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Lou
03-23-2011, 11:33 PM
In my area there are plenty of homeschoolers, but all faith based. I would love some suggestions to finding homeschooling groups that welcome all. Are there special words to seek out like INCLUSION or something else?

My children really like having friends over, going to the park with friends, etc...and so far we are not finding a lot of secular homeschoolers in our area.

Pilgrim
03-24-2011, 12:04 AM
It might be that none exist. How populated is your area? We live in a small town of 3000 -- the biggest town for 30+ miles -- and it's a religious community. There are several HS groups within an hour, but they are all heavily religious. I've only found one secular group. It's nearly 2 hours away.

This is a good place to start. It's a breakdown by state. (http://www.home-school.com/groups/NY.html) Good luck!

Lou
03-24-2011, 01:54 AM
so then do you travel two hours to get playdates for the kids? There are larger groups 1.5 hours away and I could meet up with them, but curious if there are others traveling as well?

Firefly_Mom
03-24-2011, 03:32 AM
It may help if you let us know what area/state you live in. There may be others on the board who live there and can help point you in the right direction. :) If that doesn't work, I'd suggest contacting your state homeschool association and ask for contact info for area homeschool groups. I would even suggest joining the Yahoo groups for some local religious groups and get a feel for what's going on in your area. You may even find that there are other not-so-religious members in the group.

You should also be aware that in many areas, there are unpublicized groups. For instance, the one we're very active in is a by-invitation-only group (meaning, you have to already know somebody in the group to join.) I met one of the members through another homeschool event (a bad, bad, bad one! LOL) and she invited me to join. I know that there are a lot more in the area, usually started by a few like minded families who start planning a few activities together and it just snowballs from there.

Jeni
03-24-2011, 04:14 AM
Sometimes there is nothing. Someone has to be willing to start a group and that's not easy.

We are part of several groups that have religious views. We don't have a choice. This is the ONLY place I've found with people who are like me, and none of you all are very local. I am perfectly happy to sit in the house and be unsociable, that is my dream actually. But if I want my child to have friends and a social life, I have to be willing to make compromises. You might find you have to do the same. My kids best friends are Christians who attend church every single week without fail, pray at meals, and are very active in their church. Part of what I strive to teach my kids is to be accepting of everyone (within reason) and having playdates with people of a different faith is part of that. Finding a secular person, let alone one that meets the criteria of friend, regardless of schooling choice is like finding the needle in the haystack around here. I wish you better luck and I hope your search is successful.

ETA: You could always start a yahoo group for your area. I tried to do that but it wasn't successful. People joined but I think I was pregnant at the time and couldn't organize any outings. You might find it easier.

hockeymom
03-24-2011, 05:15 AM
We don't have a secular group in our community either, but I did recently find one 1.5 hours away. I'll happily travel for social opportunities if that's what it takes.

We do have one local religious group, but I have no interest in contacting them. It's not the religion--that part doesn't bother me on a personal basis--but the automatic exclusion by a group that insists on a statement of faith.

Pilgrim
03-24-2011, 08:23 AM
so then do you travel two hours to get playdates for the kids?

No, and I doubt we would join their Friday co-ops, which is a shame.


Part of what I strive to teach my kids is to be accepting of everyone (within reason) and having playdates with people of a different faith is part of that. Finding a secular person, let alone one that meets the criteria of friend, regardless of schooling choice is like finding the needle in the haystack around here.

Well-put. While it would be nice to find an inclusive group in the area, taking advantage of what is available to us is better than living in isolation, as long as the religious group doesn't have you sign a statement of faith! (Still can't get over that one! :eek:)

Marimara
03-24-2011, 03:16 PM
You could always try to start your own. I did that on yahoo groups about a year ago and 2 people joined, and one of them I knew already, lol. I live in the deep south where the local homeschooling community is very exclusive and actively states on their website that all classes and events will hold prayers and with Jesus in mind, etc. They are not accepting at all and pretty much treat non-Christians with disdain. You could use yahoo groups or even Craigslist. I have found other homeschoolers during the day when kids would otherwise be in school in places like the library and parks or enrichment centers. Have you tried meetups.com? Sometimes they have homeschool meetups on there. Honestly, in some places it's really hard. ETA: what about other classes, not just for homeschoolers? like ballet, dance, soccer, sports, etc. I am thinking about resigning up just so I can find more friends for my little introvert. It takes her so long to warm up to people that they are just about to leave by the time she's ready to play.

Lou
03-24-2011, 10:31 PM
I found a couple within a 60 mile range...so that will work and I was invited this afternoon to a faith based group if I'm willing to sign their document of faith paperwork...what she told me of it didn't sound scary....so unless there is something I can't agree to on the document, there is at least ONE group I can join locally...but if I can't agree to the document, then I know there is one 60 miles north and two within a 60 mile south range of my location. :)

are there any 'secret' places to meet up homeschoolers? library story time, park, ???

Lou
03-24-2011, 10:33 PM
I thought of starting one on MEETUP.com but decided to wait a bit and see what happens...we've only been homeschooling for just under 2 months...ha, ha...I am impatient and want my ducks in a row NOW! ha, ha... :)

farrarwilliams
03-24-2011, 11:33 PM
I would hesitate to join a group with a SOF (statement of faith) - even if it was one I believed in, since the point of those is to exclude people based on their beliefs. I'm really lucky that I've not had to make that sort of choice though since we live in an area with lots of secular homeschoolers... Try searching on Yahoo groups for local groups in your area. Also, try your statewide homeschooling group - many of them keep lists of local groups and listservs or may be able to put you in touch with someone. Also, if you meet with the Christian group and decide the SOF isn't for you, ask the leader if she knows of any other groups or of any other individuals in your area. If I met someone who lived near me who wanted a different sort of group than the one I mod, then at least in some cases, I would know where to point them and would happily do so.

InstinctiveMom
03-25-2011, 01:06 AM
I thought of starting one on MEETUP.com but decided to wait a bit and see what happens...we've only been homeschooling for just under 2 months...ha, ha...I am impatient and want my ducks in a row NOW! ha, ha... :)

Don't let being new to homeschooling stop you! If you know what you;re looking for and it's not available in your community, be the change you want to see!! :)
~h