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Homeschooling & Unschooling (Support) *Public* [Open--Join Forum to Post] A place for both current homeschoolers/unschoolers and those who are considering homeschooling to find support.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:14 AM   #16
Katigre
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprout View Post
We are not a coop.

We are a loose group that does things when a parent takes initiative.
This is the key issues - if parents do not have 'skin in the game' via membership dues, responsibilities, etc... then there is no incentive to make the effort to come out unless all the stars align.

We belong to a structured coop that includes tuition. Kids rarely miss classes (only if they're sick or on vacation). But the extra-curricular options we offer (get togethers, social events, etc...)? Attendance is GOOD if we have 5-7 families participate (out of over 60 families at our coop!).

If something isn't part of a family's weekly routine, AND it's not prioritized as 'core priority' then you'll likely not get a lot of participation.

Quote:
My kids like to connect with others, so I have been putting effort into taking that initiative.

So far, I have run open gym along with an activity. The activities have been: making Viking mini weapons, painting a Monet, and a frog dissection.I have some interest in younger kids. I have one other family with older kids and like thirty member who never show.

Do you think my activities are boring?

Is there a reason why older kids don't want to do anything?
Those activities all sound really cool . IME they all appeal to elementary aged kids, especially the 3rd-5th grade range. Most teens aren't into dissection (unless required for a science class). The other activities sound on the younger side. When kids are 11 and under, most things are 'family activities' where you bring everyone, parents socialize as well. But once they become teenagers things shift, and they start running more of their social lives. Parents friends aren't necessarily the parents of their friends (if that makes sense), and activities are more important if they're fostering friendships they're already investing in. Hanging out with younger kids is fine sometimes, but it's not feeding a social need the same way being with their peers or close friends is.

So it's not that your activities are wrong, just that they're not appealing to older kids. What I've seen is that our homeschool group teens are willing to hang out at activities with younger kids that serve a specific purpose, but not just as general socialization activities. For that, something targeted toward their age group is more likely to get their participation (but it REALLY helps if there is already a core group of friends who can build it - where do the homeschooled teens in your area get their social time and activities?)
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:31 AM   #17
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

agreed. and short of video games or snow boarding I am not really sure of what to offer.

open gym is oriented towards the older kids and the older kids seem to enjoy it. (esp the girls who seem in our group to have been gifted the athlete genes). The boys are lacking in this area.

There are coops about two hours from us. I have little to no interest in them honestly. The rules around said events make my head spin.

I think I am coming to the conclusion that this is just a losing battle. And that is okay.

I may play until I am finally defeated and then see what comes of it.

Charging for anything in my area would kill it in a matter of moments.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:16 AM   #18
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

In my area, kids who are teens (14+) usually have their own small group of friends and don't wish to hang out with new people. So they are being social, but they aren't showing up at homeschool events anymore. They are going to the movies/sports/concerts/dances with their friends.

Our big homeschool group died a few years ago. The leadership started charging $60/semester if you participated in less than 3 activities. The MORE activities you participated in, the LESS you paid! You can imagine how that went over. I think it's still going, but it's got to be tiny. Everyone I know left.

My older kids came to park days as long as their friends were coming. They'd rather stay home and get work done than "waste time" hanging out at a park with younger kids.

5th-8th graders still like the activities and social time. I think your activities are ones mine would enjoy, but they probably wouldn't want to go unless they had at least one friend going.

One disadvantage to homeschooling, that I've recently discovered, is that a family can arrange their social life in a very particular manner to see exactly who they want to see. In public school you are in class with people you might not like and you go on field trips with them and they are eating lunch with you, etc. But apparently I've inadvertently raised my kids to think that they must have a friend at everything they do! I'm trying to correct this, but it's hard once they get to the more socially awkward ages.

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Old 04-17-2018, 11:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

Interestingly, I "stole" all of the ideas from the high school coop and then just did them for free in my area.

so, according to them, I am doing HS oriented activities.

I can understand the social aspect of it all. Part of me was to help get the ball rolling, part of it was for my own kids. I could theoretically travel to the coop about two hours away and deal with a bunch of legalistic wonderful fun ladies for a day and place my youngest in nursery...or just suck it up and play a few more seasons of soccer and call it good enough.

---------- Post added at 02:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:41 PM ----------

I am feeling rather defeated. But, that is okay. We have a turnout of five families usually, so perhaps I am doing better than I think. One family has a 14 year old girl as well...so, maybe I am just setting my expectations too high.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprout View Post
I am feeling rather defeated. But, that is okay. We have a turnout of five families usually, so perhaps I am doing better than I think. One family has a 14 year old girl as well...so, maybe I am just setting my expectations too high.
Consiyantly getting 5 familys here would be a huge success. And if there are two kids over 10 them my friend with the 11year old calls it an amazing success.

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Old 04-17-2018, 01:00 PM   #21
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

I would also say that 5 families is successful!
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:45 PM   #22
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

I think 5 consistent families is a success! My group only has 3 consistently, with usually 2-3 other families showing up each week.

I've been discouraged too. We just meet up and talk while the kids play. It's probably intimidating for newbies since everyone has known each other for years, but I try to include them so they'll come back!

Part of my discouragement is feeling alone in thinking that a weekly meet up is VITAL to the success of our homeschool. I need it for sanity. The kids need the exercise and outdoors and friends. For us it's a blocked out afternoon on our calendar every single week. I don't schedule appointments then or schedule other activities at that time. Others don't see it that way. They just come if they feel like it and happen to be free.

If I were you, I'd do it as long as it's meeting a need for you guys.

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Old 04-17-2018, 01:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

Quote:
Part of my discouragement is feeling alone in thinking that a weekly meet up is VITAL to the success of our homeschool. I need it for sanity. The kids need the exercise and outdoors and friends. For us it's a blocked out afternoon on our calendar every single week. I don't schedule appointments then or schedule other activities at that time. Others don't see it that way. They just come if they feel like it and happen to be free.
This is me too! Now, if only we lived closer.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:02 PM   #24
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tickle Momster View Post
This is me too! Now, if only we lived closer.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:00 PM   #25
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

Thank you for your encouragement ladies.

I don't know why I let it get me down so much.
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:25 PM   #26
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

I thought of more to add. I don't do large groups. I will rarely make exceptions for special field trips, and GCM meet ups, but generally as an introvert I prefer one on one visits. I find juggling more than one conversation exhausting.

We do park days 2-3 times a week when the weather is nice and that is enough for me. If I have to remember more than a water bottle and maybe a snack for the Kids I tend to not want to go.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:27 PM   #27
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Default Re: Homeschooling Gathering

My 14 year old and her friends wouldn't come to those types of activities if I'm understanding correctly. But we do have lots of other options here. If it was the only option, maybe they would go.

They really prefer more teen activities rather than kid activities.

I run a homeschool social group on Facebook and I plan the things that my kids are interested in doing and if someone else wants a different type of outing they need to plan it.

Have you thought of polling the kids to see what they'd like? Maybe just a movie night with popcorn? My teen and her friends also prefer meeting at our house. They love hanging out here and they mostly just do "stuff." Go for walks and hikes and be goofy. Watch movies and make fun of the movie. Sketch and make up plot lines for the characters they sketch. Nothing you can necessarily plan.
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