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.