Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Back to Homeschool Week: Getting Out There

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.


Tricia said...

I like the Not Back To School thing.

Every year on the first day of Public School in our area we have what we call Liberty Day.

We get to the word out to other homeschoolers and go somewhere that is usually crowded in the summer. Last year it was the local ice skating rink.

We had a blast.

I hope your party goes well and you find some like minded families in your area.

Renae said...

I like you view of siblings learning to become friends.

A friend of mine joined a co-op this year in hopes that her little boy would make friends his age. When she mentioned this I immediately thought of pioneer families like the Ingalls who only had each other. They had to rely on each other for friendship and I don't think that is all bad.

Dana said...

That moving is tough. We moved here and like it...our neighbors are nice. We talk to the older couple nest to us, the others are rarely home. But they have cool dogs I play with. : )

But to get to anything, it is a 45 minute drive. I'm thinking about it a lot as we think about moving again. I thought we wanted to live more in the country. Get a little land, raise chickens and maybe some goats. But there is something I like about being able to walk to the library, to the store, etc.

But there is also something very nice about letting the kids play in the yard without too much worry.

I don't know...right now, we really do not have either. We are out of town, but in a small house with an average lawn.

I need to make more of an effort this year, I think. We have plenty of acquaintances I chat with at whatever we are involved in, but no one that would make the drive for a cup of coffee...or tea!

Dana said...

Renae...I was just thinking of that, too. But also look how close they were with what neighbors they had. Pa hears a scream in the middle of the night and runs to the neighbor to see what is going on. You are building a house and neighbors just pop by to help.

There was a time when visiting was for weeks or even months because of the difficulty of travel. Now that seems like such an imposition, but imagine how close you would feel?

Now you get meals from the church or neighbors...but in the 1700s, someone, an aunt, sister, girl from the area, would move in with you for up to a month to help with the work.

Flo @ Yielded Heart said...

Finding that your siblings could be your best friends is a good thing! A real good thing.

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