Monday, April 16, 2012

Shutting Out the Noise of Other Homeschoolers

Three things.

Well first, a short backstory. If it were not for the grassroots support from other homeschoolers and for homeschool magazines (Growing Without Schooling and Home Education Magazine, specificially), I would not have known enough or become courageous enough to homeschool.

With that said....three things:

1. In December 2011 I went no mail on the various YahooGroups which were to connect me with my new local homeschoolers and also homeschool groups which are relevant to my current and near future situation. I was being stressed out and getting scared by things said. I was becoming doubtful of the ability to homeschool high school. I was getting scared to jump through even more hoops than I already had planned. There are other reasons (see #3 below) that made me pull back.

This was the first time since I was seriously introduced to the Internet for homeschool information gathering purposes in about 1999.

It has been a full four months since then and not only have I surivived but I have thrived.

I have been able to stop thinking about the "what if" and "what Johnny in California did" and just to think about my life, my family, and our unique, customized homeschool lifestyle.

By shutting out the noise of other people I have been able to be more in tune with my own family.

I have been doing less comparision of our family's homeschool to others and had more ability to just see and experience life with my own kids, and to feel happy about that. By not knowing what the Joneses next door are doing I was able to think just about what we were doing.

I have enough on my plate regarding my own family and matters such as the Connecticut house still being for sale and us paying for two households, and all the normal everyday living stuff that families deal with.

I have felt so liberated by cutting the ties.

I recognize that I do not know it all and will need to rely on the help of others and the info they share online but for right now we're okay with the information I have on hand.

2. Since moving I do not feel strongly connected to the local homeschool community. I feel like we are some kind of loner homeschool family despite me living in a much more homeschooler-dense community. Well I clarify that we interact most with kids who go to school and their parents, we are not alone.

I hear there are at least 300 families homeschooling just in my town of 100K people. Numbers like that were unheard of back when I lived in Connecticut. You'd think I'd be more immersed with homeschoolers here but it is not happening.

My older son has more than enough to do with Robotics Team and new friends made there, Rowing team and the friends made there, and Boy Scouts with his leadership position taking up more time than he had realized it would.

My younger son has friends in Boy Scouts and he's doing lacrosse, although he says they all just play and don't talk so no real friends are being made there. He enjoys the new Sunday School class and informs me that he "is breaking in slowly, that is how it is supposed to happen".

I honestly am fine with not having a lot of homeschool friends here. I would love to have close homeschooling friends but it's just not happening. Actually, what I'm having trouble with is finding people who actually want to discuss home education and ideas. The homeschoolers only want to chit chat about the weather and other small talk. No one around here has real homeschool support group meetings where topics are discussed. When I need homeschool support I phone my Connecticut friends for a chat.

3. There is a lot on my plate now and I don't have time to read homeschool blogs. I have just one that I frequent regularly.

Regarding other online supposed support or encouragement, this last week I ventured over to a post from Twitter and got sucked into discussions. In the end the same old crap happened which made me realize I was wasting my time.

The closed minded people won't open their mind to realize their erroneous thinking.

People who ask not to be judged sit and judge others who don't do it their way. It makes no sense as out of one side of their mouth they say "we have freedom to do things any way we want" but if you do it differently you are an idiot or a lemming.

They spout statements that sound like sound bites but they can't discuss it further. If you try to explore it more deeply to reveal the flaw in the statement they disengage and never get to the eye-opening "ah ha" moment.

Also, there are too many parents of young kids spouting opinions about raising older kids when they know nothing about it yet. I know I was also more spirited in my opinions when my kids were younger but I don't think I ever thought I knew it all regarding homeschooling teens and about the (ever-changing and more difficult) college admissions process.

Over and over I see errors in logical thinking skills and it drives me batty. Fallacies abound. We are really suffering from the schools having removed that from the curriculum decades ago. What I've learned, I've learned on my own and it is so easy to spot fallacies that people make that they have no clue they are doing.

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My kids seem get more learning done and they seem to be ejoying the extra attention they get when I'm more available to them due to being less busy on the Internet discussing homeschooling.

What a revelation: actually homeschooling gets more done than just talking about it.

3 comments:

Mental multivitamin said...

:o)

Thank you, Christine.

MFS

AA96726 said...

Aloha Christine,
I wanted to thank you for your blog. I enjoy your writing style and honesty. I have similar feelings about homeschool forums and local groups and other blogs. Yours really is the only one I read regularly. I’ve been following your family’s learning adventure for about a year and I have changed how I do things with my 9 yr. old boy as a result of reading about where you are with your older boys. It gives me a picture of where I want to be when my son is older. When I feel overwhelmed or insecure I often read some of your older posts and realize I’m not the first to doubt and then find a way to succeed. Thank you again for your open mind and willingness to share….Your easy to read writing inspires across ½ the Pacific.
Amy

Keri said...

I can relate to not being able to find other like minded homeschoolers. I recently moved to a new town where more homeschool familys lived then where I had lived prior. I was super excited! I thought WOW! this is going to be so nice to have so many homeschool friends to get together with. Sadly, these women are very clickish and unless your a clone you pretty much feel like your on the outside looking in. The town I am in isn't where I plan to stay, so I am not to upset. As soon as I finish my college education (2 yrs left) we will be leaving for Greener more accepting homeschooly pastures ;)
What I do for support is homeschool blogs and forums. I love Babycenter, homeschool.com, Time4learning.net and The homeschool lounge. O' and I love Cafe moms. Women here are always warm, welcoming and there when you need them.
HTH :)