Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hello from My Deserted Island

When we first discussed moving to Doha, a big question mark for me was the homeschooling situation. One of the criterion that was important to me was that there be a viable homeschool group that would provide both support for me and interaction for my children.

I found a group online that seemed to be a pretty good sized group - over 50 families - and was very relieved. Based on that, I felt pretty good about moving ahead with our plans to move. After all, that was pretty much the same size as our group in Miami.

Upon arriving here however, I've come to see that it's a very different situation than it appeared to be. Yes, on paper there are that many members. But there is no participation at all. Recently the leader tried to organize a Mom's Night Out. I was the only one that responded. Um, hello? Who doesn't enjoy a night out with other moms to help and encourage one another?

Trying to be proactive, I've arranged an International Day, similar to the one we did with our previous group in Miami. I offered to host it in our home and even have a luncheon afterwards. Only 4 other families signed up for it. Four out of 53. And now, two of those have had to back out. It just doesn't make sense to do it with three families, so I'm going to cancel the whole thing.

I'm not angry - I'm disappointed. And, truthfully, I just don't get it. I've always found homeschoolers to be an outgoing group, eager to meet together and socialize and encourage each other. I'm baffled by the lack of interest in having any kind of meaningful group, outside of the internet. Certainly I understand that everyone is busy, but that's just as true in the U.S. I know that the faciliator of our group has given it a valiant effort and has tried to organize event after event, but has met with apathetic response most of the time.

I don't really know why I'm typing this post except that I'm frustrated and need to vent a little, which I try not to do much of here. But if you get a second, and think about it, could you offer up a little prayer for me? For much of the past 10 years, particularly the last few years with our most recent group, our homeschool support group has been a huge part of our lives. Now it's like a big, gaping hole.

I'm trying to look at it with God's perspective and I'm feeling like it's just another step in God breaking me down to total reliance upon Him. And that would be okay with me. Painful, but okay if it gets me closer to God.


ValleyGirl said...

Oh, I can understand what a huge disappointment that must be. And I totally get why you want to cancel the party. But maybe instead of cancelling, you could scale it back and change it to be a get-together with the one remaining interested family. Maybe you'd be able to find out why no one's interested in group activities. Maybe it's because no one's ever really shown much interest, even the planners.

Or maybe this is your answer with regards to whether you should homeschool your kids or put them into the great school you talked about when you were first considering moving.

I don't know. But I think your attitude will serve you well in trying to discern what is right for all of you.

I'm offering up a prayer for you right now. Support groups like this are so important for homeschoolers. And ESPECIALLY for homeschoolers getting used to living in foreign countries!!

Tracye said...

I'd be disappointed, too. That's so sad. I just don't understand why someone wouldn't want to meet others in their group, or go out to dinner or lunch or whatever together. Just to relax and laugh a little.

I'll be praying about it, too.

Mylinda said...

I agree with valleygirl that you don't cancel the event. Your kids and the others interested still need group activities. Maybe if you have one and then talk online about how wonderful it was and how much fun you had, you'll get one or two more next time. If not, oh well, their loss. You guys can still have lots of fun, even with just 3 families. Have it at your house, have the event, and then hang out for lunch or playtime or whatever afterwards. You guys need it and so do the others.

melissa said...

I agree with those who suggest not canceling the event. You may really click with the few that come and it will be easier to get to know one another in a small group, too!

Nancy M. said...

I'm sorry you are missing the interaction with other homeschoolers. You would think out of that many people, you would have a pretty good sized group to show up. I will pray for you.

Traci said...

We have similar issues here. I have great ideas for our group and no one wants to participate. Sometimes I think God just wants us to stay close to family and home.


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