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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Do PS parents ask themselves this? Do extroverted PS kids have plentiful satisfying friendships with their peers?
    I just wonder if we make this problem a mountain when its really a molehill. And that we feel guilty and responsible, since we are the ones with control over who our kids will see.
    THIS! I apologize if my enthusiasm seems over the top, but I think about this a lot. I have an only child, so I always worry about his social needs. No siblings to play with, and we have no family in the area. But how many friends does a kid need to grow up well adjusted and happy? How much social time is "enough"? I have actually googled this, to see if anyone has studied it. Nope. I get lots of links saying kids need more outdoor time and more unstructured play and less screen time, and that friendships are important, and anecdotes about long, lazy afternoons of play with hordes of neighborhood kids in days of yore.

    But it's all nebulous. I don't know if there is an answer or a guideline. Right now, my almost-8 year old seems content with a once or twice a week park play date, and a once a week meetup for a library program, where he will run into at least one or two pals. We clock anywhere from 3-6 hours a week with other kids. Is that too little? Just right? Are we extraordinarily lucky? I have no idea. But I do know that I've never heard any of my relatives with kids in PS wonder about their kids social time or friendships.

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  3. #12

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    This whole thing of finding other HS friends is as horrible as dating. You meet a new HS family, approach the mom and the anxiety-ridden social dance starts: will she like me? will she not? do I like her? do I not? is she weird? is she religious? will our kids like each other? I, personally, hate it.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  4. #13

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    I found our groups on Facebook. We are a non-religious family and are active in one 'secular' group and one inclusive group. Being in Texas, the secular group has a bunch of Christians, some of whom use blatantly religious curricula, so both groups are a bit of a mixed bag. My kids like the kids in the inclusive group better so we hang out with them a bit more, but there's quite a bit of overlap. And there are secular/non-religious families in both groups.

    I draw the line at getting involved with groups that require a statement of faith. I think the more religious families will gravitate to those types of groups. As a result, even though there are religious families in both of our groups, the ones who are in the groups I have joined are a bit more low key - they don't proselytize and I don't feel like they judge at all.

    So my advice would be, if you can't find a secular group, give one of the regular homeschool groups a chance. There might be another secular homeschooler there - or the homeschoolers who are there might be quite welcoming, even if they are religious.
    Spending my days learning with DD 10 and DS 8.

  5. #14

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    I am in the Northeast, so YMMV, but I honestly don't worry too much about whether the other families we know are religious. I am very open about our religious affiliation (we are UUs) and everyone knows that means I'm practically a heathen, and as long as they (1) don't mind my heathen kids playing with theirs and (2) don't preach to us, we're good. Some of the people I get along with the best here are very, very religious, and we actually talk about the differences in our beliefs often but we're not judging each other or pushing our beliefs on each other so we get along just fine.

    We've been here for 4 years and just recently have met up with a number of other UU homeschoolers, which has been a lot of fun. We have a LOT in common, and our kids see each other at homeschool things as well as church-related things, so it's a neat little community.

    We are moving back to MA in a month and a half & I'm slightly more concerned, but only because the folks I've hooked up with online so far seem to be very religious. But we'll be an hour south of Boston so I know it's not possible that ALL the families are very religious...and really, we might find we get along great with those religious folks, just like we do with the ones here. I've been open in my introductions online about being UU, so once again I figure those who only want their kids to hang out with people who are just like them will avoid us.

    I'm also not overly concerned with finding the perfect secular + homeschooler combo. My kids will likely have friends from our UU church, from extracurricular activities, from our neighborhood, and from just meeting people at the playground or the town pool or whatever.

    I think I can afford to be more laid-back about it, though, being in New England. I imagine in many areas of the country it's hard to find secular families *period*, never mind secular homeschoolers. I do not envy you who are in those areas...
    ---
    meg
    homeschooling mama to j (11.08) and a (02.10)
    new englander in exile
    four wild blueberries

  6. #15

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    This may be entirely inaccurate, but I think UU gets a pass from religious homeschoolers because it uses the word *Church*. Maybe a somewhat misguided *church*, but so are all churches not in the same exact demomination as they are. If UU referred to itself as covens, or gathering, meeting halls, temples, or any term not outwardly cloaking itself as xtian, I think itd get a more frosty reception from *those* homeschoolers. UU has ministers, sunday services, and the teachings of Jesus. Maybe evangelical xtians lump UU with Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and Mormons as *not true xtians*, simply misguided but close enough.

    Internet articles addressing the question of whether UU are xtian (written by presumably evangelicals) point out right alongside *denying the divinity of Jesus* and *can be athiests* as the major disqualifiers. Pro UU articles stress social justice, spiritual growth, yet also never fail to mention their xtian roots. In a way, they get acceptability from everyone.

    I think ML said it that its the religious homeschoolers who have the aversion to non-religous homeschoolers. Saying you go to UU I think gets you past that hurdle you would have if you outright said you didnt do in *that sort of thing*.

    Thats just my religious thought for the day.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  7. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Do PS parents ask themselves this? Do extroverted PS kids have plentiful satisfying friendships with their peers?
    I've wondered about that, too. I mean, in the world outside of HS, people mostly just get along no matter where they fall on the religious/irreligious spectrum. That said, all of the religious homeschoolers I've met tend to fall way to the religious side. It's a very rarified population whereas in PS there's a wider range. At least for me as the parent, it's hard to hold a conversation because I'm accustomed to speaking my mind - in a respectful way. And dissenting when I don't agree. But in some communities dissent just isn't something you openly do. When I eventually found what I thought was a neutral group, I made a comment about how pleased I was to find a non-church-based group, and was sort of shushed and scooted to the side.
    Last edited by MNDad; 04-20-2016 at 12:52 PM.
    DD age 9, Grade 4ish

    Eclectic. We do music, math English, history/geography/culture, Russian and science. Lots and lots of reading. I blog at suzukiexperience.com

    WARNING: Unwittingly, I may occasionally say things to which you take offence.

  8. #17

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    I agree it's like cold-canvassing or speed-dating: have to go through 10 candidates to get a potential match, then out of every 10 potential matches, only about 1 ends up sticking, so that's a 1% success rate for lasting friendships, and about a 10% success rate for acquaintanceships.
    So my strategy in the early years was to get out there and pound the pavement canvassing! hehe Well actually, I scoured homeschooling email digests and lists, facebook groups, you name it. Met as many as we could.
    And in the end, my kids have a few friends, and homeschool groups are still a good way to go check out the pickings for potential friendships, though we usually don't harmonize well with people who do homeschool groups as a constant thing...they are just way too schooly in mindset and intentions, and my kids despise the cut-and-paste scene.

    One of the moms I have known the longest, who is also the most veteran of all homeschoolers I know, said she was no longer even interested in finding friends for herself...she had been around the gamut, and was tired of crazy people, intolerant extremists, zealots, and so on. I see her point, having met enough of those to ponder whether some homeschooling stereotypes aren't actually justified.

    But yes, my best strategy was to meet as many as possible, realizing there would be very few hits, and from those, very few longer-term successful matches. And then be glad for the friends we have found and kept over the years.
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

  9. #18

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    I really think this becomes less of an issue/concern as your kids get older. So I am saying that it's gotten better, meaning that I obsess about it......well, never anymore.

    As the kids get older, the appeal of meeting other hsers wears off. And you're spending less time with your kids at the park playing and such, and more time at home studying. For our family, the time of day that my kids are most effective in their lessons, happens to be the same time of day that PS kids are also in school.....so the old argument that, "my kids have no one to play with during the day cause PS kids are tied up in school" doesn't apply anymore. We end up at activities where there are mostly PS kids.......they don't usually care about each others lack of religion.

    At a certain point I've decided that my kids aren't interested in finding friends, where the only thing they potentially have in common is that they homeschool. In our area, the homeschoolers are religious or the other extreme of hippy with dreads.

    Homeschoolers, becomes not who we are, but just what we do.

    We follow the interests of the kids because it's about them finding friends, and they don't care if another kid is homeschooled or not

    Uh, and yeah, AM. The UUers get a pass from religious hsers, I think. It's xtian roots make it so.
    Last edited by muddylilly; 04-21-2016 at 11:52 AM.
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  10. #19

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    The short answer is: I don't anymore. Now I say this as an admin of a local Fb secular, HS group that is not active anymore and I am a member of other regional HS groups on Fb, that are inclusive (which means they are mostly religious and the rest of us just keep our mouth shut for the most part.) I will occasionally try out events that are organized, but I am very, very selective.

    We found a couple of families when we first moved here (through SHS!), but we didn't really find anyone else we would actually like to spend time with. So DS spends times with a couple of kids on a regular basis.

    I have found that many homeschool groups are created under the guise to get the kids together but really they are more for the parents social contact. And I really am not into that. I have a couple of people I like to talk with, but after that, I don't need to kvetch with a bunch of parents. That is what SHS is for.


    If I really wanted to get my kids involved with other kids, there are too many after-school activities that kids can do that I am figuring that looking for more is of pointless. While trying to get DS to participate is another matter, we live in a rural town, yet we have lots of activities.

    We have a great parks & rec dept, which has lots of kids activities. Their summer program is the best, free park activities for kids all summer long. During the year they have organized sports for a wide range of ages. There are the Boys and Girls club, many have after school programs and organized sports. some YMCA/YWCA offer kids programs year-round, such as sports, some of the larger ones even offer homeschool PE. Dance and karate classes are popular. Local museums have kids programs. Library activities, weekly for the under 6 set and occasional ones for the older kids. Civic theaters sometimes have kids acting classes and will put on a production. Other good things for getting out there: music lessons, art classes, ice/roller rink, open-swim at the local pool (especially if you are fortunate to have a local indoor pool for year round activities). There there are scouting programs and not just the traditional ones, there are lots of scouting alternatives sprouting up.

    Of course with summer coming up, check out the summer camp programs, both day and sleep-over. Local colleges frequently have activities for kids over the summer. Everything from sports clinics to day-camp type programs.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 12-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  11. #20

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    You know, what I should have said more clearly is that "As the kids get older, the appeal (FOR THE PARENTS) of meeting other hsers wears off." The kids don't really care. And I think that is the problem. Parents need to let it go. Just because hsing may be so foreign or novel or unique to you.......chances are, your kid doesn't care if his or her friends are hsed.

    So when you take out one part of the criteria.....homeschooling.....it's much easier to find secular friends. KWIM?

    And I also think that parents need to not count on their kids to find their (the parent's) friends. Get over it. Accept that it's rare that two families will meet and everyone will get along and match up perfectly with a buddy. Not very realistic, IMO. (and I say this because the OP used the word "families")
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

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