Encouragement - When homeschooling isolates the parent

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cbollin

Encouragement - When homeschooling isolates the parent

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:07 pm

rachel wrote:OK, I am going to be honest here. I had my daughter in a 2 day a week program last year for kindergarten. She is very social and I like my alone time so it worked out well.

I have LOVED so many things about MFW. She likes it too. But, she misses her friends from her kindergarten. The days in between the teacher sent her home with her school work so I did school with her monday wednesday friday. I still got that time with her without being solely responsible for her every academic and social need.

The drive is an hour one way and I have 3 younger children that had to go to mother's day out so that she could go there. So, we are also talking about a lot of money and gas. But, I could do a few hours of counseling a week to pay for it all. That would be adding on another responsibility but there would also be a trade off.

Now, I know this is getting long but please hang in here with me. I am feeling isolated too. And, I feel like if we do anything to be social it just means more work- and more responsibility.

Frankly, I look at the proverbial woman and see that she did not do it all but in fact had help and multiple interests in her life. Sure, she probably did not do it all at once, BUT, my point is, how do you achieve the balance of being a part of community and not doing it ALL and having relationships when you school, take care of your home ....... my husband is also a pastor and although he is helpful in ways and our church is very good to me too, I just feel like I am carrying too much responsibility alone.

I know God is there to help. I know to go to Him. What I need is some practical advice on why it is Godly or being a good role model even to be such a lone ranger. I am not even seeing that that is necessarily biblical. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? THANK YOU!!

rachel
using MFW1 with daughter and 3 younger sons....
Rachel,

{{{hug}}}
I experience a very different kind of isolation than you are describing. My youngest child is autistic. It’s hard to go anywhere or do anything. We have few friends who visit. So, I know what it is like to not be able to be the social butterfly that I would like to be (why do you think I’m at this computer all the time).

We go through different seasons in our lives. But I don’t think we are supposed to be lone rangers at all. It is a matter of seasons and some creative thinking in a new version of your life’s roles.

Let me make sure I understand something. Are you asking for ideas other than putting oldest back in a group school setting to meet your fellowship needs as well as ideas for still being a family of ministry for this particular season in your life?

Here’s what worked for me at one season in my life for fellowship.
*go to a park and hang out with other people. It doesn’t have to be a big responsibility and you can meet all kinds of people.

* join a non-academic home school co-op. Around here we have field trips, mom’s meetings in the evenings once a month. The responsibility was shared, but not equally. Those with older children were able to do more things. Those with preschoolers --- did smaller stuff or just participated.

*call up a friend and invite her over. Again -- keep it simple. Crackers and water for snack is not much responsibility.

I wonder if you have things like that where you live ---- where it can be things that you are the one who is in the season to be the “less in leadership” role and just more in “active participant” role.

David Hazell gives a workshop talk where he gives ideas about being a family of ministry. Maybe some ideas in there can help you to think about options that apply to you.

Another {hug}

--crystal

caod
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Unread post by caod » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:34 pm

HI,

I don't have answers but have had many of the same questions. I am a speech therapist and could work part time and we could do private school. However, we did that for the preschool and kindergarten years. I felt rattled and our home became a hurried rush.

Our oldest is "special" with many allergies and sensory processing needs. There was no way we could do activitities during the week at church AND do school all day. That and many other reasons, the primary one being, God called us to it, are why we are homeschooling.

The days are lonesome. It is hard work. I wonder if it is worth it. But for me it goes back to calling. God called us to it and until He calls us away from it, I will do this. For two years I have searched for a niche somewhere. Somewhere that could use that part of me that has not been used for a long time. I haven't found it yet. I am still praying for a place where my talents can be used and I can feel that sense of fulfillment that I had in those pre children days.

The proverbs lady!! Oh so many thoughts, but any mother/wife who takes care of the family, clips coupons, cooks food, teaches their children...... is fulfilling that proverb. Oh, I will stop, I don't have answers, just lots of thoughts and a great big, I understand.

We do a coop on Fridays that I thought would provide social. It does a great job of that for my children. But not for me. I teach preschoolers!!! What was I thinking?!!!!!!!

How is that for unloading.

Connie

Kisa in CA
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:02 pm

Hugs to you Rachel... (m)

Unread post by Kisa in CA » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:50 pm

This sentence stood out to me:
I am feeling isolated too. And, I feel like if we do anything to be social it just means more work- and more responsibility.
Certainly, I can relate! I think many, many moms can relate. Now in my 4th year of homeschooling (if you count K), I am finally coming to grips with the reality of the cost. It costs. For me, I have found my time is very limited for social outings, and my energy is limited too! I'm 45 with 5 and 8 year old active boys. Going out to coffee after schooling all day, cooking dinner and cleaning just doesn't always sound like fun.

HS is so much responsibility we have to protect ourselves from taking on more and getting burdened. You certainly understand about cost and responsibility since your husband is a pastor. I just share to encourage you that it IS a lot of responsibility! I think HS is a lot like pastoring, a 24/7 job that isn't always understood or appreciated. But... the eternal fruits will be great.

I'm just trying to say I understand and that it is normal to have to say no to added social life for a time. You have your hands full! I've finally come to rest in the fact that this 'season' God has put me in does not allow for all the friendships and girl outings I once enjoyed. I finally truly accept it and don't feel guilty or discontent because I cannot do what others can. And I accept the loneliness. (Well, not always, but most of the time! LOL)

The feeling of isolation is also so very common. Not one other person in my church homeschools, and many frown upon it. I am a member of a co-op group, but find I'm not able to participate as much as I like.

My eldest is very social and I am constantly looking for outlets. I think it will be an ongoing effort. However, I fall back on the calling I believe God has put on my life. If He has called me to homeschool, He has called my son to have less social interaction than he would choose. I just gotta trust Him with it and rest. Hope that is practical enough for you.

Oh, one other thing, when I recently was made executor of my father's estate I was completely overwhelmed by one more responsibility. My husband said, "Get a housekeeper and see if that helps." Well, I did and it has made a huge difference in my mind set. Don't know if that is possible for you, but thought I would mention it.

Blessings,
Kisa
10ds, 4th grade
7ds, 1st

rachel
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 pm

Unread post by rachel » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:54 pm

Crystal- Thanks so much. Yes, I am wanting to be talked out of the hour drive and high cost and additional part time job it would take to do the homeschooling "school" we were doing before. I actually had nothing against that kind of setting for teaching children. It was pretty ideal. She was there only 2 days a week with a class of 7 also "homeschooled" children and I had that break and support/structure. But, not ideal for the reasons mentioned above.

I am all for having help teaching my children as long as the teaching is Christ centered and I am still the primary person to be with them.

It's not really about needing other ministry ideas. That plate is pretty full for this season...

I just wonder sometimes if there is a better way to educate our children in the Lord without carrying ALL the burden for that (thank goodness for this message board and people like the Hazells). That is what I mean by community- not neccesarily concern about "socialization"- just seeing that my daughter loves to be in larger groups; loves the formal schooling approach- and I loved having an additional Godly person speaking into her life to help us...

Anyway, thanks for reading and responding so thoughtfully. Please let me know if you have any other ideas. I need the input!! Even if I might ask more questions!?

Thanks,
Rachel
(by the way, MANY of your posts have encouraged me- like this one- Thank you for ministering so much and so faithfully in MFW cyber-world!)

rachel
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 pm

Unread post by rachel » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:31 pm

Connie and Kisa-and whoever else might post- Thank-you!!

Yes, it does sound like you understand. That is SOOOOOO what I need(doesn't THAT take you back to high school- all the "ooo"s)- anyway, It is good to be reminded of how harried we were when we were doing mothers day out and even a 2-day a week school.... And, the program they use is a lot of worksheets and I can't see my boys sitting still for that long- and I want school to be fun.

About the Proverbs 31 lady- good point- I was just trying to say that it is interesting to me that we take ON so much as far as what we should be doing but I never hear any one say, "She used housekeepers- with an 's'." To me, her life lets me know that God is not legalistic (I guess that would make sense) and that he honors/made/blesses all of the parts of us as women, not just the cooking and cleaning parts... And that she seemed to look at her life and say, "What is the best way to manage all that I have?" That is what has stuck with me lately.

And thank-you for the not in the mood for coffee night after working all day at home. I have felt guilty for not wanting to go to a coffee group that I started (they are meeting now- but I have a sick hubby tonite), because I just flat out want silence more than anything- time alone.

I have been thinking that maybe if I took on a little more responsibility outside of the home - counseling- and let someone HELP teach my children, it would be kind of a trade off and something of my own to pursue (my own? oohh, guilt...). Yes, the housekeeper idea is always a good one. We have used one off and on. Right now I am just trying to keep up with the "Fly-lady," but hubby says hire help...

But, daughter is finally at peace with being home. Just thinking more of being honest about what I need because it is getting hard- and if that need is to be met solely in the Lord in this season, so be it- just wondering if my expectations are the same as God's expectations for me. Sometimes my feelings about what is right or spiritual lead me to kind of a martyr attitude. Thank you for all your input. Please keep writing if you think of more......... THIS is a lot of what I need.

Rachel

Kisa in CA
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:02 pm

Hello again Rachel...

Unread post by Kisa in CA » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:00 pm

You wrote:
I have been thinking that maybe if I took on a little more responsibility outside of the home - counseling- and let someone HELP teach my children, it would be kind of a trade off and something of my own to pursue (my own? oohh, guilt...).
I didn't mention in my other post that I do this very thing! Every Friday I drive to my brother's business, which is out of his home, and work for him from 9-4. I pack my kids and all their school work with me and my niece then homeschools them for me while I work. My brother pays her to do it. I keep Fridays light and it really is working well. It gets the kids out of the house and allows me to be out in the real world for a short while. I just do his bookkeeping so I don't get a lot of outside contact, but I still enjoy it. My housekeeper comes while I am gone so I come home to a clean house!

Maybe something like that could be worked out for you? It's not always convenient since I have to organize and pack up all the school work and ALL the science field trips with my group are on Fridays, but I am still glad I am doing it.

Blessings,
Kisa

PS - go with the hubby's suggestion of a housekeeper! They are good judges of what we need. LOL!
10ds, 4th grade
7ds, 1st

Shelly Best
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:42 pm

Unread post by Shelly Best » Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:41 am

I just wanted to say all the points are very good regarding being isolated, and it is so easy for the feeling of isolation to creep into our homes. I can have the busiest schedule, full of ministry, and yet feel so lonely and isolated at times.

I often reflect back onto Mary, and her life raising Jesus. How lonely and isolated she must have felt, yet knowing her sole purpose in life was to be the "Mother Mentor" to her son. The joy and comfort she must have felt in all the times Jesus had the "AH-HA" reaction in His homeschool experiences and in His relationship with God.

My spirit jumps when my kids finally memorize a math fact that I have pounded into them for weeks...just trying to divert the thought of loneliness here...but I think as mothers, teachers, mentors, and wives we have the one true call in our life. We can stand in the middle of that lonely feeling and say, "I paid the cost of my call"

I hope this encourages you all...thanks for all the encouraging words you share to keep us built up and focused.
Blessings,
Shelly of CA
wife to Mike;
mother of Hannah(13), Michael(12), Thomas(9)
MFW since 2000

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth » Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:42 am

I can relate so much to what the other ladies have said, so I won't repeat. Just to say that I, too, have experienced the frustration and resentment as a result of trying to add more fellowship to our lives. I get to the point where I think that putting the girls in outside class of some sort, activities, or more church involvement for myself (Bible studies, planning for baby showers, etc.) would be good for all of us. And it is, for a short period of time.

But then I begin to grow resentful because we're NOT at home more! I begin to feel possessive of both my children and my own home.... and my time. I also find that the girls begin to complain more about boredom and wanting someone to play with when we've been involved with more outside things, than if we hadn't! They seem to be content playing with each other and finding creative things to do when we're "stuck" at home than when we're not. So it really isn't such a bad thing in the bigger picture. ;o)

Also, I think that many women have been made to feel guilty because of the Proverbs 31 woman, but we have to remember that she was the "ideal perfect" woman. We don't even know that she was a REAL woman. (Someone correct me if you've learned otherwise.) But that passage wasn't written to a woman to say, "You're less-than a godly woman if you don't look just like this."

If you go back to verse 1, you see that it was written from a father to a son, who seems to have been in some kind of trouble, and the father was asking him, "SON, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!" Almost as if it's a reprimand. Maybe he's been carousing around or something, being irresponsible. So then the father goes on to describe what he thinks his son should be looking for. (And like I said, if the nameless Prov. 31 woman was actually a real person, someone please correct me here.)

I know I felt great peace after realizing who the passage was actually written to, and for what purpose. God did not create every one of us to be the same (i.e., exactly like the Prov. 31 picture), but He did create every one of us parents to be the primary teacher and trainer of our children. IMO, I think scripture is clear about that.

The MFW curriculum is written with the goal of training hearts and minds while they're little, and then adding more responsibility and academics as the child grows and matures "in wisdom and in stature" as our Lord did. We must first teach them who Jesus is and what He has to do with our lives. Both heavy academics and outside socialization are heavy influencers at any age, and our children being young and tender are easily influenced. I think that as time goes on, your dd may have fond memories of her previous classes, but it won't be such a "draw" as when that memory is still fresh.

Take this opportunity to strengthen your family and enjoy your babies. They don't stay little for very long. Make the most of it while you have their hearts.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:57 am

My prayers are with you. I know that He has the answers for you, and He will comfort you and make it clear to you what is right for your family. I have felt many times discouraged and ready to give up but He always makes it clear to me that this is His way for us. You are His child and He has a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, so I am praying you will clearly hear His voice in this difficult and low time.

Also just to say how encouraged I am by the others who have responded to you. Grace and peace to you,

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

Shelly Best
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:42 pm

Unread post by Shelly Best » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:27 am

Just a final note to all the frustrated and isolated....when my children were younger, I began to do MFW meetings in my home. I opened my home to other hs families, not just MFW families. We would share our needs and encourage one another. I figured, I do not have family here, I do not have the funds for a sitter every time I need to get out, and what better way to share the excitement and chaos of hs than with others of the flock. As the saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together".

As a result, I have been doing these meetings in my home for the past four years. I now set out all the curriculum we have used over the years, so others can see what our family has done. [Just a little persuasion]

I do not fancy up my home. I don't want others to think I am a perfect role model who can juggle all life brings, but I know God has put some great things in my heart related to hs and I love to share them. Like advice, it is not always well received, but is heard! We have a good time of fellowship and sharing. I have also gained some close friends and new ideas to be a better role model to my kids as a result.
Blessings,
Shelly of CA
wife to Mike;
mother of Hannah(13), Michael(12), Thomas(9)
MFW since 2000

NHMom
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:00 pm

Unread post by NHMom » Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:31 pm

There have been so many good responses that I don't have much to add.

You mentioned something about carrying the burden for all of the schooling.

Something I have learned over time is that the Lord has all the burden for that. I just need to be faithful to do what He has called me to do. He is the one who brings the increase.

That has been a very liberating truth for me. I don't have to do it all or go it alone. He is right there every step of the way!

Knowing this has brought so much joy into our school day. No more pressure of trying to do everything and do it perfectly.

I just wanted to share that. Hope it helps!
Gayle
Gayle

Mom to DS 9, DD 8 (using Adventures)
DD 5 (used MFWK, now using MFW 1st)

TurnOurHearts

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:00 am

Hi Rachel ~

Another hug from me! I am what most would call a major social butterfly! :) I love people & I love being with people. Being a SAHM to babies & toddlers was quite an adjustment for me. The telephone, the TV, the internet became lifelines for me - lifelines to the "real world." Slowly, the Lord has reshaped my thinking.

Pouring Jesus into my kids - discipling them - is my greatest reality. Should that really be anyone else's responsibility? Do I get discouraged? Yep. Do I get weary? Yep. Do I feel a little nuts sometimes? Sorry to admit it, but yep. :) The funny thing is, every little failure of mine, the Lord has used as a teachable moment for my kids. He uses them to expose my heart & show me MY sin. So many times lately (like YESTERDAY), He is training me with what I'm training them. Were we not here together, would I be a broken vessel? A poured-out offering for my family? Desperately clinging to my Source? I think not. I would be "productive" or "successful" in other things. Is God being productive in my home & successful in this place? Definitely. But the accolades are few & the hours are unending. I think He has me right where I need to be.

We all have to come to grips with our calling. Are we really called to train up our children? We have to decide if we are willing to value what God values - our husbands, homes & children - more than what the world values. For me, it meant setting aside my personal dreams & goals. Lots of them. I can honestly say that I don't regret it one iota. Not one.

I was encouraged recently to "turn my heart" toward my children. I thought my heart already was toward my children - I homeschool, for goodness sake! But as I examined my own heart & use of my personal time, I found that I really longed for my own personal fulfillment. As I began to pray for God to turn my heart toward my kids, the servant-Mommy in me was re-born. My passion for homeschooling was renewed. Even my love of the Lord was deepened as He proved Himself, once again, to this undeserving girl. This doesn't make my days perfect - far from it. But it has so simplified my calling & my life.

I apologize if this was more than you asked for. It certainly was longer than I intended. God bless you & your family as you continue on your journey in Him.

Paige in NC

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:10 pm

TurnOurHearts wrote: I found that I really longed for my own personal fulfillment.
I really relate to what Paige has said here. And I don't think it's wrong to want to be fulfilled and contributing and creating something of value in the world. I feel God has created us to "create."

Somehow, tho, we just need to find a way to do that within our homes or our little schools or within our churches or somewhere that God is calling us to be. It's hard because the history books and biographies are full of accomplishments outside of the family, but the important stuff is going on behind the doors of the homes!

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:22 am

I really appreciated the book by Edith Schaeffer on this... The Hidden Art of Homemaking. She talks about discovering our God-given talents and learning how to use them within the home and with our children. It was a little intimidating at first because I don't think of myself as even having any talents... and I've always struggled with the whole spiritual gifts thing. But after reading her book, I realized that there is much I can do to glorify God in our home, and still feel like I'm doing something beautiful and worthwhile.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

rachel
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 pm

wow- thanks!

Unread post by rachel » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:46 am

MfW friends- I haven't checked the message board in a while but I was so encouraged to check today and see all the responses to the subject of isolation. We have some GREAT writers and thinkers on the board. Thank you so much for taking the time to address this.

I have had great intentions and ideas and even great periods of time where I am doing the deal and knowing that this is it.

However, in addition to just "normal" homeschooling/homemaking/everything else life, we have dealt with a lot of extended family issues and just stuff that has to be dealt with. I guess that is just life too. Part of my deal I think is that I am now the adult and feel like the "role model" it seems in every situation and I don't know if I am ready for that....

But, God knows what He has called and created us for. I have to continually look to His expectations above anything else.

With one of the things that was weighing me down- I finally went to the Lord with and in different ways He really lifted that burden. So, I wasn't leaning on the Lord like I thought I was- or as much as I need to.

Regarding schooling specifically, my 6 year old daughter told me(interesting how God helped bring this to light now) that she did not like to write letters or numbers. I asked her why and she said it was because in her kindergarten- she had to write so much that her hands would hurt and sometimes her tummy would start to hurt, too. So, as I have thought before, that "advanced learning" can come with a price.

We have also enjoyed doing MFW more than ever this week. Her favorite part is when we sit on the couch together while the boys are napping and do our "Bible Notebooks" together.

Clearly, as I continue to be shown, I have some ways of thinking that are still being changed. And the more that I submit my thoughts and beliefs to what God says they are to be- the more freedom and peace I find-

Thank you MFW'ers for being a part of that process!

Rachel,
regaining sanity at home with a great husband and 4 lovely children
(doing MFW1 and preschool)

rachel
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 pm

one more thing

Unread post by rachel » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:02 am

One more thing (maybe one more........ :) ).... One of you wrote about how you noticed that when you did more and your children did more to fill that fellowship need, that it only made you more discontent at home (not specific wording, I know, but that is the idea I got)......

Well, I have noticed the same thing (for them and myself!). I am more of a homebody these days but my children do not lack for fun activity. Their Daddy loves to take all four out for different things (and takes them one at a time so that they have that one on one time). I only have to look at our scrapbooks for a reminder of ALL that they do.

Well, the more that they do, yes, the more that they want to do and less content they are at home. And, like you noted, the more that we stay home, the more content WE are to be at home.....

That is not to say that we should be an island unto ourselves. But, in our world, that would be nearly impossible to accomplish anyway.

Just wanted anyone reading (if anyone is still reading this post)- to know that I have experienced that too- and that is one of the primary reasons that I will probably not be adding on more activities to fill that "social/community" need and will be focused on getting peace back at home first.

By the way, I know that I am so blessed and aren't we all at all of these options we do have? For some odd reason, I always think of women in Africa or women 100/200 years ago..... But, at the same time, one of the hardest thing any of us can deal with is feeling alone. And I know that God did not create us to be alone (even in Him).

So, thanks for sharing and being my "community" this week!
(and, when I think about my daughter and her fond feelings about her "school" kindergarten.... I have thought that especially by the time her homeschooling days come to a close years from now, it will be very clear to her why she was homeschooled...even if she can't understand now.)

Thanks again- Rachel

cdavis762
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:12 pm

Feeling a little isolated

Unread post by cdavis762 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:59 am

evey wrote:Dear all,
I started MFW K a couple weeks ago. We are doing so much cool stuff, but I am struggling cause for whatever reason I don't have a best girl friend in my life right now. I do all these fun things with the kids, and feel like I have no one to share it with. I am joining coop in a month and plan to lead a mommy's group fellowship in order to meet other moms in the same boat. My church is lovely but real tiny, with only one other young mom. I am missing the social network of work pre-kids.

Would it be ok if I just posted not because I have a question, but simply to share my homeschool day with you all. I really feel like I need at outlet to celebrate and connect. And, you all seem so friendly, I always read the posts. God bless you as you homeschool and thanks in advance for any feedback :)
Evonne
Evonne - We all need girlfriends! I will pray for God to deliver to you a local friend who will meet those needs for you, and who also you will be able to meet her needs.

Your homeschool days sound wonderful! I think you should start a blog & put photos & outline your days. You may really help someone along the way, when she stumbles upon your blog! It may encourage her to start homeschooling, or help her to realize that this IS the right curriculum!
God bless!
Be blessed,
Carol

God is in control!
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/coveredbygrace

Teresa in TX
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:20 pm

Unread post by Teresa in TX » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:47 am

Evonne,

A little over 2 years ago, our family moved here from a city about 3 hours away. Initially, it was very hard on me to have no friend for myself and having to assist my children in finding a few friends of their own.

I laid it at the Lord's feet and decided not to push to have friends for myself but just to reach out to people in the ways the Lord led me, for their benefit and not my own. I sometimes forgot that agreement along the way, feeling lonely at times, etc. I can say now that our family has become friends with two other great families. It just took time and me choosing not to focus on the lack in that area but on the other great things in my life and ministering in the way God led me to instead of in a searching way to find a friend. I'm certainly not saying your focus is off, because it sounds like you're doing a great job sharing this adventure with your children. I'm mainly saying give this completely to God, do what He asks of you, and He will bring the perfect friendships into your path!!! He is faithful. I couldn't have done a better job picking friends if I had gone searching for them for myself. He knew what I needed and what my family needed. :)

Also, I like the blog idea. That would be special in many ways!
Teresa, Mom of 5: 15yo dd, 12yo ds, 7yo ds, 5yo ds, and 1yo ds

4th year with MFW
Using:
MFW 1st w/ 7yo ds
MFW RtR w/ 7th grade ds
MFW World History with 10th grade dd
So far we have used: ECC, 1850-Present, CTG, RtR, High School Ancients and MFW K

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:06 am

Hi Evonne,
I think encouragement with homeschooling is one of the functions of this board. It has been a good outlet for many of us -- not just to "chat" but also to feel like we can help others and be uplifted by others in return.

Here is a previous thread that may have some more ideas for you -- I haven't re-read it but I remember it being a topic that struck many people. [above]2

Other things (in addition to the boards) that have helped me:
* Keeping a notebook of what I've done with the kids to remember and to share.
* Going to support meetings at my local homeschool group when I started out, where other parents are interested in discussing homeschool stuff.
* Finding an e-mail friend from the boards who has a student close to the age of mine.
* My pastor matched me with a friend who was a great choice & has been a great support to me. She is a Steven's Minister (because of the illness in our family), but I would think a pastor would match anyone who asked with someone God tells him would be a good support person?

Best wishes as you seek to keep yourself fed.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:17 am

Evonne,

I feel your pain! I am so sorry you feel so isolated. Our church is great but there are no other home schoolers. One way I do stay connected is through my blog - I know I also go to several of the ladies blogs that post here to see what they are up to.

I prayed diligently for a close friend for years and God provided graciously and abundantly. He provided a friend whose kids are close to my own, a friend who had kids several years older and a friend whose child is grown. They are not necessarily at my church but that doesn't seem to matter. It has taken years for these friendships to develop but it was worth the wait.

I will be praying for you.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

rtlmom
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:47 pm

Unread post by rtlmom » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:50 am

I too, have really struggled with this at times. I think it would be lovely to share your day here. Even though I am (currently) blessed with girlfriends, they don't homeschool and so it's hard to share about our days with them.

Looking forward to reading about your days, and praying for that special friend for you!

Toni@homezcool4us
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:28 pm

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:02 pm

Some of us (uh hem) have blogs and that's a great way to connect with some MFW folks. There is also a MFW families yahoo group. Somewhere out there in blogland (I'll track it down) is a blogroll of MFW bloggers. Another great online place to connect.

As for locally, I will pray that God brings a new in-the-flesh friend into your life. I was very isolated in OH, living in the country, BUT my family was 25 minutes away. I vowed when we moved out of state that I would step out of my comfort zone and meet a few new friends. God was faithful. I met one of my dearest friends (in the flesh, no less) indirectly through MFW. Her sister was a MFW user until this year. She read my blog, thought my humor sounded like her sister, and thus told her sister to read my blog as well. She did, and ever so slowly we came to realize we were in the same state, then city, then (oh my goodness) same side of town just a mile or so apart.

I now attend their church (their dad is the pastor) and a good 2/3 of the moms homeschool there. I not only have new friends, but so does my husband and our children. Pray and trust! And I encourage you to put yourself out there (the mom's group is a GREAT idea. Go for it!!!)
Blessings!
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
~Toni~
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

JohnsWife
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:48 am

Unread post by JohnsWife » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:28 pm

{{{Hugs}}}

We moved 4 years ago and it took me until last fall to find a great girlfriend. I feel like a teenager with her. We hardly ever go more than a day without talking.

Her two oldest are great friends with my girls and I adore her 2 year old boy with Down's and a newborn girl!!! She is busy! Her kids are over here a lot and we spend so much time at her house as well.

My DH travels quite a bit with work and I thought I would die with a 1 and 2 year old, nowhere to go and no-one to talk to. It was very lonely. I went through many health issues as well. I prayed and prayed for her to show up. I had really just given up by last year and we are like 2 long lost sisters. Our DH's even get along well.

Hang in there darlin. Keep praying and take the time to get to know God better. He probably sent my friend to me just to get me to shut up talking to him all of the time!!! He took a long time to answer my prayers but she was worth the wait!!!!
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it. -- C.S. Lewis

Michele in WA
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:40 pm

Unread post by Michele in WA » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:33 pm

It is reading about other homeschoolers days that are so fun to come to the board for. I hope you do post what you are doing! You might just inspire someone else, and get a few friends in the process!

Glad you are enjoying MFW.
Michele

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:49 pm

Evonne,

I can relate a lot.
For whatever reasons, I’ve not fit in with folks at our church for most of social life. I have real life gals (from other churches) that I hang out with on Park Days and Mom’s Night Out things in co-op. But my best girl friends all live in other states. And I think I met them all on this board!!! There are various seasons in our lives where it is very different from other times. ((hugs))

I enjoy reading posts on here that celebrate how a school day went (or even the fun of a box day).

Others have mentioned other cyber places that many of us hang out to celebrate our days. I’m not much of a blogger. And the blogroll that was mentioned is no longer working. I don’t think anyone has picked up that need??? Maybe by mentioning it, someone might be able to do that, I don’t know enough about blogosphere to have a clue.

-crystal

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