The following is a post from Tabitha.
I have friends who homeschool.
- I have friends who homeschool because I helped them realize they could.
- I have friends who are my friends because we both homeschool.
- I have friends I have found through homeschooling.
- I have friends from my pre-kids life who I reconnect with and find out they also homeschool, and it gives us a whole new reason to be good friends.
- I also have friends who do not homeschool, and while they have many different opinions about homeschooling, they are still my friends.
- I also have friends who are no longer my friends because I homeschool.
I think we all know or have friends from all of the above groups. I choose to look at the bright side and the great things about friends. I do know that we all need friends. Friends are people we connect with on some level through some shared experience. We need someone who can understand where we’re coming from, either from a kids angle, a homeschooling angle, a religious association, or some other understanding that helps us.
I think it’s amazing that we can lift each other, offer advice, and receive help, all while building relationships with others.
Another benefit is that our children can learn from our example. They see us talk to people, learn about them, and offer support and friendship. We can see our children do the same as we go about our lives and interact with other families and groups, as well as occasions sometimes especially planned to find friends.
One thing I have noticed is that my children may not have as many friends as some of their public school acquaintances, the friends they do have are long lasting relationships that stand the test of tough times and even separation of many miles. We’ve moved a lot, and while some friends have fallen by the wayside, my kids still do everything they can to keep in touch with others. In this way, email, skype, letters, and even Facebook have been a blessing.
We have friends that moved to New Zealand that my kids count as some of their best friends. Has this distance affected the friendship? No. Others we include are in Texas, Utah, California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and some of them have moved to other places as well.
We use this distance in many ways. Kids have writing practice forced upon them but they want to write letters to their friends and receive them in turn. We learn typing and computer skills and the kids email and type messages of many pages. Geography is fun, because we get to see where everyone we know lives.
I am thankful today for friends, for many different reasons.
Tabitha (wife to Tom, homeschooling mom to 8 kids ages 14 to 1, learning something new all the time)