Exploring Other Options

I probably should add a disclaimer to this post. Not because there is anything wrong or improper in what I am about to write, but because I might know some of you on a personal basis (those I see at church or via homeschooling) and I don’t want to you start worrying about our family. That said, let us forge ahead….

There are times in life when you just feel the need for change. If your lucky, it might be as simple as moving the furniture around in the front room or hitting the closet for a new outfit. At other times, bigger action is required; a new car, a new city, or job might be in order. In our case, there are times we wonder about the fit of our homeschool group.

Let me be perfectly clear, we love the families in our group! We are surrounded by some of the most thoughtful, wonderful people you could ever want to know. Putting that aside for a moment, our group is pretty small. Our family count this year is only fourteen families. While that might seem like a decent amount to most people, in So Cal, we are surrounded by groups which number well into the 100’s.

6th Grade

I think, no, I know there are benefits to each type of group. One offers you a more intimate knowledge of the people around you and an opportunity to feel like family. On the other hand, larger groups offer more activity, flexibility, and responsibility more equally dispersed.

During this past year, it seems several families in our homeschool group have considered exploring other options. A few went for interviews at other PSP locations, some went to group activities, while others simply did some online research.

It seems there was a general consensus; no matter where you go, there are going to be issues.

Up ’till last year, I don’t know that I would have even thought about ‘testing out’ other groups; we’ve been happy where we are. Unfortunately, about a year ago, my kids had begun to notice they are pretty much the only kids in their grade. My oldest girl is pretty much alone wherever she goes, unless two other young ladies happen to show. This year, we have a few more families than we had the year before. This means more play friends for my younger three, but my oldest is still hoping for more companionship.

Recently we were invited to check out another group and I am sorely tempted to see what they offer. The prospect of my kids being surrounded by tons of other kids their own age sounds appealing. However, I would hate to no longer be apart of our current group and being in a larger group doesn’t guarantee more friendship, just a larger pool.

For now, we are going to stay where we are. Until the Lord purposefully moves us, this must be where He wants us. We like our group, we like the people; perhaps we just need to spend more purposeful time in prayer over more young ladies joining the group.

After all, each group has it’s issues, right? If this is all we’ve got, we’ll take it!

How many groups did you explore before finding the right fit?

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19 thoughts on “Exploring Other Options

  1. This is very understandable concerning not only finding the correct fit but also a group with the right age for your children. You will be wonderfully surprised at the direction you are encouraged to go whether it is stay the course or take the left turn at Albuquerque.

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  2. We were part of two home-school groups: the small one with about ten families, who we met with quite often and where I had two or three friends my age and many more friends younger than me, and then a much larger one with over a hundred families that we saw several times a year (or more). I also began taking outside classes with other home-schoolers in the general community by the time I was thirteen, so that definitely opened up the room for more friendships! Co-op classes and larger home-school network classes were such a boon for our family.

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  3. Two or three. One was too small (probably 6 families). One was a different denomination (Catholic). The one we’re in was pretty large (30 families). But it didn’t feel very personal and it didn’t have much to reach out to high schoolers. So I volunteered to teach chemistry and another mom taught another high school class, and we brought together a good number of high school students–who didn’t even realize there were that many. So that was nice to see how we could help make the group better for a group who felt isolated (teenagers). We started having morning coffees every six weeks just for moms, and that helped us be able to get to know each other as moms and to get support. I guess, luckily for us, our group was large enough that we could make it what we needed with some effort. (Not that this applies to your situation but maybe others 🙂 )

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  4. It’s hard. I started a Charlotte Mason group to get my daughter some meaningful time with girls her age. I also take this same group on field trips to local museums during the summer.

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  5. We were very blessed to find the *perfect* group for us last year. However, we moved several states away! We have not yet joined a group here because I am still sitting back and observing. I signed up for the mailing list and facebook pages (when available) to all 3 groups in our area. I am watching for activities, ages of the children involved, and most importantly to me NO DRAMA. I have already determined which group I do NOT want to involve our family with. So now it is narrowed down to 2. Good luck to you!

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  6. I hear what you are saying and wanted to add my two cents. I need to make a disclaimer that, while it could possibly come off as sounding bitter, it is in NO way meant that way. I just wanted to say to remember to be thankful that you have so many options. Where we live, we have none. There are no home-school groups near us that are not Mormon. While we love those we live among, I have chosen not to join any local groups because of our vastly different beliefs. It can be very isolating. My kids have friends from church, but many of them live rather far away because of the distance we travel to attend our Christian church in a county that is 90% LDS. We DO have a few LDS friends but it’s a different kind of friendship than those you have when you come from a common belief foundation. I wish my kids had a bigger friend base. We are living here because God wants us here but it can be difficult. So whatever group you choose to be a part of, just make sure you look at all your options as a gift and a blessing. 🙂

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  7. *sigh* I would just be happy to find a group that isn’t 50 miles away or more. 😉 I know what you mean about your oldest…it seems like whatever we signed up for, Grace was the oldest one there and kind of alone. I hope you find a good fit!

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  8. Maybe it helps to remember that however fab a group is, people – adults and children – grow and change all the time so our needs do too and that’s as natural a part of our development as any evolution! I think it’s important to listen to your intuition and to continue to grow and explore. x

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  9. Would it be possible to join more than one group? Where we lived up until about 4 months ago there were four groups in the area and we chose to belong to two of them because of varying benefits between the two. We were not the only families who belonged to more than one. It was nice to be able to have the benefits of two different types of groups and we felt that we fit in with both quite well.

    Where we live now we are going today to our first homeschool group park day! We’re excited to meet new people!

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    • Unfortunately, our current group does not allow us to be a member of more than one organization. It is believed this might create division, forcing the parents to choose one group over another if there are multiple options and prevent us from truly bonding with either group.

      Perhaps local clubs might be something for us to look into.

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      • That is a great idea, too. Where we lived until recently there was a dance studio run by two homeschooling moms and my kids got involved there and built some great friendships!

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  10. Living in a very small town, we have exactly one option. Luckily, the woman who leads it is amazing. We have been going for 11 years, starting with a group of about 10 families. We are now pretty consistent with around 40 families. Yes, there are pros and cons to both sizes, but we have enjoyed it the whole time.

    The friends issue is a hard one. I have found that regardless of the overall size of the group, there have been seasons where the ‘pickings’ for friends have been sparse for some of my kids. As the years pass, it seems to ebb and flow, and they all have a couple of solid friends that have remained throughout.

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