We live a mile from the nearest house and two miles from the nearest kid to play with. And I think his mom has banned her kid from playing with my kid. Maybe because of my blog, I'm not sure. But suffice it to say, the closest thing we have to playmates around here are the neighbor's puppies.
So I joined a homeschooling group in my area: rural, southwest Wisconsin. I was so excited to find people for my kids to grow up with. I signed up for the email list. The third email I received was someone asking for everyone to pray for a family member. For improved health, or something.
I think I will need prayers to help me not offend my best chances at finding kids for my kids to befriend.
When I started homeschooling, people told me, "The friends will come. Don't worry."
But we have had a really hard time making friends. What I've noticed is that when kids are young, like mine, the friends are very much a function of whether the moms like to hang out together. It is about if the moms like to do the same things, on roughly the same schedule.
So our friends problem is probably not related to homeschooling. It's probably that I don't have friends in my own life, so it's going to be pretty difficult for me to change that for my kids' lives. I'm trying, but it's not working. And the only thing that consoles me is that it's a problem, but not a homeschooling problem.
It's easy to blame things on homeschooling because the feedback from the world is that kids who go to traditional school are doing things right and kids being homeschooled are dealing with unnecessary problems.
I do a lot of career coaching, and so often someone sets up an appointment with me to talk about jobs, but really, their problem is something else. You can't get to that something else, though, until you get clarity that it's not the job. So our constant discussion about homeschooling is important to me – it allows me to see which of my problems is my problem really.