Homeschooling: Homeschooling (also called home education and sometimes spelled home schooling) is the education of children at home and in the community, in contrast to education in an institution such as a public or parochial school. In the United States, homeschooling is the focus of a substantial minority movement among parents who wish to provide their children with a custom or more complete education which they feel is unattainable in most public or even private schools.
Support Group: An organized network of people with something in common who give and receive help, advice, friendship and emotional support.
If you put those two definitions together it says to me that a Homeschool Support Group is a network of homeschoolers who give and receive help, advice, friendship and emotional support.
I tried to join our local homeschool support group and they rejected me. They wanted to know how I found out about them. I had initially told them where I was from and interested in homeschooling. (I have an earlier post Quandary that some what explains my situation). Telling them where I was from should have let them know how I found out about them. I mean…HELLO…it’s a small town…I’m going to hear about the homeschooling at some point. I very nicely gave them the information they asked for even though they sounded quite rude. It was like they were a secret group and didn’t want to be found out about. Then–since I don’t currently homeschool–I wasn’t allowed in; they would answer my questions but wouldn’t let me in their group.
Am I wrong in assuming a homeschool support group should let potential homeschoolers start getting involved in order to see if this is something they are willing to get into? Especially, since my research suggests joining a group and seeing how it goes. I am not about to pull my kiddos out of school unless I KNOW it is what I am supposed to do. I was and am still shocked. My husband was upset…he was in the group when he was younger because he was homeschooled. His mother is one of the original founders and they rejected her son and grandchildren. Yeah!!! That makes the homeschooling look good. Oh yeah! Makes all of my friends who were considering homeschooling want to rush right out and join.
I am upset and saddened by this experience and I am venting my frustrations. If I decide to homeschool my kiddos I will have to do it alone or join a group in another town that is at least an hour away. That is ridiculous considering there is a group just minutes away. For their “protection” they have chosen to not let us join since we don’t homeschool. Oh, they are willing to answer any questions we have but most of my questions have already been answered by others. I just want to see what the group is like. Do they still run the co-op that was started by hubby’s best friend’s mom? What classes do they offer? May I sit in on the classes and get a feel for what it’s like? Who would my kiddos be interacting with? There are some things that can’t be answered through email. Some things have to be done in person. I would not send my kiddos to a school I had not checked out. I would visit with the principal, visit with kiddo’s teacher and tour the school. I would see what they had to offer and decide if that was what we were looking for. If it was great. If not we would keep searching.
The homeschool group did not give us a chance to check them out. We were blown off at the beginning. What statement are they sending to others. How do they want others to view them? How can they honestly go around promoting home education when they won’t even open up and let others see them?
That is not what I am looking for in a group. I want to be part of a group that welcomes people with open arms and are willing to serve them their last cup of coffee. I want to build relationships–I am a relational person and expect that from others. If you can’t give me that personal touch and show me you are interested in me I will go elsewhere.
I would hope that the attitude I encountered isn’t typical of the homeschooling community. If this happened to me it has to have happened to others. How many out there are struggling? How do they do it? Do they still homeschool or have they given up? Do they travel to another town for support?
By the way, hubby was a part of this group when he was younger and says they were weird then also.