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GUEST POST BY HEATHER JOHNSON

Filed at 2:41 am under by dcobranchi

5 Ways to Fit in With Your New Homeschooling Group

Homeschooling parents are independent people who are educating their children to also be independent and self-reliant. However, the benefits of a homeschooling group can’t be denied by even the shyest parent. If you and/or your children are having trouble relaxing at homeschool meetings, heed the following advice.

1. Arrive Punctually – You already feel lost when you walk into a group of strangers, so be sure you aren’t interrupting a meeting in progress. In fact, you should even show up early when you are new, so as to introduce yourself to the host.

2. Be Yourself – If you were a conformist, you wouldn’t be homeschooling your children. You can only assume that everyone else at this meeting is a character, so don’t feel obligated to comb your hair into a tight bun. (Unless, of course, you like rockin’ the schoolmarm look.) You can act appropriately without sacrificing your individuality.

3. Be Tolerant – Just as you should feel comfortable being yourself, so should you tolerate other people’s differences. There are groups aimed at certain types of parents, such as Christian-based groups, but that still encompasses many different personalities and beliefs.

4. Ask Questions – Prepare a list of questions for the people in the group who have been there longer. Not only do you need to know this information, it shows them you’re engaged and are a productive part of the group.

5. Attend Meetings Regularly – If you don’t show up to meetings very often, your group will never get to know you and your children. Also, it’s hard for them to deny you as a “regular” if you are there all the time.

While you should really try to give your new homeschooling group a fair chance, don’t feel obligated to make a bad situation work. If you absolutely can’t stand these people (hey, we’re only human) or if your child really doesn’t mesh with their children, you can always walk without obligation. That is the beauty of homeschooling- freedom and a wealth of options.

By-line:

Heather Johnson is a freelance writer, as well as a monthly contributor for OEDb, a site to help students select among accredited online schools. Heather invites your comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address heatherjohnson2323@gmail.com .

10 Responses to “GUEST POST BY HEATHER JOHNSON”


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 30th, 2008
at 2:42 am

I especially like #1. That one’s a pet peeve of mine.


Comment by
Sunniemom
March 30th, 2008
at 6:52 am

Great suggestions- and not too much to ask from anyone.

I was part of a group for about a year, and even though it was a Christian group, I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of folks who were part of it- everyone from Mennonite families to the totally hip and modern. From my experiences, this list is perfect for those who are thinking about joining a group.


Comment by
JJ Ross
March 30th, 2008
at 12:19 pm

Number Five sounds good but in practice doesn’t work. Or doesn’t matter. If they can’t deny you for being irregular in attendance, they’ll just complain you are taking over or talking too much. BTDT.


Comment by
JJ Ross
March 30th, 2008
at 12:20 pm

Oh, and Number Four scares the hell out them . . .


Comment by
JJ Ross
March 30th, 2008
at 12:27 pm

Come to think of it, Number Three is thankless in practice, no matter how tolerant you really are and how much you show it. The more tolerant YOU are, the further you and all the other tolerant folk will be pushed by the group ideologues. Like the frog being slowly boiled and not escaping with his hopping talent because he doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late. When a homeschool frog finally tries to stand up for tolerance going both ways, you’ll be read Bible verses and told you are not nice.


Comment by
JJ Ross
March 30th, 2008
at 12:29 pm

Heather must not live in the South, or I wouldn’t have to point out that Number Two is not necessarily universal.


Comment by
JJ Ross
March 30th, 2008
at 12:30 pm

What was it you liked so much about Number One again? 😉


Comment by
Anne
March 30th, 2008
at 8:17 pm

Methinks that JJ Ross has had issues with homeschooling groups in the past? LOL!


Comment by
Bonnie
March 31st, 2008
at 6:27 am

#2 is my fave. If the denim jumper look happens to be what I want to wear then so be it. I have several denim jumpers that have large pockets that have proved invaluable on work days. They hold anything from tissues to clothespins to bread crumbs for the chickens. I also have jeans that I look pretty dang good in despite carrying 10 babies. Some days I have no time for eye color and other days I may show up with Champagne Sparkle going on. I used to wear my hair up but it wasn’t because I had some ‘your faith is only as tight as your hair pins’ attitude–it was just that I was juggling 4 toddlers and my hair was in the way!

And, by gosh, I eat pimento cheese on WHITE bread! I have always eaten it like that, that’s how I LIKE it, so don’t start hitting me over the head with your organic, unbleached, all-cotton bag of granola when I show up at a lunch meeting with it.

HeeHee


Comment by
Dee Dee
March 31st, 2008
at 1:07 pm

Meetings? On time? Huh? Our parkgroup goes with the ebb and flow of everyone’s life. Show up when it works for your family and do the same in leaving.

The one thing they might want to add for this area is to check to see if there are forbidden foods at the park group. Some ask that there be no nuts or seeds, due to life threatening allergies of some members.