Socialization … for moms

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Written by Amida at Journey into Unschooling. She has met a lot of friendly moms at park days.

Socialization seems to be a sort of taboo subject among homeschoolers. More often than not, when questioned, we get defensive and rattle off a whole list of opportunities that meet our child’s social needs.

Most veterans I know scoff at the notion that there even is an issue. After all, they argue, my kids have ample opportunities to meet with a wide range of people and ages in a natural, organic way. They aren’t just limited to their peer-group.

It’s the way friendships work in the real world!

It’s been my experience, however, that socialization, and specifically, friends, don’t always come easily when you don’t have a ready-made peer group. Sure, your kids may have a knack for talking up the local postman or supermarket clerk, but, I also want my kids to grow up with friends their age.

Fortunately for you, the rumors are true. Kids do make friends almost effortlessly. Just throw them in with other kids and eventually, even your shy wallflower has a good chance of clicking with someone.

It’s the moms I’m worried about here. Certainly, your career-minded best friend isn’t going to understand your survival mechanisms for 24-7 mom/chauffeur/teacher/housekeeper duty.

You need another homeschooling mom.
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Everyone wants to quit in November and February

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Written by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

Before we even began homeschooling, I had the good fortune to hear Susan Wise Bauer’s warning: “Everyone wants to quit in November and February.”

Time has proven her right: these are the months when I feel like we’re just slogging through it, far from the excitement of the semester’s beginning or the relief of its end.

And these are the months when the days are cold and the nights are long, without the sparkle of the holidays. It’s easy to get sick, busy, or just plain stir-crazy.

November and February might not be easy months, but I can survive them a little better if I take the following precautions.
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When something breaks your homeschool heart

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Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera

It happened so quickly.

Just eight weeks ago we were part of a homeschool group we loved. A group that had been home for more than four years. A group that had become like family.

I write this post from a place a deep sadness, because we found ourselves stepping away from that group last week.

It had just become too much. I call it poison, although some disagreed with that analysis.

It doesn’t matter. What matters is that when we took some time away, just the four of us in our little family, it became crystal clear what we needed to do.

What isn’t as clear is how to deal with the resulting heartbreak, and what to do next.

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Pressing through the middle years of homeschooling

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Written by Hannah Vanderpool of Praying With One Eye Open

I’m a writer who likes fresh beginnings and well-timed endings.  Middles?  Not so much.

When I think about the middle of, say, a novel manuscript, I imagine a hammock creaking under the weight of a couple of lemonade-sipping kids or a dad who really ought to be mowing the lawn.

Creative writing instructors refer to these in-between pages as the dreaded “saggy middle.”

They teach rookies and published authors alike how to push through their own saggy middles with enough energy and forward momentum to keep readers engaged until the end.

This is important because it’s easier to start a story, and even to finish it, than it is to keep putting one foot in front of the other when you’re in the middle of a thing and can’t see your way to an ending yet.

As it turns out, writing is not my day job–homeschooling is.  I’ve been on this particular journey for nine years now.

Our family started strong when my three kids were barely out of Pull-ups (yes, I was over eager).  I hope to finish well, too, when my youngest daughter is finally ready to fly my little coop.

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The gift of resentment

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Written by Heather Caliri of  A Little Yes

I looked at my monthly calendar and sighed.

It was the 25th, and that meant it was time to write down what had gone well—and not so well—that month for homeschooling.

Except I didn’t want to.

I knew I was supposed to. I was supposed to be tracking how my children were doing, taking notes each day about their interests to better help guide them towards things they were passionate about. I was supposed to be tracking academic progress and being intentional and clued in and—

I needed to be the homeschooling mom my kids deserved.

I sighed and opened up the document with the questions I asked myself every month:  “What has she made that she’s passionate about? What does she want to pretend or play? Are there questions, activities, projects, or materials she wants to explore? Any trouble spots?”

A few months back I had simplified the list from eight questions to four, because I didn’t like answering them back then, either.

The truth was, I had been answering questions for more than a year, and so far, I’d never enjoyed them. I didn’t like spending my time on them, I didn’t like the feeling of inadequacy that plagued me as I wrote, I didn’t like feeling like a better mom would gain more insight out of answering them.

I looked at the questions and the blinking cursor, and I tried to swallow down my resentment again.

But a subversive thought occurred to me.

If I hated doing this so much, why did I keep trying?

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