Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Socializing Homeschool Moms

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!"

~ C.S. Lewis

As a homeschooler, I am often asked whether I think my children are properly socialized. Ho hum! The more pressing question to a homeschool mom is whether I am (properly socialized, that is). Everyone has a considered rejoinder to "have you let your children out of the basement lately?" But I'll bet you'd stop us dead in our tracks if you asked, "have you let your mom out of the laundry room/kitchen/garden lately?"

Absolutely the best answer to that question is that the best friends I ever hope to have were found in the course of doing what homeschool moms do: feeding the neighborhood, schleping children to various lessons, colaborating on development of opportunities beyond those found in one's own backyard, researching the next unit-study...

I met Bev, technically, on a sleeping bag in my living room. She and her husband were schleping their daughters 600 miles to the nearest good speech tournament - and helping me run it. But Bev is the sort of person who will drive all day, fasting, in order to stay up all night keeping the Easter Vigil and anticipating the midnight feast that ends it. She is also the sort who arrives with sinful gluten-free cheescakes and craft supplies for impromptu joint projects. Now that we are both launching children to college and the larger world, we are kicking around plans to colaborate on a series of women's retreats.

Jeannette turned up at a Communicators for Christ conference far from home for both of us, where I was actually kitchen staff. Her children were such enthusiastic, interested, courteous, intriguing people (my children bonded with them instantly) that I had to get acquainted with their mother. Over the years we have solved bogus murder mysteries, made gorgeous photo albums and holiday memories. We have become a writing-critique group and entrepreneurs' support group of two, encouraging and inspiring each other to new heights of free expression and free enterprize. Jeannette can turn mountain drive in sleet to a non-existant Christmas parade into a cocoa and carols moveable feast.

Time fails to tell of Parveen, my Persian-cooking friend, whom I met at a homeschool conference on the receiving end of a hail of questions about our co-op group. Or of Coleen, my online auction tutor and farmer's market crony. Or Martine, who is game for the zaniest things: underwater aerobics, impromptu car concerts conducting us to wild urban detours, midnight ice creams and film editing. Or Kathy, the wackiest poet I know, professional-wardrobe consultant, and prayer partner.

Suffice it to say that I'll stay in my kitchen/laundry/garden, thank you, doing my homeschool mom thing. You meet the nicest people there.

Also visit the Carnival of Homeschooling. Next Carnival is at The Thinking Mother.


Amydeanne said...

oh "letting mom out of the basement".. you know it's bad when my dd calls me the "laundry lady" lol. Great post!

The Imperfect Christian said...

I think homeschool moms are actually BETTER at getting themselves and their children out in the world than non-homeschooling moms. I really admire all you do and all the roles you play in your childrens' lives when you homeschool!

Darlene said...

I met some awesome friends when I was homeschooling too. And my son met a best friend who also was homeschooled on their street. They've been friends for 10 years already despite the fact that they've moved a few times. Friendships like that don't come around every day. :)

Kim Anderson said...

I agree! Those long-term friendships are priceless.

Spunky said...

My problem is getting out too much! I have trouble saying no to all the good and fun things available. I live between Ann Arbor and Detroit, there are too many homeschool things to pick from both for me and my children.

Margaret said...

Yes, I love the friendships with my fellow laundry ladies!

Gina said...

I love that line about moms being socialized, so true! Thanks for visiting the carnival of Christian Writers!


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