Today we are "getting out there" to the county fair so dd7 can enter her 4-H displays. She joined 4-H mostly as an opportunity to make friends, but it hasn't been such a successful venue for that, mostly because meetings are structured around club business without much time for socializing. "Getting out" has one of two purposes -- relational or educational. It's ideal when then two overlap and mesh. We've had some great educational outings this past year...wild days on the prairie, the aviation museum, the zoo, the history museum. The relational thing though, has been difficult. In our old home, we got together with other homeschoolers every week, plus there were friends in the neighborhood and friends at church. So dd was used to a fairly high level of social contact -- not lots of friends, but a few friends she saw frequently. But this past year we moved, and in our new town, try as we might, we find ourselves more isolated. We've participated in two different homeschool groups, but we have to drive an hour and a half to get to either of them, so that limits our involvement. We've gone to the park and the pool, but all the children seemed to be either preschoolers or teenagers. Where were all the school-age children? Then we passed the schoolyard. It was full of kids. Oh. That's where they are. They're all in the school's summer day camp.
In spite of discouragement, I'm still determined to be proactive. So we're hosting a Not-Back-To-School Social for the area homeschoolers, whom we haven't seen all summer.
And we're not entirely friendless. The kids have found a few neighborhood and church friends, good kids from good families that I consider quality friends. And it's time for two important life lessons: learning the difference between acquaintances and real friends, and finding that your siblings can be your best friends.