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  1. #1

    Default Anyone else in WA state?

    We recently moved to Bellingham from Seattle. The Whatcom County Homeschool Association seems to be comprised of mostly (or entirely?) religious families, so we've signed up for weekly classes via the public school "family partnership program" in order to find a homeschooling community. However, I'm certain that at least some of the families and teachers there are religious, and the program is still small.

    Anyone know of local secular groups north of Seattle? Since we just moved to Bellingham, our only worry in switching from public to homeschooling is that our kiddo now won't be able to make new friends. Homeschooling is a bit isolating. We need to find a community!

    Thanks!
    Husband homeschools son age 12 in Sudden Valley near Bellingham, WA.

  2. T4L In Forum MAR
  3. #2

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    Bham Gal,
    I'm down in Skagit, and it's even worse here for non-religious hs options. What we've done is look for options outside of hsing groups. This usually means library programs, parks and rec, Padilla Bay and N. Cascade Natl. Park enviro. programs, scouts or 4h and such. I think that WWU has some youth programs as well. Whatcom also has more music and theater options too....at least more than my county.

    Looking for connections with other homeschoolers just becomes the least important thing on the list. It's more about connections in general.

    Good luck!
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  4. #3

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    I am over on the East Side...but the climate is very similar. Lots of Christains, Mormans and only a few who are secular. We joined an ALE when we got here too. So far it has been pretty good. We met people. Religion does come up some...but not a huge amount. And when it has come up it has been good discussion - things like obligations and such with their religion. No one has been pushy about trying to convert us - a couple of times my kids have been asked to go to some things...but we didn't follow through on those because they were religious. (Mormon Girl Camp, some other evening Bible study thing, forget the name.) I just tell them that I don't think my kids would be comfortable and after asking a couple of times...they stop. But we still are friends and it is good.

    Long answer short....give the ALE a try.

  5. #4

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    We are in the Sky Valley (Sultan) and don't know of any Secular Groups. Everyone i know who Homeschools does so for religious reasons and they all assume we do too.
    ~*~*Marta, mom to 5 boys.
    DS 1 (18 and dual enrollment in college)
    DS 2 (16 and dual enrollment in college)
    Keegan (14 and enrolled in PPP)
    Sully (9 years, 3rd grade)
    Finn, (8 years, 2nd grade)

  6. #5

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    Welcome! I am just a few hours south of you in Portland, OR.
    Be sure to check out our Secular Support Group page!
    And if you have any questions or need help, feel free to shoot me a PM!
    Homeschooling Mom since 2008
    "Homeschool Leftovers" Facebook Page
    "Homeschool Leftovers" Pinterest Page
    Childcare/Preschool Mom since 1991
    Childcare Blog


  7. #6

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    Hi Bham Gal. Been lurking for a couple of months now and your post finally prompted me to register. We moved to Bellingham last year with our 4 (now 5) year old. We are strongly leaning toward homeschooling (well, I am, and am working on DH). I will post a proper intro thread myself, but just wanted to say hi and express an interest in what you are able to discover about the area. We are considering attending the Washington Homeschooling Organization convention in Seattle in June just to get more info. Do you know much about them? Taking my husband to an ultra religious homeschooling event will not help my cause!

  8. #7

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    Thanks to everyone for the responses! It's great to connect with other secular families.

    HamsterMom -- we have enrolled in the Family Partnership Program with Bellingham Public Schools. They are housed in a school near Fairhaven. Approximately 100 kids are enrolled K-8 with the majority in K-2. Our 5 yo will start K there in the fall, but currently he attends 3 classes there unofficially since his older brother is officially enrolled as a 5th grader in the same building. Our 5 year old attends the building/Lego class, a K-2 math class, and something called "world cultures" where he does a lot of art projects. This gives him something to do. We spend one day a week there with both kids in classes almost purely for social reasons. It's nice to have a community. Religion has never come up in conversations, and nothing but secular material can be used for classes at the school. My oldest thus far has been to "snow school" studying avalanches, a one-day school field trip, and he'll go on an overnight to "mountain school" with 6 other fifth graders next week. We have also signed up for whale watching with the school in May. In Feb the 5th graders went to Mt Baker every week for skiing lessons at a reduced rate designated for only homeschoolers. I would highly recommend checking out the FPP. The principal is incredibly supportive of anything the families want to do, but she and the teachers are also amazing resources for designing curriculum. We are very happy thus far.
    Last edited by Bham Gal; 03-20-2016 at 06:43 PM.

  9. #8

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    Just wanted to add that our earlier fears about FPP were wrong -- we have had no religious conversations there at all, they just don't come up. Also, the parents seem to be highly engaged and academically focused.

  10. #9

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    Thanks Bham Gal. I will definitely check out the FPP. I am not familiar with it, but from your post it sounds great. We are not too far from Fairhaven, and having a community lime that would go a long way toward allaying some of DH's concerns.

  11. #10

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    We are in North Bellingham. Our 11 year old daughter is about to begin homeschooling. My biggest concern is making sure she has friends to play with - she is very social. Does anyone know of any resources for connecting homeschooled kids together in Bellingham? I will also look into the FPP.

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Anyone else in WA state?