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Discussion Starter #1
In response to one of the previous threads I though I would give me two cents worth......

We haven't belonged to a homeschool group for years and years... (I have been homeschooling for 12 years now!!!). I think divisions and differences are normal in many group situations and not unique to homeschooling but I remember being very distressed when issues arose in our group. I found that many members were quick to judge.

We are all human (yes, even homeschoolers LOL) and even Christians are sinners! And so in any group there will be those that are easy to love and those that aren't.

I needed help at the very beginning of our homeschool journey and after that no longer belonged to any group because I found that homeschoolers can be a very insecure group of individuals (they are always having to justify themselves, to the government, to family, friends, even strangers....so they are often "on guard"). If a family doesn't do EXACTLY what another family does, the more insecure "family" will often start questioning and enouraging you to follow "their way".

I sat on the fence so many times watching dicussions (sometimes heated) about unschooling VS classical VS workbooks VS Charlotte Mason and on and on...

I quickly came to the conclusion that every familie's needs are unique. Every child's needs are unique. Everyone (incl. the parents) learn differently. And the more you try and "group" people the less successful homeschooling is. The ability to customize the learning experience is exactly what makes homeschooling SO successful!

I am even now reluctant to say what my "style" is because someone will take offense because it isn't the same as theirs.

I actually have found the typical responses (here I go grouping LOL) to our homeschooling experience. For a little background.

My children now range in age from 10-16, and are as different as different can be. I am Christian, but I prefer an eclectic homeschooling style, with a heavy emphasis on literature. I also encourage independent self initiated learning when ever possible.

All 3 children now appear to be Gifted. My eldest (16)is a provincial level almost national level athlete. She has just qualified for Worlds and will be traveling to Prague in September! She is in high demand as an employee (but school and athletics come first!). She has traveled extensively through her sport, and if she continues with a few more successes all her University education will be on full scholarship. She is also academically advanced in all subjects.

My son (14) is visually impaired, had great difficulty learning to read and write. But now has won many awards for his musical compositions..... however his interest is to follow in the footsteps of his older sister and at the rate he is progressing he just may do it....

My 10 yr. old daughter is a gifted little violinst and performs with two other young fiddlers, at weddings, and fairs as well as fundraisers. She makes and saves more money than I can (she has no bills LOL). She also is very studios, initiates her own story writing (she loves to write) and spelling contests!!

My children are frequently featured in our local papers now, and I have found homeschoolers I am aquainted with (ie: not close friends) either are critical (my children are too exposed, worldly, narcissistic etc... you name it! None which can be further from the truth! Yes, homeschoolers can be very jelous too! Because anyone, who knows them, say they are the most polite, hardworking, considerate children with a mature faith!) or they try and copy EVERY LITTLE THING WE DO to emulate our success, right down to wanting their children to play the same instruments and sports!
I am expecting to be asked to write a book about our experience or speak at conferences etc..! LOL! But I wouldn't.... because that isn't the point, as it has already been said many times. Find your childs gifts and go for it!!

So to make along story short, groups are OK, but approach them carefully, and with the full knowledge that what works best for your child maybe different than anyone elses....having said that you may stumble upon the most amazing group of homeschoolers ever! Because after all no two groups are alike..........
That's why homeschooling works we are all different!
 

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Your post couldn't have come at a better time for me. My son is starting kindergarten at home in the fall, and I recently joined every group I could find in my area. They are all yahoo email groups, they discuss whatever online then meet for field trips, etc. All they do is fight, fight, fight. They are absolutely awful online and I have no desire whatsoever to meet any of them or expose my children to their pettiness. I don't know if I just came in at a bad time or if they are always like this, but for someone just starting out and looking for support it is very discouraging.

Anyway, I'm glad to here of your positive group-free experience. I think I will just find my kids mainstream extra-curricular activities and leave the groups to their bickering.
 

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I'm glad you posted your experience. Here in the sticks where we live, there is only one nearby group. and it is almost "cultishly" (is that a word?) organized and is very unwelcome to newcomers unless you were one of their converts (to homeschooling, not Christianity LOL) I decided to just skip the groups and do our own thing. Seems to be working so far. :)
 

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Thank You for sharing! I will be homeschooling for the first time this year. My youngest will be starting high school, I really wanted to do this years ago but this is how it worked out. I'm finding that to get any information in my area I have to deal with groups. I'm not sure what I think yet, I have no clue what I am doing or what we will be doing so I'm trying to get as much information as I can so that I can break away if necessary and do this on my own!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am glad I was able to provide some help....but I sure wished I had checked my spelling and grammar!!! Oh my. I am always in too much of a rush these days!

And for the Teenager I suggest giving her "The Teenage Liberation Handbook", to read as her first assignment. It will help her take responsibility for her education. It is very empowering.
 

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And for the Teenager I suggest giving her "The Teenage Liberation Handbook", to read as her first assignment. It will help her take responsibility for her education. It is very empowering.
I've actually got this book on hold and am going to pick it up this afternoon lol.

A while back I posted about my very very brief experience w/ a local (the ONLY) group here. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I've since found a YahooGroup that is not about getting together and doing stuff. It's about sharing information about the regulations and such that go along with homeschooling in NY state. Which is mostly what I was looking for in the first group.
 
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