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dbmamaz
07-29-2011, 08:04 PM
I am really starting to get bummed about our struggle with socialization.

My kids are weird, really weird, and come by it honest. I am not the most social person in the world - i like to chat, but i dont like to leave my house very often and i'm terrible at arranging things.

So, here is a list of socail heartbreaks so far in the 2 years we've been homeschooling:


First homeschool freind i met online just before she moved in to town. her boy got along ok with mine, but she and i were strained. after a year and a half, she moved away
a real live homeschool dad who had a son 'on the spectrum' who got along w my younger, and his daughter was in school, but got along with my son. they moved out of state
tried a coop and my boys liked the kids, but the adult dynamics were a fail
the friday park day i tried to start 2 years ago failed
the wednesday park day, which had been huge for years, seemed to have disintegrated this year with no one coming any more
met several kids in home school martail arts this past year and really got along w most of the class. The girl my son did best with moved. one boy's mom said she had to put all her kids in school against her will and another said she is divorcing and putting hers in school

There are a few kids who will hopefully still come to the class who my kids like - but both seem only to be able to make one day per week.

we also started going to a home school video game group which meets every other week and might spawn a D&D group, we'll see

I have 'signed' both boys up for science classes this coming year, but both women say the class may or may not happen.

I'm so frustrated!!!! Richmond, VA isnt THAT small a town, is it? I mean, aside from limiting it to only fairly secular people . . .

Eileen
07-29-2011, 08:11 PM
I'm really sorry. My dd is pretty weird herself, and I'm pretty introverted and shy and awkward myself. My dd had one friend at ps, and they've been besties since kindergarten. This past year, the friend started getting in with some mean girls who weren't nice to my dd, which really sucked, although the two of them did stay friends. This past summer, the girl moved 45 minutes away. :( I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad about it, since at least she's not going to be in a group that's unkind to my kid.

I hope you find a good fit for them. It's really tough going. I never had more than a couple of friends at a time in school, and there were times when I didn't have any friends at all. I know you're doing the best you can. If I were near you, I'd definitely hang out. My 8 year old is super intense too, they'd probably do well together.

dbmamaz
07-29-2011, 08:28 PM
Thanks Eileen!

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
07-29-2011, 08:35 PM
I'm really sorry. My dd is pretty weird herself, and I'm pretty introverted and shy and awkward myself.

Exactly.

We need that SHS commune to start up, stat. I'm strongly considering getting my daughter involved in 4H this fall so that her social life doesn't have to suffer because her brother is a walking socialization disaster in groups and I would just rather stay home.

Stella M
07-29-2011, 08:54 PM
I'm sorry for your frustration Cara.

Things work out OK for two of my kids, social wise.

The other is odd; in a nice way, but odd nonetheless. I worry about her and for her. So I kinda get where you're coming from.
Wish I had something uplifting to say about it...it's hard.

farrarwilliams
07-29-2011, 09:11 PM
That sucks, Cara. I'm sorry.

This will sound like a total geek-out, but I actually think D&D (or any in person old fashioned role playing gaming) is one of the best things EVER for getting socially awkward weird kids to bond. One year, I gm'ed a game of Mage for the kids at my school who were mostly quirky kids that just couldn't quite get together and mesh as a group. The school let me do it as a "projects" class (that's what we called extracurriculars - usually arts and so forth - that were twice a week in the afternoons) because we agreed that the socialization goal was worth it. And it really, really worked. I saw a bunch of those kids a couple months ago at a reunion (they're all in college now) and they all mentioned that game of Mage to me in pretty flattering tones.

So, I guess, don't stop trying stuff.

dbmamaz
07-29-2011, 09:23 PM
I also am considering trying that creative writing game curriculum - but maybe not this coming year. I feel like we just need to pound on the 5 pp essay for a long time, he needs so much work! This week I told him to do a compare/contrast between two MMORPG's, and I said he could focus on one area of the game, or the games overall. He chose character creation choices. He wrote more than he usually does and it was well organized - but it was mostly just a list of every option in every game, with no actual compare/contrast analysis. for now i'm focussing on just getting him writing, so I'm not doing rewrites, because he was just having too much anxiety about writing. So once he's tossing off 5 pp with ease (ie, not taking the whole week for 1), we'll start working on the finer points. and when I think he can do a decent 5 pp, maybe we'll do some fiction.

anyways, thanks again, everyone. I know, we just gotta keep going, but the moving-out-of-state and going-back-to-school is just so hard! and i hate to admit it, i'm NOT going to go out of my way to keep up w kids who went back to school. They live kinda far, they were only mildly freinds w my kids, and . . . urgg . . . its just too hard! I know, i'm lame - but i just made dinner, cleaned up dinner, prepped home made sausage for the morning and home made gluten free bread for the evening, and i'll be called up for bedtime duty soon, i've been hanging laundry outside in the 100 degree heat because my dryer has been broken for a week now, and I just walked the dog, after dark but still in the 90s . . . so i'm tired and cranky! sigh.

gidamom
07-29-2011, 09:32 PM
Cara, I'm so sorry. I can sense your frustration in your post, and totally get where you are coming from....

I have to tell you, this "socialization" issue is the single biggest fear I have about our giving homeschooling a try...Both my children have been in a brick and mortar school up to now (8th and 5th grade) and they have done great! I guess my biggest fear (please keep in mind that this will be our first year homeschooling, so I may be way off in my perception) is that they will never have the close friendships,bonds and socialization opportunities they had in their school. I guess I'm scared about taking away the "best" part they had about being in a school...I just don't know how I can replace that while homeschooling...SIGH

Stella M
07-29-2011, 10:29 PM
It isn't lame. A person can only do so much.

I guess with older kids - I'm thinking of mine here - it gets to a point where you can only support them in what they decide to do about their social lives; you can't make it happen for them.

And, you know, sometimes kids are lonely. Whether they are at school or homeschooled, whether they are neuro typical or not. It totally sucks. Especially when you can't seem to make the changes that might help them ( you ? ) become less lonely.

And btw, I think you are on the right track with the essays. It's hard to learn structure and develop content at the same time.

farrarwilliams
07-29-2011, 10:37 PM
Okay, totally OT now, but my experience has been that it's often harder for *some* kids - especially kids really struggling with writing - to write about things they know a lot about. I used to try to get kids to write about music, for example, or things they were really into and it was often the worst writing they did - the most unreadable. I think learning content and skill can be easier for them at the same time because it removes the strong feelings about whatever they're writing about so they can focus more on the process.

Of course, ideally you want kids writing about stuff they actually care about...

MarkInMD
07-29-2011, 11:31 PM
Exactly.

We need that SHS commune to start up, stat. I'm strongly considering getting my daughter involved in 4H this fall so that her social life doesn't have to suffer because her brother is a walking socialization disaster in groups and I would just rather stay home.

I really would love to have that commune/planned community/whatever you wanna call it. Weirdville, USA. Where our motto is "Different is the new normal."

dbmamaz
07-30-2011, 12:07 AM
The last one he wrote was about electromagnetism . . . because he ASKED about it . . and the 3rd paragraph talked about electricity . . .as in, we use electricity to run our computers. Sigh. I dont think that counts as information in a paper about electromagnetism. Not only that, he didnt even mention anything about our experiment where we made an electromagnet. I dont know how to get him to pull his thoughts together, but like i said, for now, i just want him writing. he's been putting it off w drama for too long, i just want him writing every week.

dbmamaz
07-30-2011, 12:08 AM
Oh, and Orion never made freinds in school, either, so we arent an example of normal socialization. i've never had a close freind for more than a few years.

and having lived on a commune - you go there thinking you'll find ppl like you, but you end up focussing on your differences. I'm unlikely to try again.

hockeymom
07-30-2011, 07:28 AM
Cara: does you local library offer any writing classes, or can they point you in a direction that might be useful for Orion? Just thinking it might be helpful if he was taking direction from someone else, or in a different environment. Sometimes seeing what other kids are doing can be a motivator.

Do you have a local community college that might be able to suggest specific workshops or tutors that might help? CCs often have to deal with kids with big gaps in their education and might be able to offer up some resources (even a remedial writing class to help him get on track and work on his confidence?).

((Hugs)) to you in the loneliness department. Public school isn't the answer for that one, though, if my own childhood is any example.

dbmamaz
07-30-2011, 10:28 AM
Just to make the socialization better, we finally got our act together for dh to take the boys to the martail arts weekend class today . . . except it was testing and i didnt realize and they showed up to an empty building. damn.

Orion doesnt need another teacher, he really doesnt. Orion needs to just keep practicing it until he gets over his anxiety and then we will work on the finer points. He has significant executive processing issues, significant logic shortcomings, organizational issues . . . he will always have these issues. He and I have been working together pretty well, but because he also has significant anxiety, i need to build things at a slow pace. We worked so hard to get to a calm place with math, where he no longer says "i hate math" or tries to refuse to do it. He's doing better taking notes in his science book. We will get there, I know we will. He just requires a LOT of intuition and patience and hand holding, NOT something any stranger is likely to be able to provide. and remember, we've only been homeschooling for 2 years, so he went through 8 years of public school, including specail ed, without really learning how to write. I really do believe I can get him through this.

but thanks!

outskirtsofbs
07-30-2011, 11:51 AM
Mine would be a socialization scream, Cara........I'm right there with you.............

DragonFaerie
07-30-2011, 12:47 PM
I really would love to have that commune/planned community/whatever you wanna call it. Weirdville, USA. Where our motto is "Different is the new normal."

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the book Practical Magic.

"My darling girl, when are you going to understand that "normal" is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage."
~ Aunt Frances, Practical Magic


That said, I, too, am concerned about my youngest son. We have just moved to a new state where we don't know many people (strike one). We live in an apartment where he cannot go play outside to meet other children (strike two). And we homeschool (strike three). I have tried and tried to find some activity to sign him up for where he can a) meet other kids and maybe make friends, and b) learn to function in a group while listening to and following directions from another adult (besides me). So far the only luck I've had is a week-long gymnastics camp. He loved that but I need something long term. I offered gymnastics and he said "Eh, no thanks." Same for karate, swimming, basketball and, when he's a bit older, math competitions. Ugh! He's a total homebody. But, he comes by it honestly. I am NOT a "joiner." I'd much rather stay home, too.

Lak001
07-30-2011, 06:01 PM
Where in texas do you live? I'm asking you this because we live in Texas and are part of two secular home-schooling groups here. If you live anywhere in the Plano,Frisco, Allen, Mckinney area, then there's a group called SAIL, which is totally secular. They have a website running by that name.

DragonFaerie
07-30-2011, 07:09 PM
Where in texas do you live? I'm asking you this because we live in Texas and are part of two secular home-schooling groups here. If you live anywhere in the Plano,Frisco, Allen, Mckinney area, then there's a group called SAIL, which is totally secular. They have a website running by that name.

Thanks for the suggestion. I looked them up online and they are too far for us. We're in the Irving/Coppell area. Thanks anyway, though.

gidamom
07-30-2011, 08:08 PM
[QUOTE=DragonFaerie;48234]This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the book Practical Magic.

"My darling girl, when are you going to understand that "normal" is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage."
~ Aunt Frances, Practical Magic


What a great quote!! Thank you for sharing it! :)

Busygoddess
07-30-2011, 08:21 PM
Cara, something that might help with his writing is some focus on pre-writing skills - lists, webs, etc. That way, he'll have the list, the web, the index cards, or whatever method of pre-writing works for him, there with all the points he wants to address in the essay. Then, he can make sure it all gets in. Another thing that sometimes helps with the organization of a paper, is to write each point or paragraph out on index cards. Then, you can rearrange the cards until you find the way that looks best & makes the most sense. Then, write out the essay from the cards.

These helped my daughter improve her writing (writing has always been her weakest area). People no longer come back from the dead in her papers (she was writing about someone, they died in one paragraph & were fighting in a war in the next paragraph).

dbmamaz
07-30-2011, 09:16 PM
We've been doing notes on notecards, arrange the notecards on a table, then make an outline, and then start writing. But i havent been checking every step of the way to see if he's missing obvious things, because I feel like that was being too critical. But the process does help him. And i do think he's getting better at organizing the material he has in to a decent outline . . .but with the electromagnet one, he found two sources and took notes, and i guess one of the categories he took notes on was about electricity, so he included it as a topical paragraph . . . no meta-analysis to realize that it doesnt really belong in the paper. Likewise, since he didnt take notes on our experiment, it didnt occur to him to include it in the paper.

I dont think i'm missing anything, he just has only written about 6 papers in 2 years, maybe 8, because he was SO bad when we started, I realized he just wasnt ready to do it, and sometimes teaching him the process was SOOO painful for me . . but he is at least doing the reasearch/notes/organize/outline/write process, including a review to see if it is in a logical order. His intros and conclusions are getting better too. He's come a long way. I mean, the first paper I asked him to write . . . it was just awful. Jumping around all over the place, no logic at all. its just hard for me to be patient and focus on his progress instead of his errors.

We really are doing fine, its just frustrating that such a bright 15 yo cant make the leaps i expect him to make, of figuring out what does and doesnt belong in a paper. I've never taught before, never wanted to teach, so its a combination of him needing extra pateince and me not being much good at being patient. so we're both learning, i guess.

DragonFaerie
07-30-2011, 10:06 PM
These helped my daughter improve her writing (writing has always been her weakest area). People no longer come back from the dead in her papers (she was writing about someone, they died in one paragraph & were fighting in a war in the next paragraph).

And that's a problem? Somebody should tell the soap opera writers. :_lol:

Busygoddess
07-31-2011, 02:33 PM
We've been doing notes on notecards, arrange the notecards on a table, then make an outline, and then start writing. But i havent been checking every step of the way to see if he's missing obvious things, because I feel like that was being too critical. But the process does help him. And i do think he's getting better at organizing the material he has in to a decent outline . . .but with the electromagnet one, he found two sources and took notes, and i guess one of the categories he took notes on was about electricity, so he included it as a topical paragraph . . . no meta-analysis to realize that it doesnt really belong in the paper. Likewise, since he didnt take notes on our experiment, it didnt occur to him to include it in the paper.

I dont think i'm missing anything, he just has only written about 6 papers in 2 years, maybe 8, because he was SO bad when we started, I realized he just wasnt ready to do it, and sometimes teaching him the process was SOOO painful for me . . but he is at least doing the reasearch/notes/organize/outline/write process, including a review to see if it is in a logical order. His intros and conclusions are getting better too. He's come a long way. I mean, the first paper I asked him to write . . . it was just awful. Jumping around all over the place, no logic at all. its just hard for me to be patient and focus on his progress instead of his errors.

We really are doing fine, its just frustrating that such a bright 15 yo cant make the leaps i expect him to make, of figuring out what does and doesnt belong in a paper. I've never taught before, never wanted to teach, so its a combination of him needing extra pateince and me not being much good at being patient. so we're both learning, i guess.

I just wanted to mention them, in case you hadn't tried them. I'm sure he'll continue making progress with you working with him. It sucks when they take longer to get something than we think it should. I know that I used to get really frustrated over dd's writing. I'm not as frustrated now, since she's imporved so much, but there's still room for improvement & we're still working on it.

Busygoddess
07-31-2011, 02:35 PM
And that's a problem? Somebody should tell the soap opera writers. :_lol:

:_lol:
What would they do for stories, if they had to stop bringing people back from the dead, though?

Accidental Homeschooler
07-31-2011, 11:31 PM
I think one of the reasons it is so hard for me to be more on top of providing "socialization" opportunities for my younger dd is because I get so tired of trying to explain her.

Rebookie
08-01-2011, 04:12 PM
I'm sorry you are so frustrated. =( I hope everything works out!

Accidental Homeschooler
08-01-2011, 06:33 PM
Would it be possible to still get together with the friends going back to ps? That is what we have done (trying to maintain the relationships they already had). I have my older daughter starting a fencing class and there will be a youth climbing club through the U here in the Fall. Are there any sports clubs that aren't through the schools (if your kids are even into sports that is)? We also have 4-H, which is working for my younger dd, but not so sure for my older one. My older dd is having a hard time coming into it so late but maybe for your younger ds? This is really one of the hardest parts of hsing for me, second only to having enough time to myself. And how much social time are you supposed to arrange? Every child does not have the same need in this reagard.

QueenBee
08-01-2011, 07:04 PM
I haven't read all the other posts, but just wanted to say I'm sorry!
We've had some fails, too. I find it especially hard when things fall apart because of the adults. I hate it when it's my fault that things don't work b/c I won't put up with various things. I try to remind myself that it doesn't do any good to have negative things in my life, but I still feel guilty.
My girls are involved in activities, but it's the down time, friendship time that is lacking. They see their friends at their various activities, but rarely outside of them.

Anyway, just wanted to send a virtual hug!!

Pefa
08-01-2011, 08:47 PM
I feel your pain.

We can't even play cranium because so many of the questions were along the lines of "How many b'day parties have you been to in the last year?" Ummm, none?

And we live so far away from everything that I can't just run the kiddo over and come home, so if the parent thing doesn't work it's totally awkward.

B1 has decided that playing for Morris dancers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_dancers) is lots of fun. The crowd seems to overlap with the geeky gamers and he was very happy to discover one of the dancers is not only a Terry Pratchett fan, but had also jsut come back from a Disc world convention. So I guess that will count as his socialization. (I've told him I'll get him to whatever performances rehearsals I can, but as far as I'm concerned Morris dancing is like golf: the only thing worse than playing it is watching it.)

Once they get older there isn't much you can do besides give them the tools to help them explain themselves to the neurotypicals and hope for the best.

Sorry I can't be more help than that.