For the last 12-13 years I’ve heard the same set of questions over and over.
Will they have friends? Are you qualified? What will they learn? What about socialization? What about sports? and for some crazy reason – What about Prom?
When we lived in town densely populated with homeschoolers – we pretty much did everything with them. There wasn’t a need to partner with a different type of school. Everything we needed socially, academically, and sports was provided by our local community of over 4,500 homeschoolers.
Our town now only has about 6,000 people in population – total.
The senior class last year at the high school was less than 50.
Total number of homeschool high school teens I knew was 2.
We’ve reached out – Sports, Wyldlife, Younglife, Youth Groups, Volunteering, School Events, Beach Parties, and Surf Club – and have found amazing people in our town. Crazy thing is – the boys seem to attract ‘like minded’ friends.
People who like adventure over drama. Outdoors rather than In. Hiking over Videos. Friendships with groups over individual intimacy. Since they’ve been little we have been used to having/hosting a large crowd of boys. In Bend, we could post a Facebook Status of Meet us at the river at 10, and 40-50 kids would show up. Now we post – Hike the Knobb, Bonfire at the R’s house, Hide and Go Seek at the E’s house at 8 – and we get quite the crowd. What’s fun now – is that we have a boy/girl mixed crowd. We keep finding girls that are done with Jr. High Drama, and are finished with the competitions between girls.
It has been a weird transition this Winter/Spring. It’s taken a lot of trusting, observing, a few questions, and resting. Resting knowing what my boys like – what they like to do – and realizing – I’m a girl. (ha) And I like their adventures. Who wouldn’t?
So this year Prom rolled around at the local high school – and there were quite a few folks not coupled up. Guys went with guys, girls went with girls. One girl in this shot had her date cancel because of work schedules so she asked Nate’s friend to go. Another girl standing there said – Nate we should go to!! So 2 days before prom, two boys in my house decided to go. They all went to a friend’s home for dinner, the drove together to the Cultural Center. Folks around town were buzzing on line and over coffee at how amazing the dresses were this year and how low key and polite the kids were this year.
Yes, I feel like we have an advantage of being in a small town. I know most of the parents, almost all of the teachers, and just about all of the law enforcement families. Our Junior and Senior class is pretty small at the High School. But I had no idea that these activities would be part of our life. I pictured Homeschool Prom in Portland or the Ball in Bend.
My advice – if you have the resources available – is not to fear folks in your community. Reach out. Go to a ball game. Sell hotdogs in the snack shack. Show up at a community event. Our life is an amazing adventure because we quit living in a box here in our tiny town. I love this town and the people. I love being a homeschooler. I love the boys going to Prom with a group of friends. I love that you can look through the photo above and not know which 3 have been homeschooled, or likely which one is mine.
Spend time lil mamas encouraging their heart. Strengthening open communication. Reaching after God’s character. Resting on His will for your children. Seriously joyful for our journey.