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Category Archives: Socialisation

Soaking Up The Sun

Choice:

Plan for the upcoming school year.  Then fight the crowds of mummies with booklists to fill at the stores.

Or…

Go to the beach with friends for the day.

Thinking time…

None needed.

We went to the beach!

We started at Masthead Beach,

where we played a little frisbee.

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and enjoyed the calm swimming waters.

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Even though we had to share the water with stonefish.

Best not to think about these things.

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Then, around lunch, we moved to Wellington Point

and enjoyed some more swimming

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while we waited for the tide to recede.

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Once the waters were low enough,

we headed off for a splash and walk across the sand bar to King Island.

It’s not everyday that you get to ‘walk’ to an island.

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The kids headed off in little packs,

some ahead of the mummies

and some behind.

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It was a lovely walk,

although the abundantly scattered shells were somewhat uncomfortable on the feet.

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It’s about a one kilometre walk in each direction,

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but we took our time,

stopping to enjoy seaside finds along the way.

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King Island isn’t huge but it is quaint.

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When we reached it,

we read the plaque,

had a little look around,

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and then headed back to shore.

I’m sure it was ‘shell-ier’ on the return trip.

Ouch!

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During our walk,

the waters had well and true receded,

so the sand bar was probably two to three times wider than when we’d started out.

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There was also no water to wade through to reach the shore,

which was a good thing for me

as I’d waded out in a long skirt.

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This is what we’d initially waded through to reach the sand bar:

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But on our return,

the shore had become a treasure trove of sea life to be explored.

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This was just one little creature out of many that we spotted.

Can you see it?

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After a full eight hours of sun,

we packed up,

farewelled our friends,

and headed home.

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It was a lovely day.

And I’m guessing that all those mummies who chose stationery shopping

were wishing they’d chosen the beach instead too.

🙂

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Posted by on January 17, 2016 in Family Life, Field Trips, Socialisation

 

Why Homeschool Mums Can’t Make Mummy Friends

Ever had this conversation?

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Socialisation, Starting Homeschooling

 

How Do You Socialise Your Children?

Every homeschooler will have this conversation with school parents at some point.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Socialisation

 

Homeschool Groups – What To Expect

A common request from new homeschoolers is, “Are there any homeschooling groups that get together regularly?”  My answer is “Most definitely”.  There are all sorts of different groups around the place…not as many as you might find in a more homeschooled-established place like the U.S. though but still a whole lot of options.  The larger groups generally advertise their memberships online or by word of mouth but there are also many smaller groups that prefer to keep their membership to friendship groups.

Generally new homeschoolers feel that they need a big homeschool group to fill the void that withdrawing from school left in their children’s lives.  They have heard about the benefits of homeschool groups:

*  You can meet a variety of homeschooling families all at once

*  There are plenty of children for your children to play with on a fairly regular basis

*  Your children will be exposed to lots of different children and learn how to interact with them

*  You can discuss homeschooling and swap ideas

*  You can support other homeschoolers as they begin their journeys and help each other along the way

*  It gives you an opportunity to get out of the house during the week

*  Groups often gain access to (specifically school focused) events that individuals can’t

*  Your children can participate in activities that require groups

*  Someone else can teach the messy, tricky subjects you’d rather avoid

*  You will participate in activities you might never have initiated for yourself

 

I do recommend that new homeschoolers find other homeschoolers who can support them in their journey.  That is a must for all of us.  But I always feel a twang of worry as I don’t believe the benefits they are hoping to enjoy extend as fully to larger homeschool groups.

I have tried both ends of the group life spectrum – fully involved in numerous large busy groups to participation in casual intimate gatherings and regular playdates.   Yep!  Been there, done that, and much wiser for it.   With experience (unfortunately I had to jump into the fire to find out it was hot), I discovered that larger groups were incompatible with my goals for group life and my homeschool journey.

 

I learned these things about larger homeschool groups:

*  You will meet a lot of people all at once but they won’t necessarily be like-minded people from whom you can build long-term relationships.    Larger groups inhibit rather than build relationships.

*  Quantity doesn’t equal quality in regards to socialising.   Friendships develop more easily and deeply in a small group.

*  You will have little say over who your children keep company with.  Some of the children may be lovely, but some may not.   You children will undoubtedly come home with new habits, many of which will not be nice.

*  It can be difficult to share homeschooling ideas if there aren’t like minded educators in the group.  Families can very vocal about their alternate choices and not always respectful of those who choose different paths.  Like-minded homeschoolers are essential for support.

*  You have to sacrifice a lot time to participate in active groups.  This time comes from your children’s education as you then have to squeeze schoolwork into what’s left of the day or week.

*  Children can struggle to focus during group activities and excursions.  The small group benefits of homeschooling are eliminated in large group activities.

*  There is the temptation and frequent opportunity to hand over the responsibility for your child’s education in various subjects to the control of others.  Isn’t that what school is all about?

*  Group classes bring the usual downfalls – the content can not be catered to the individual children’s needs, strengths, interests, pace or curriculum.   The nature of a group means that activities and expectations must be aimed at the average participant.

*  Frequent extracurricular activities and social gatherings can be given more importance in the week than staying home educating your children.  Too much fluff and not enough substance.

* Group participation can become quite costly when you consider activity fees and the petrol consumed driving to and from events

 

Of course not all groups are guilty of all of these downfalls and smaller groups can fall into the same traps.  The point I want to make is that you need to be aware of the pitfalls and consider what your expectations are and whether the group you have chosen meets these.

Larger homeschool groups are easy places for new homeschoolers to start.  There you can meet a lot of people who you could form friendships with.  It is the friendships for both mother and children that are important in your homeschool journey and not the environment in which you choose to find them.  But, if you start out in a bigger group, in time you may find that you need to consider carefully if your group choice is meeting your expectations or hindering your journey.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Homeschooling Thoughts, Socialisation