We finally, finally made it to meet with a group of other unschoolers! This has been a goal of mine since before we actually left school last year. It’s been hard because there were less opportunities over the winter months and we were still trying to get our balance in this new way of doing things together. Then a couple of times we did go to some meetups but weren’t sure who was who and I couldn’t get my courage up to go around asking anyone and everyone, “Are you an unschooler family?” We did make it to a group tour of the capitol but there was little opportunity for connection forging with others in that setting. So, it’s been a challenge for me. Since it’s a challenge, it’s also been a worry source. Will we ever find friendships as strong as those we had at school? Can I, as a very private and introverted parent find ways to meet my kids needs for time with others who are on a similar path often enough?
Anyway, we made it to a park playtime this week and it was lovely. There were a dozen or so kids from 15 years down to infants and most of them played together in fantastic adventure games organized and supported by the older kids. Gavin was thrilled to hang out with other kids and especially older kids doing exploring and adventuring together. He cried when it was time to leave and I assured him that there will be many opportunities to do the same in the future.
Lilah played on her own quite a bit as well as watched some of the other kids and that was good too.
I chatted with other moms, learning that we have a lot in common and much that is unique to us as well. I am hoping we can build some friendships that will help us feel less isolated and that we can really be ourselves in. It’s definitely something we need. I am hesitant in new friendships, detest small talk and very much enjoy time alone or just with our family but am also wanting some more with families who approach parenting and learning in a similar way.
This has far and away been the hardest thing about our unschooling (or life-learing) journey for me, as an extremely introverted parent without any already established connections with the local unschooling groups. So, I’m very glad that I finally got the ball rolling and that what the kids experienced yesterday was exactly the kind of thing I’d been dreaming of for them.
We’ll go again next week!
In the meantime, we need to review what poison oak and ivy look like (fairly prevalent here in SLC and I want the kids to be able to spot it on their own), what parkour is (apparently an interest of some of the other unschooling boys), find our water guns, and get a picnic blanket to keep in the car. That stuff is easy-peasy.