No, We Don’t Have a Homeschooling Group

The #1 question I get asked when someone learns we homeschool, even before the ridiculous “socialize” inquiry, is Do You Have A Group? I don’t know why non-homeschoolers tend to place so much emphasis on this idea. Maybe they don’t know what else to ask.

The truth is, we’ve tried several and never found one that was a good fit.

There was the oh yeah we’re totally inclusive! group who wanted to know what church I attended within five minutes of meeting them.

Then the time I showed up for the first meeting of another group and was berated by a member for not already having a group. Yes, that’s right, the very people I went to for encouragement were scolding me for not having found it sooner.

And who could forget the we’ve lost all control and gave up trying disorganized sh!tst@rm group. Good times.

{We actually tried to get on board with that last one, despite its loud, unruly, haphazardness. But, ultimately we decided it was not an activity worth disrupting our week.}

Yeah, I got discouraged. I thought I am never going to find a homeschooling group that works. I started to think it must be me . . . I’m too picky, too difficult, too introverted. I’m looking for something perfect, and that doesn’t exist. I just need to give it more time, try harder, be more open.

Then I realized something very important. Maybe it’s not that I can’t find the right one. Maybe it’s that we don’t need a homeschooling group at this point in our journey. Our support comes from other areas, and that works for us right now.

Admitting this is practically sacrilege in homeschooling circles. Ask most homeschool moms, and I guarantee you, find a homeschool group or co-op is number one on their list of survival and sanity skills. It’s also a primary way for their kids to make friends. And if that works for a lot of people, great. 

For our family, at this moment, what is more helpful and comforting is to have people in our lives who are interested in our children and supportive of their educational journey, regardless of what their own children’s schooling looks like. We have concerned family members, nice neighbors, a welcoming church environment, and other adults in our kids’ lives.

The Agents have friends they enjoy spending time with—most of whom are not fellow homeschoolers. They also have a few homeschooling friends as well, although to them it’s almost more of a small world novelty to discover this . . . kind of like when you strike up a conversation with a stranger while traveling and learn they grew up one town over from you.

Another related epiphany for me was letting go of the notion that I had to like every homeschooler I met. I think there is some expectation when you are doing something that goes against conventional wisdom and you meet someone else taking the same path you will undoubtedly bond over your rebellion so to speak. And that’s not always the case. I don’t click with every military spouse I meet, or every parent of young children, or every blogger. This is no different.  

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