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Monday, July 8, 2013

Homeschool Groups/Co-ops/ Meeting new people

   One of the many intruding things family, friends and even strangers in the checkout line will say to you when they hear you homeschool is what about socialization. First let me say I have seen the Village and I don't want them raising my children. I have never thought of school as the main means to socialize children. Even in the days mine went to public school it was for education not socialization. That being said guess what! Homeschool children just might be some of the most socialized young men and woman out there.While most American children are sitting in a classroom where they are only allowed to ask questions at a certain time and where you get sent to the principles office for talking to your peers, homeschool children are encouraged to ask many questions and to interact not only with their peers but with everyone everywhere they go. Be it the 90 yr old veteran at the senior center who tells of the times he spent during WWII  or the zoologist teaching them about endangered pandas. Now here in my home the socialization issue has been very much like a roller coaster. At first I was very much fine with little interaction outside the home. The way Iseen it then was if I stick her in this safe bubble I won't have to worry as much about all the scary paths she could end up on in life as a teenager. No one would be around to offer her drugs, there would be no way she would end up knocked up at 16, no bullying, no need to wear all the high dollar name brand clothing to fit. You see where I am going and I am sure you have thought these very things a time or two.
     As the time went on I seen her need for friends her own age and I realize my own parenting mistake in keeping her in that bubble. Slowly we connected with other homeschool families and we went on field trips from time to time (once or twice a month), yet it still didn't seem enough. Plus most of these wonderful families I know call my dear friends all lived well over an hour from us. I started to look for families closer to home and for months I really felt like our county most have no homeschoolers( we most live in the most non- homeschooling county in the state). We would go to parks, and be the only ones there. We would go to libraries and yet again no one. Where could they be? Finally I found a facebook group of homeschooling families in my county. If you are looking for homeschool connections let me say let facebook be your friend. I am naturally a bit shy until I get to know someone and so getting to know these families face to face took me sometime. There were so many and I had to find the ones that felt like we could connect on a personal level, find the ones I had common interest with. Over the course of a few months I did find those that share a few interest with me and seemed down to earth. Last night I finally got to meet some of them face to face at our first homeschool planning meeting this yr. with my tummy in knots and my nervous a wreck I but shy Tona in the closet and but on my big girl panties and went to the meeting with a room full of parents I had talked to many times online but did not know them at all in person. Let me say I am so happy I did. I meet some of the most interesting, friendly, down to earth homeschool parents last night. It was a huge success and I already can feel God working and leading us to take part in this homeschool group. They were just what I was looking for not a classroom type co-op were each parent takes turns teaching all the kids a subject , but they were a true socialization group. As Lisa the lady who started the group said it last night we are the party group!! I love that ! We planned park days, talked about field trips, geography fairs, and even Christmas party. We all had a voice in setting in stone a few dates for these events to take place. I also finally meet Kerstin a lady who has been attempting to pull away my shy layers and get me to come to her wilderness classes she puts on at her home on Saturday's. Needless to say tomorrow we will be there learning how to make a solar oven. Yay!! and in two weeks we are going to learn how to use herbs for medicine. She just so happens to have the 411 hook up on a real fossil dig site homeschoolers can go to here in Georgia. I definitely want the kids to experience that one. Those types of adventures that could spark an interest that sets the entire life path of a child.
     Think about all the grand adventures that homeschool children get to take. These once in a life time memories they are making that not only educate them with hands on  experiences but they make life long lasting friendships. It makes your heart break not for those unsocialized homeschoolers but  for all those children sitting in a class right now being told what to think, when to think it, and how to be very much like robots. So in closing yes, we may not get hrs of socialization everyday in a public school class with all it's glory but we do get God centered adventures with amazing friends. We get real life hands on. We get parties and field trips. Heck we even get to dig fossils. I like to see public school beat that one,lol. Just for all the other socialization questions out there let me say if you take the time to look and put your shy self away you will find a world of fun social adventures waiting on your homeschool family.

A list of adventures that most areas have for homeschool families.
1. sports ) yes there are homeschool sports)
2. drama
3. dance
4. swimming
5. youth groups
6. 4-h
7. scouts
8. most museums have home school days each yr
9. capital days
10. free field trips
11. art class
12. robotics class
13. chess class
14. co-ops
15. community projects

16. Prom yes there is even a homeschool prom

The list goes on and on. So you can see homeschool children are in no means lacking socialization. If anything in my opinion most turn out to be very well rounded socialized members of their community. They have learned to not only interact with their peers but people of all ages and walks of life.

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