Thursday, August 18, 2011

My first homeschool support group meeting

I went to my first homeschool support group meeting the other night. This is the same group that held the curriculum sale that I attended and wrote about a while back. They are the nearest group to us geographically, and therefore the most convenient, but I was apprehensive because this is a religious group (and I am decidedly un-religious), and I wasn't sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it does have something to offer for us. The meeting wasn't too overwhelmingly religious, although it did open and close with a prayer, and there were occasional mentions of "raising children up right in their faith" and stuff like that, but it was more peripheral than oppressive. (Well, there was one lady - who was not a member of the group, but was a visiting representative of a program that we will definitely NOT be participating in - mentioned in hushed tones that she didn't like that her grown children are exposed to *gasp* homosexuals out in the world. WOW. Oh, and I also overheard a conversation where one woman warned the other about a local museum's planetarium program mentioning evolution. Cringe.) There were 26 women there, not counting me, and they all seemed very nice and welcoming. It did feel good to be in a group where we are all on the same page, at least in the educational department. The atmosphere was lighthearted and supportive, and there was a lot of laughter throughout the meeting. First, we went around the room, saying our names, the ages of our kids, how long we've been homeschooling, and what we're looking forward to this year. I said I'm looking forward to just seeing what all is out there, and meeting other homeschoolers and getting started. It was very informative, with a general overview of the group, followed by information about various programs and who was in charge of what. It was nice to put faces to some of the names I had seen already in the Yahoo and Facebook groups online. This is a pretty active group, with lots of events, co-op classes, and field trips - and what is most attractive to me are the field trips. I am going to take it slow and not overwhelm myself by signing up for too many, but there are a few that I think Max will really enjoy.

On their registration form, it declares that they are a Christian group, but that you don't have to be a Christian to be a member. I like that they are at least open minded enough to make that statement, so I decided to go ahead and join. I still feel somehow deceptive though (wolf in sheep's clothing?) but I'm trying to be optimistic and hope it won't be an issue. We'll see how it goes...


  1. I really hope it works out for you! Groups can be fabulous when they are a good fit for your family...and atrociously horrible when they don't. I'll cross my fingers for you that the non-Christian blending with the Christians truly isn't an issue! :)

  2. Just found you through Skipping School blog (Kate Fridkis' site).

    We are non-Christian homeschoolers (as of Dec. 2010) about the have *our first meeting* with the only homeschool group in town (which is Christian). Like you, I feel like I'm interloping by getting into this group. However, my kids have only a handful of friends between them since we've been home, and I would like to keep them circulating beyond our routine.

    I love your books list (Bill Bryson esp.), and since I'm also a Jennifer and a secular homeschooler in the Midwest (lower Michigan), I'm going to subscribe to your blog.

  3. Good luck with the group! I've not had any luck finding a secular group close by or a Christian one that is not overtly religious, requiring a statement of faith. Thank goodness for the secular homeschooling community online!


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