Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting Connected

I know I'm preaching to the choir here. We all know the highs and lows of being a homeschool teacher and mom.

What I want to express is how important it is to find your tribe.

I've spent years searching, but have finally made some connections with other homeschooling moms. Most of my connections have been intermittent. I've never created bonds with other homeschool moms, and it isn't their fault.

I'm a complicated introvert mixed with some aspects of an extrovert who needs small groups instead of large ones.

My friendships are few, but meaningful to me.

I've known for a long time that I really needed some people around me who know what it's like to spend each day guiding their own child to the wonders of the world. They don't need to be Montessori homeschoolers, but like-minded is a plus.

In my search for an activity for my son, I've found some great homeschooling moms in my community. I am hosting an outdoors camp at our rural, 7-acre property. Some of the moms are staying to socialize while their kids enjoy the camp.

We have had a great time. We sit at my dining room table sharing stories about our lives, and talking about homeschooling and the joys and not so joyful moments.

Wolf Camp is an outdoor camp for kids that teaches outdoor skills. You can read more about it here.
In organizing the camp I reached out to various homeschool groups and people I know in the park district to publicize it. I decided to require participants to attend all five sessions, hoping this would create some friendships for our kids, and for the moms. The parents can hang out with their children during the camp, or they can drop off, or stay and socialize.
It has been so much fun!

We've started having lunch after camp, with everyone bringing an item. Moms take turns bringing snacks for adult time, and now we are planning meals and everyone is bringing one or more items to contribute. Our first lunch was simple, so I could get a feel for how it might work. We did hotdogs.

It went so well that I suggested a make-your-own pizza party last week. I made dough and sauce, and everyone brought a topping to share. It was a lot of fun to see the different shapes and combinations of the pizzas.

I don't think I realized how much I needed these women. It feels so good to have other moms to talk to, who know what I'm dealing with on a daily basis. I am connected to a lot of Montessori moms through Facebook groups. I don't know what I would do without them. I have only met one of them in person, but the support and knowledge from those women is so important to me.

But there's nothing like having friends to sit at your table.

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