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  1. #11

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    Well that sounds fantastic that you are getting yourself setup to do some work again. Is there a freelance/small business owners support group in your area that you could join? That might provide a different group of adults for you that better fit the type of people for you to surround yourself with. Then if you are having success finding some new homeschoolers that better fulfill your homeschool needs without the issues of the others, you can fulfill the two things (your needs and the homeschool needs) separately.

    Best of luck with setting up your business. I hope it all goes well for you.

    I love-hate being self-employed. The flexibility is great but goodness I would like to have paid annual and sick leave sometimes! I know from our time living in the USA that paid leave is not all that great in many employed positions, but here in NZ the minimum is 4 weeks paid annual leave, and I think its 2 weeks paid sick leave, plus there are other paid leaves (maternity, family etc.). Also at my husbands work they do an extra 2 weeks of paid annual leave, so he gets 6 weeks! He is always complaining that I work on holidays, but I don't get paid for them and would sure love to!

  2. T4L In Forum Sep
  3. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeba View Post

    But that aside - I have been wondering...does anyone who has a career (not a hobby) and who homeschools actually exist? I know they must... I just don't meet any in my group.

    And I want to meet more people like that——not to feel better about my choices (I know they are right for me either way)——but to get advice and find out what it takes to balance homeschool and a career.

    I have a career outside of homeschooling. I teach at the local college, so the hours at work are flexible. I mostly teach on campus, so I have asked that they merge most of my teaching into two days. The rest of the time I am working from home. I don't teach during the summer, so that eases some of the chaos during the year.

    We are not active in a homeschooling group. DS9 is not that interested and it frequently conflicts with my work schedule. We make time for individual friends and community activities. I think sometimes homeschooling groups are over-rated. They are great of they work, but if they don't there are plenty of things to do; the same things that kids who are not homeschooling do after school.
    Choosing Our Own Adventure with DS 9
    Global Village School - Supporting our desire to teach social justice and global awareness
    http://chooseourownadventures.blogspot.com

  4. #13

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    I've been feeling almost the exact same thing. I work from home but have the same requirements as I would if I were in the office (except I get to wear my PJs at home) and homeschool one of my children, I can't find any homeschool families or groups that I want to be apart of or can be apart of because the times they meet conflict with my work schedule, my brother and all my friends are scattered across three counties, and I have lost a sense of self. I randomly get a few free hours to myself but have no idea what to do. I feel like I have the homeschool/work balance thing figured out but I've been wondering how people make new friends as adults and have been trying to figure out how get to a place where I know exactly what I want to do when I have that magical free time.

  5. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLP View Post
    I randomly get a few free hours to myself but have no idea what to do. I feel like I have the homeschool/work balance thing figured out but I've been wondering how people make new friends as adults and have been trying to figure out how get to a place where I know exactly what I want to do when I have that magical free time.
    I started by writing a list of all the things I have come across that I thought I would like to actually learn properly, enough to be relatively competent at it, if I was a much 'cooler' and socially active version of me. I am rather introverted and a science geek. Horse riding, skate boarding, curling, paddle boarding, tennis, golf, dance and I can't recall what else. Then I just started with the one that I really wanted to try first. If I don't like it after I have tried for a while, then I will move on the next on my list. For me, if I waited until I got to a place where I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I would never do anything. I second/third/fourth guess everything, and on and on till a point of perpetually doing nothing for fear of doing the 'wrong' thing and missing out on all the other things.

    I also make sure that I have an hour each day first thing to do exercise (yoga, pilates, walk the dog, weights) on my own, it really helps me feel I have had time for me in my day.

  6. #15

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    I feel like I hear these complaints a LOT online and I know a lot of homeschoolers IRL and I simply don't see these trends. This is not to say that I don't encounter homeschool parents who are competitive or who are so busy that they aren't doing a good job... but I also encounter tons of parents who are doing their best. I don't always get along with them because there are so many different takes on parenting, and personalities can clash. But I think there's a way in which people get very judgmental about schedules or achievements. Like, one of my kids is quite serious about his activity. He's there nearly every day. He works his rear end off for it. I have no stake in this other than his passion and happiness in it. But it makes our lives hectic and overscheduled sometimes. I'm sure to someone who doesn't know me very well, I could easily look like the first profile of mom. And if someone walks into a relationship primed to think that "homeschool parents are competitive and have their kids overscheduled" then making me fit into their narrative would be easy peasy. It's the same about stuff on social media. Like, I don't share a picture of my kid doing something to make someone else feel bad. I do it because we had fun, because I have lots of spread out family and old friends, because I like seeing that stuff on their feeds too. It's not a competitive thing unless someone decides to put that narrative on top of it.

    I guess my point is just... sometimes the homeschool community in an area is really toxic, or super Christian, or very cliqueish, or just close to non-existent. And no one has to be friends with homeschoolers - kids need social space, but it can be through activities, neighborhoods, extended families, etc. Not to mention that some kids and moms need lots of social spaces and others need a lot less. However, if you walk into a group and expect that everyone will be competitive and horrid, well, then, they probably will be to your mind.

    I know many homeschool moms who work, who have their own passions but do a good job with their kids, who care a lot about self-care (this is one of Julie Bogart of Brave Writer's big threads if you look at her blog, podcasts, etc.). Basically, I think we're out there.
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  7. #16

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    I appreciate those of you offering advice. I have about 4-5 hobbies. They are lovely, but can be distracting and expensive things. I miss having a career... A purpose beyond being a mom or teacher.
    If you want a job instead of a hobby, go for it.

    The point is, once you feel more fulfilled as a person, the annoyances youre facing on the homeschool front wont feel so bothersome.

    And, maybe the coop near you isnt for you, thats okay too. Finding a group thats exactly how youd like them to be probably doesnt happen for anybody.

    But yes, homeschool parents do care about ourselves.
    Finding the time doesnt seem to be an issue, either. In the years Ive been on the forum, I cant remember instances where the parents said "our life is so busy we arent able to get our homeschooling done".
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  8. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    If you want a job instead of a hobby, go for it.

    The point is, once you feel more fulfilled as a person, the annoyances youre facing on the homeschool front wont feel so bothersome.

    And, maybe the coop near you isnt for you, thats okay too. Finding a group thats exactly how youd like them to be probably doesnt happen for anybody.

    But yes, homeschool parents do care about ourselves.
    Finding the time doesnt seem to be an issue, either. In the years Ive been on the forum, I cant remember instances where the parents said "our life is so busy we arent able to get our homeschooling done".
    I don't want a job. I want a career.

    I am content with who I am as well, but I miss what I did. It was part of who I am, and it's time to return to it.

    You may not have met parents who say they are so busy they neglect or stress out their kids, but they do exist. Rarely do they openly come out and say there is a problem. In fact, the worst have no self reflection whatsoever. These kinds of parents exist all over the place, but I think the children who get homeschooled under them can have it worse as there are fewer outside adults to check in on them or help them out.

    A lot of times we homeschoolers try to see everyone as "doing their best" as we've been unfairly under microscopes ourselves, but not everyone in the community is a caring or good parent. But just because you are a homeschooler doesn't mean you can't be neglectful, controlling or even abusive.

    I'm pretty much done with all COOPs. Most of the ones I've seen in my locale (which have been about 5ish at this point) do not have a healthy dynamic. They are like public schools minus the accountability, and their people are paid worse. I've worked in situations like the last. It's fine to have volunteers, but paying people less than you'd pay a babysitter is never a good thing.

    You can still end up with some lovely teachers under these circumstances, but you can just as easily end up with people who are completely horrible at teaching or become super fried, too (and have never even had a background check).

    I've seen a number of things that concerned me. I cannot go into deep details here about it. My kid telling me they didn't want to return (the work was boring and they were getting bullied by the same kid) was the straw that broke the camel's back. It was starting to get ugly between the adults as well so I really don't care to stick around and see where things went. It's sad and I miss some of these people—and I feel a bit of grief letting go my community, but mostly I am relieved to move on from it.

    Please understand my experiences here are not to knock on anyone else's choices or experiences. I'm simply looking for support and a safe place to vent.
    Last edited by Reeba; 09-12-2017 at 05:50 PM.

  9. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLP View Post
    I've been feeling almost the exact same thing. I work from home but have the same requirements as I would if I were in the office (except I get to wear my PJs at home) and homeschool one of my children, I can't find any homeschool families or groups that I want to be apart of or can be apart of because the times they meet conflict with my work schedule, my brother and all my friends are scattered across three counties, and I have lost a sense of self. I randomly get a few free hours to myself but have no idea what to do. I feel like I have the homeschool/work balance thing figured out but I've been wondering how people make new friends as adults and have been trying to figure out how get to a place where I know exactly what I want to do when I have that magical free time.
    Oh, yes. It is hard to make new friends. Finding groups of people who share enjoyable interests helps—even if it's something small or you are new at learning. Music groups can be wonderful (like drum circles or belly dancing classes). It's also wonderful to reach out and catch up with old friends in times of quiet like this. "Hey, how are you beyond Facebook." I have a couple who I always catch up with a couple times a year. We don't have loads in common except college, but it feels good seeing them.

  10. #19

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    Thank you, All, for your help. Discussing here and talking with my wife has helped resolve a lot of questions and feelings. I feel better.

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