Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Finite Career of the Homeschooling Parent

There comes a point in the life of every homeschooling parent when you realize you won't have this job for much longer. It starts when you realize you don't see your friends in the homeschooling community as much as you used to. They are all off facilitating their teens' needs, starting jobs to pay for college, or enjoying their new-found freedom by taking up hobbies or volunteer work. You realize you miss these people who were so integral to your homeschooling life: your support system; your friends.

Today I saw a friend I haven't seen since the monthly Teen Game Night group broke up. Because I was working and she was preparing for an interview, I didn't have a lot of time to catch up, but seeing her brought back all the happy feelings from that time. It wasn't just our teens that needed the social interaction, we parents also craved that time when we could discuss things that non-homeschoolers just can't understand. Issues ranged from parents sending a child to high school after homeschooling, how to get into college without a transcript, to dealing with difficult spouses or exes that are not on board with the whole homeschooling thing. We shared laughs, we comforted each other, we offered suggestions.

And most important, we played together.

Usually we played Bananagrams, but sometimes we brought other games. Nothing too complex that would stop the flow of conversation. Our kids would play board games on one table and we would sit at another, within earshot but not interfering.

At some point, the meetings stopped. The leader started a job, her oldest went to college and her youngest went to school. One parents began taking classes. One family moved. I also started working part-time. Most of our kids outgrew homeschooling. Life happens. The group dissolved.

The friend I saw today thinks we really need to have a reunion. Another group of homeschooling friends does a holiday party every year, and it is a nice way for us all to reconnect. I hope we can work something out. It would be sad to lose touch just because our homeschooling life is ending.


Kez said...

I'm finding that too. As Teen gets older, we've moved away from all the homeschooling activities into more specific interest based ones. There are a few mums I'd like to catch up with again. But given I'm an introvert, the idea probably sounds better than the reality so it'll never happen :)

Inner Elder said...

As you travel on life's journey, you meet different friends along the way. They support you in your work or current interest (e.g. home- schooling)and provide friendship and fun. It's sad when you move on and don't see them as often. The idea of a group reunion is a great idea. That's what I did when I retired from Catholic Charities and have my monthly getogethers at the Met. Good news is: you will be meeting many more groups of friends along the way! Love, Mom

Dawn @ The Momma Knows said...

This is SO true! Another thing I see is that a lot of families send their kids to school for high school, or at least for the last couple years of high school, and disappear. I rarely see the majority of the homeschooling friends I had back in the early days of our adventure. I too see light at the end of this tunnel though, and have started hobbies and different work hours. Life just goes on and on.

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