Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Going out...

The Back to Homeschool Week Topic of the day is:

Extra-curricular activities, community involvement, volunteering, sports teams, music lessons, making sure your kids have opportunities to be social, co-ops, etc...

~ or ~How do we get out there?

This area is the most difficult for the Denim family. The Professor tends to shut all the doors and keep eveyone inside. I think it's his way of crowd control.
I want the kids to be involved in activities with other kids who homeschool - so they won't think they are the only ones. Right now, Mini-Me knows more about blogging than she does some other things. I'm not worried about the world calls it. My kids socialize with people of all ages just in our family. I just want them to know that others homeschool, too. I'd love for them to make Godly friends.
Just last year we found a homeschool group. We were able to attend, I believe, 2 functions. It was not the best of years. I wasn't in a hurry to find a group with the big kids were younger because they were, well, younger. I'm hoping that this next year will be better and we'll get out there and meet more friends.
Hmmm....Now that I think on it - this is probably the one topic I shouldn't write about.
You see, Last year we had a lot of sickness - with a virus going through, ear infections, 2 ear-tube surgeries and the like...
So among all the doctor's visits, grocery shopping, errand running and the like, we've had over the last year alone - it seems really hard to schedule in an extra-curricular activity. So I got to thinking about it - how DO we get social interaction?? (Mostly, how do my kids learn to behave around others?)
We live in a very small community. That's pretty much a commuter community to a bigger city. People live here and drive there. The nice thing is that we live close enough to the library to walk - except that it doesn't open until noon. Wait. I digress... sorry.
After reading part of the book by Scott Turansky, I've been working on teaching the kids about honoring others. So that's been part of our training at the store. J-man is still getting away with much of his immaturity because he's 3.5, but the older kids don't get the option. The kids have learned talk to people while standing in the aisle at Wal-mart. Last week, we were stopped by a grandpa who was expecting a new great-grandaughter from Guatamala. He was proud of us for homeschooling. It made my day.
Mini-Me has discovered a great way to learn to interact with others - get a cast put on your arm. She told me at church that "at least 20 people have asked me 'what happened?'"
We had a great time at the pool this summer. Both mini-Me & G were able to meet some other kids and have fun. It was fantastic to watch. Mini-Me even had the guts to ask the lifeguards for a lifejacket. That is what I want! I want them to be self-reliant when the need arises!
We get most of our social outings at church. The previous years we were HIGHLY involved - which also led me to limit our involvment in other things. We don't seem to be as highly involved this year, in daytime events. So maybe it's a good year to branch out.
What we will be learning: How to find the right violin and guitar teacher. Mini-Me wants to learn how to play the violin. The Professor has been rather busy and hasn't consistently taught her. And G wants to play the guitar. It would be good to find teachers in one location to save on the drive. And I read about a family that would require the teacher to come to their house - which would be a brilliant idea. Except that most teachers from "There" probably won't come "here". How do families in rural areas handle this situation? (I guess we could do school work in the van. Isn't that what clipboards are for?)
While it bothers me a bit that the kids don't have more friends, I have realized that being home can be used to our advantage. I just need to keep my eyes open for those moments that we can use. It really only bothers me slightly, because I know my kids are set apart. They are to be in the world but not of it. It's a hard balance to achieve.
So if I'm uninspiring, go see what others have written at I have to Say - Randi's got an entire linky list just ready to be clicked on.


DebD said...

I find that the friendship thing becomes an issue the older the kids get. They're prefectly content to be at home playing with mom... but then around 10 or 12 things change. I would be very content to close the doors and stay at home too, so its a REAL struggle for me to "get out there" Especially trying to make friends and do friendly things. I guess I'm an old curmudgeon. I can do the sports things but taking one child out to get togehter with a friend is hard for me to justify. We live in a major metro area, but most of my kids church friends live far away.

Dana said...

Sounds like we have some similar issues. Where I live, people have either been here all their lives and are retired, or are commuting to Lincoln and aren't around much. I feel a little disconnected. All the activity is in a 45 minute drive at least.

And one thing or another always seems to come up. The kids are involved in plenty of things so I don't really worry about that, but I feel it sometimes. So I've resolved to be a bit more intentional about it this school year!

appleleaf said...

I've enjoyed reading all your thoughts on the homeschooling journey. What a huge and awesome responsibility it really is!
This matter of outside friendships has been a concern to me. With different personalities beneath our roof I've sometimes had one saying, "Let's go please" and another saying "Can't we stay home please." So I can absolutely never please everyone. My personal opinion is that the weeks tend to zoom by fast enough without trying to cram too many extra activities in there.

Henny Penny said...

You're not the least bit uninspiring. Quite the opposite actually! ;o)

Monkey Giggles said...

What is the title of the book written by Scott? Sounds interesting. I agree with the balance..."being in the world and of the world" can be very difficult for kids and adults at times. We have been blessed with a family who lives next door to us who also homeschools their 3 children. Who by the way are about the same age as ours. Our children have worn a groove (path) between to two houses.

jugglingpaynes said...

If it's any consolation, when I was in public school in the city I STILL didn't feel like I had any friends because there were no other children on our block. I was also shy so I never really looked for friends. I survived. Friendships I have now are cherished and not superficial.
I have a friend who drives to Manhattan for activities every other day. She has the kids do workbooks, reading and educational dvd's in the car. While I don't think I could do this (I hate driving) her kids seem to be doing fine with their carschooling.
How's the cast working out? My son is at the doctor with his father today because his knee was hurting. Badly. He can barely walk. Hubby just called and said the doctor is sending them to an orthopedist because there is fluid in the knee. Groan.
Peace and Laughter,

Anonymous said...

You are definitely not uninspiring. Brush that thought away, right now!!!

I have discovered, the more my kids get out, the more they want out. The more we stay home the more content they are with each other - that is until, as debd said - about 10-12 and then, friends become soooo important, to the point that they can become all emcompassing and that is not good either. Although my 17 year old would rather see a few, once in a while then to always be "hanging out".

My 16 just decided to remove himself from the artificial friendship station, ie: public school and focus on graduating early and working full time. He has made friends at work and he would rather see them there and do things socially with a different crowd then he did last year. Do I hear a Hallelujah??? He is very social, but he has come to a place where he realizes how empty most socializing is and wants something different. Yeah.