I was talking to Peter over the last few weeks about how I felt that homeschooling had made me feel more lonely. I think motherhood probably started that journey, which is typical. While we make new "mom" friends, when you are in the throws of raising little people and either keeping a household running or working outside of the home, it limits the amount of time that you get for "you". As those children get older, things sometimes gets easier as they go to school, but when you homeschool, you stay in that place and, if anything, your time gets pulled into even more directions. As you devote your "working" hours to continuing to care for little people and your home, you also now have to figure in schooling. Even with unschooling and child-led learning, you are pulling together resources, organizing field trips, teaching skills that they are learning, facilitating learning, etc. When I actually kept detailed lesson plans, it was like trying to pull out a few hours each week where there weren't any. I'm forcing myself now to get back into blogging, both for personal and homechooling purposes, because it was always an outlet and it is one that has fallen by the wayside over the last few years. I've joined several local homeschool groups on Facebook to try and connect with moms and kids. While they are nice, our homeschool journeys (especially with ages of kids) are vastly different and the field trips really aren't suitable for my crew. Most of the women are either secular or Protestant homeschoolers, and while that isn't a bad thing, it means that much of our curriculum is different and there are some ways that we just don't connect. So, I joined a relaxed, Catholic homeschooling group on FB. Lovely ladies.... but far away.
So, I decided to start a group for local, Catholic homeschoolers. It's small on FB at this point, just a dozen folks, but we are all in the Eastern PA area, homeschooling a variety of ages and needs, and we share a common background of faith. I'm hoping that we'll be able to meet up at field trips and "teacher" outings, to make this journey a bit less lonely. I'd like to post something weekly that relates to homeschooling and the Church in general (my plan is on Wednesdays mornings to do this) and then, on Fridays, to post a reflection on the coming Sunday's Liturgy of the Word. Here's the one for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. I feel like I need to focus on my own spiritual growth as well as that of the kids; I feel like being able to really think about the readings beforehand will help me with that, as will planning things like a monthly rosary, etc. for the FB group. We shall see.
I'm very lucky that I still have really close friends; but for the most part, I feel very tied to the house and spend very few hours talking or socializing with other adults, outside of texting or emailing. Since I've stopped teaching for the remainder of this pregnancy and wont be coaching since Mr. Lucas doesn't enjoy running, I've really limited my real life interaction further. While this might remain nothing but an online group for support and understanding, if it does turn into something more, I know I'll be grateful to feel like I'm able to share this interesting homeschooling path with more than just the two moms that I've become close to in real life, who have kids similar in age to mine.