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B&Z Mama
03-08-2016, 10:39 PM
So, we are moving. From a city of approx 120,000 to a town of approx 16,000. The town is my hometown, and there are many good things about it: closer to grandma, skiing, a college, and lots of amenities and cultural events for a town of that size.

However, in a town that size, you know the homeschool community is just not going to be what it was in the bigger city. I have found a solid group, with park days, field trips, etc. that claims to be inclusive - but it's an hour away. Right now I'm saying that it's no big deal to drive that. I mean, I currently drive 35 minutes to the other end of town to get to Target, so what's driving an hour instead. But I'm wondering if I'm being overly optimistic.

Does anybody regularly drive fairly long distances for community? What's that like? Did anybody try it and decide it was too much?

ejsmom
03-08-2016, 11:04 PM
I drive about 40-60 minutes (depending on day, traffic, and location) at least once, sometimes twice, a week to do activities with our inclusive group. I have driven from one county, clear across a second, and into the third, weekly, for months on end. And it has been completely and totally worth it. We found our tribe. The sense of connection, sharing ideas, recipes, curriculum resources, joys, sorrows, potlucks, and so on has made our lives so much richer and homeschooling so much better. Usually on the days we meet up, we take a lunch, and/or stop on the way home, or take out or leftovers for dinner. We also will only do a light day of school work in the evening (or early morning) usually 60-90 minutes, and it will be a bit of math practice, reading, and handwriting. Nothing that starts a big project or gets real involved, but enough that I feel we did something to at least keep skills up. On our "home" days, my DS is more than willing to do more book work to have days out with our group.

In short, I think it will depend on the group. This was the 3rd or 4th group we tried, so don't give up.

Mariam
03-08-2016, 11:06 PM
We live an more rural area too. I could see driving an hour about once or twice a week and it not getting too irritating, as long as I didn't get stuck in some horrendous traffic.

Off and on I have been willing to drive 30 minutes to an hour for regular activities.

dbsam
03-08-2016, 11:42 PM
I don't make a drive like that but I would if it was a great group and traffic was not an issue.
I've considered driving to classes offered on the North side of Chicago but the traffic is too unpredictable - so the hour one-way could turn into two or more.

aselvarial
03-09-2016, 02:04 AM
My husband commutes at least an hour to work each way, and we regularly drive an hour into the city just to look at a house. My sister is 1.5 hours away and our son's best friend is 2 hours away. An hour drive is pretty much nothing for us. :-) At least not now. When my husband first moved down here, an hour commute would have boggled his mind. So i guess it's just what you are used to and comfortable with.

Luv2HS
03-09-2016, 04:01 AM
If the group is a great fit, I don't think that's too far to drive.

skrink
03-09-2016, 07:11 AM
I do it regularly. Our locals are heavily fundie and we do NOT fit in. Some days it's a royal pain, especially in the winter, and once you and your kiddo/s start making friends, play dates, birthday parties, mom's night outs, etc. become a lot more complicated. You'll find that many other people won't want to do the drive (they don't need to - their main group is close by) so it'll be on you to meet up with them. Still, it's been very much worth it to us. Stock up on audiobooks!

alwayssmile
03-09-2016, 07:56 AM
I'd do it. We're military, but our last location commonly had me driving an hour away 2-3 times a week for activities. I don't long term commit to regular groups/group activities an hour away until I've tried them out and made sure they were a good fit, but if it works out I don't mind the drive. Great time to listen to audiobooks!

TFZ
03-09-2016, 08:23 AM
Downtown is about 45-1h away for us. I imagine we'll be making that trek more frequently soon. Here it's not the distance that's maddening - it's the traffic. Audiobooks do make it more tolerable.

I remember driving 1h each way in high school to take art classes that were only 1-1/2 hours long, and yeah DH used to commute almost an hour 5-6 day a week. An hour isn't so bad. Now, since loading up the kids, snacks, books, blah blah, etc. takes so long I make an effort to make a day of it if we are going far - activity, lunch, park. At least so I'm not traveling for twice the time.

alexsmom
03-09-2016, 11:14 AM
Im believing there is an inverse relationship between number of kids you have and how far you will drive.
I was reminiscing with Grama that before I had kids, it was nothing for us to drive an hour each way to eat at a restaurant we liked. With one kid, it was about half that, and with two kids, we would rather stick with a 15 minute radius.

So my formula for *har far would I drive* looks like:
(# minutes willing to go to a casual event before kids)
/ [(# of kids) + 1]

dbsam
03-09-2016, 01:04 PM
I think the less you drive, the less you want to drive.

After my post above, I thought....I drove to Chicago every day for almost twenty years and now I am not willing to go once a week:confused:. (We actually go downtown often, but not for a scheduled class. I don't like early time commitments - another thing that happened once I stopped working.)

B&Z Mama
03-09-2016, 01:42 PM
I think the less you drive, the less you want to drive.
I don't like early time commitments - another thing that happened once I stopped working.)

Oh yes, there will be no early morning driving! ;) Luckily, the traffic shouldn't be much of an issue.

farrarwilliams
03-10-2016, 09:56 AM
Having friends and community is important. If you and your kids don't have that in other contexts closer by, then I'd totally do it.

Kylie
03-12-2016, 02:33 AM
I have to admit that I don't drive far for groups and activities. I do have a family that comes to our co-op though that drives 90 minutes one way. They too live in a rural area and don't have much in the way of older homeschooled kids around them.