Finding Our Tribe

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I’ve always been told that the homeschool community is a warm, welcoming place.  People talk about it as if it’s a fun club – everyone is supportive and understanding.  Maybe it’s our state and our specific area, but that community seems to be spotty.

I certainly agree that the online homeschooling community is warm and welcoming.  Specifically, the 2e and special needs community goes way beyond welcoming into something of a support group.  If it wasn’t for a few Facebook groups that I’m a part of we  would still be wildly swinging around trying to get our bearings on the whole 2e thing.

Someone said on one of those groups that we just needed to “find our tribe.”  Meaning, we need to keep looking until we find a group of homeschoolers that fits what we need, and that we can be an active part of.

I should point out that “tribe” doesn’t refer to simple race, economic, or belief factors – in this context it refers to a group of people who teach in a similar manner.  Everyone teaches differently, and an Unschooler will have little in common with a Charlotte Mason homeschooler.

So far we haven’t found a good fit yet.  Judging from the responses to a question in a local group, neither have a lot of new homeschoolers with kids our age.  We all got together and started a field trip group: hopefully that will help people connect and grow that support network.

 

It’s hard.  It’s difficult enough deciding to homeschool.  Having a good support network around you will make or break that decision.  It’s tough trying to re-invent the wheel, to replicate a learning environment, and to do a job that you may not be best suited for.  Having people to bounce ideas off of and pool teaching resources makes it much easier.

Our family is in a uniquely difficult situation.  We’re isolated, like so many families around the DC area.  All of our family are in different states and far away.  We moved here for a job opportunity and left friends behind, scattered along the trail of our moves from place to place.  I don’t regret coming here at all, but it’s difficult for me to put down new roots quickly. Growing into a place takes time and work.

Homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart or the lazy.  There are lots of days I wish I could just pop my child on the school bus and wave goodbye.  As a second generation homeschooler I didn’t want to homeschool my kids because I knew how much work it would be.  Call me lazy, call me selfish, whatever.  I knew what I was getting into.

Funny how things never work out the way we plan!

(note: image is one of my cyanotypes, from my Project Joy series.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 comments

  1. I can definitely relate. I think that “our tribe” also shifts as we and our children’s needs change. We are apart of several groups. I am realizing that each group meets a different need and for now I have to be content with that. But I do wish all the needs could be met in one place sometimes. I also being in DC area feel so many are always on the go, it’s hard to connect and build on a deeper level.

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  2. I feel the same, being in a new area and not knowing anyone properly yet, let alone knowing anyone even by association whose kids don’t go to school. I’ve met a couple of people recently who we seem to get on well with, but there is no real group as yet. I’m hoping as my two get older things will get easier and we will be out more and find a good fit.

    On the other hand, we also enjoy time together just the three of us and I’m certainly not the most social, outgoing person and like plenty of time alone to do what I like. I hope we can strike a balance between the two.

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  3. We have never really found our tribe and my oldest is almost graduated from high school. I felt bad about this for alot of years and then decided to stop beating myself up about the whys. We are part of a lot of “tribes”. My kids are friends with the conservative Christians and the unschoolers. We play at the river on some school days and buckle down to Classical Conversations on others. When I think back to high school, I was the kid who had friends in almost all the groups. My family is sort of like that now. Hope you find your place:)

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  4. Finding your ‘tribe’ can be tricky. Sometimes we blend into tribes hoping to find one that fits our family, only to discover we’re still the odd man out. We might fit in one area, but never quite find a perfect match.

    (sigh) Perhaps it is less about finding that perfect fit, and merely being grateful for the blessings placed before us. Does this mean we stop looking? No. Just that we remain content with where we are.

    Great thoughts!

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      • You’re not alone, friend.

        I grew up on my own. For years prayed for girlfriends who would be like sisters. I’ve joined women’s groups, homeschool groups, Bible groups, and more. While I’ve met some lovely women along the way, I’ve yet to find that one woman (or small group of women) who’ve met this need.

        At times I’ve wondered if the problem is ME. Then, the Lord reminds me He is not done with me yet. I still ask, but have learned to be patient in the waiting. It isn’t easy. But, I know the Lord has a plan.

        Liked by 1 person

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