Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So...what exactly are you looking for?

It is still amazing to me that making the choice to homeschool tumbles you into a world of so many decsions and choices...and mind changing...a totally eye opening experience. Not that I didn't think there would be choices to make...I just didn't realize I would make choices, have new things brought up to me...and make new choices. Almost constantly.

Today, the choice/decision is about what kind of group my kids need to be in, if any. I'm not a big social butterfly, but I realize my kids need to know other kids exist and form some friendships. Since we homeschool, I'm their link to that socialization. If I don't take them somewhere to do that, they're like the fabled homeschooler-locked-in-a-closet who can't relate to anyone. So we found a nice group which exists for the purpose of socialization. We hang out and play. It's groovy. But lately it has occured to me that it would be nice if my boys would reap some of the benefits of being in a group of all-aged children...rather than just running amuk to burn off some energy. As a homeschooler, there are certain things you can't do at home with two kids...or at least not very easily (certain games, projects, etc.) There are also some experiences that just aren't the same at home as they would be in a group. For instance, Iggy told me he likes to do presentations - to get up and talk in front of people. That's great...but I'm not sure that he really means "in front of people" or "in front of mom and dad". And without some sort of non-relative group, I'm not sure we can figure that out.

So then, does that mean we need a co-op? I'm not ready for that. At almost 5 and 6, I think joining a formal co-op would be a little least for us. And a year ago I would have said we would never even consider a co-op. Now, I can at least see the benefits one could the right time, and choosing the right one for my family. I guess that means we're searching for that elusive middle ground of (eek) structure.

Anyway, all of this to say, its amazing to me how things change. A year ago, it was fine for the boys to get together and punk around with everyone else. And I think that's still valuable. I'm not quitting any groups, or anything. I'm just kind of interested in the morph the boys and I have made from wanting nothing more than punking "Mom, maybe when we're with the group...we could do show and tell? Or play kickball? Or do a giant art thing?"


Sadie said...

I am not a social person much either. And I really want my kids out there meeting others learning from others, etc....we belong to a co-op- they have classes on Mondays if you choose to pay for them each semester....a little too schoolish for me for my aged kids. Field trips are planned, etc. BUT it is 200+ families and totally overwhelming. I want a small family, like-minded (or open minded :) co-op. Still looking for that, or hoping to find enough families to create our own....since what I am looking for doesn't exist in our county.

Lisa said...

I know what you mean. I'm not much of a joiner either. These play dates are good for some purposes but as they grow something else needs to be added I think. With boys it must be harder. They really need to get out and do rough and tumble stuff with other boys but what do you do? Yesterday was fun, but I could see there wasn't a whole lot to interest two bigger guys. They sure are sweet kids! I'm hoping as my girls get older I can get them involved in more things they're interested in, whether it's some music thing or 4-H or something. Hopefully more socialization with evolve from that. In the meantime, these playdates serve to keep them from being totally isolated, relieves my husbands mind a little, and they always have each other.