for most classes and my 5 year old is blind with Autistic tendencies so certain things are a bit of a challenge. More of a challenge finding someone willing to deal with her than anything.