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Rural Social Life Fail

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Winter term 2014

October through December was all bleugh, ugh and meh. (whatever that last one means, I’m not quite sure – just a bare-faced attempt to get down with the kids’ new slang) 🙂 We went on a couple of local field trips to museums and suchlike, but all our enthusiasm seemed to have been sucked out of us. I’m not sure why – perhaps it was the change in the weather as the days started getting shorter and the evenings started drawing in?

But mainly, I think, it had to do with the fact that our social life has dwindled to a trickle. Cornwall, or at least our experience of it so far, is not like other places. Here, we have a group get-together in a hall once a fortnight, and absolutely nothing in between. If people are meeting up individually, they’re not telling us.

I’m not sure I would have home educated at all if we’d been here from the start.

We were used to a home ed culture in the city where there was something going on every single day if we wanted to join in. We are still in culture-shock, after four years.

Despite there being plenty of other children of comparable age to mine, none of them have hit it off with anybody.

Then to top it all, the winter storms tore the roof off our meeting place, meaning that the end of year Christmas party was cancelled, and finally our 2nd car is out of action, meaning I rarely have transport.

Altogether, quite, quite depressing.

Spring Term 2015

We’ve only had one meet-up this year so far. While our former venue is still being repaired, it’s a challenge to find suitable locations, and mostly it just hasn’t happened. Apparently our old haunt won’t be available again until at least March.

The mobile library has also stopped coming this year – cuts to rural services that we could really do without. We’re also still without a car, so our ‘World’ as our oyster has shrunken to nothing. With absolutely nothing in our village – no shop, no pub, no community centre other than the church, the place is an absolute ghost-town.

I wish I knew how to address this. Socialisation was the one thing that I never had to worry about with home education. But we haven’t seen anybody during the day now for almost a month. The only thing that’s stopping us going stir-crazy is drama group on Thursdays and Sundays. Living in a rural location without a car in what is – it has to be said – a slightly ‘foreign’ country (where I, frankly, don’t understand the culture) is testing us to the limits.

Unless things change, I can only see two options – move house into a town, or stop home educating.

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5 Comments

  1. Michelle L Morgan says:

    You’re not alone. I don’t drive and we (me and my three daughters) only do a fortnightly home ed group. We all have mild cabin fever lol. I’m depending on the warmer days to bring us out of hibernation. Wishing you back on the road soon! 🙂

  2. Helen says:

    You must invite families to come visit you, one family to your family. That’s the way to make good friends with the HE peeps around you. Build relationships outside of the group setting. It took me 3 years of feeling on the fringe to realise this!

  3. mariemca14 says:

    Trying to think of something helpful, although I feel your pain! Guides, Brownies, Scouts? Church youth groups? Church Sunday school? Start up a walking group? You are surely not alone with the need to get out? I know inviting families back to your own home is very tiring – but meeting for a walk is less pressured and doesn’t need each child to get on so much?
    Hope it helps!

  4. we need to build networks says:

    Make some meetings happen. Find a venue to hire or borrow and invite others. Or invite others to come to your home. Or arrange a meeting in a swimming pool or park or cafe – somewhere you can get a bus to – and invite some others to join you. Not only might you have a day of meeting with others, to your benefit, but you might also bless others and maybe even start a mini network.

  5. hazavagyo says:

    Know the feeling. Meh indeed! 😦
    The children are taken to Girls Brigade on Wednesdays to my inlaws’ church by my mum-in-law and hubby takes them to swimming lessons on Fridays; but I only get out of the house on Sundays for a couple of hours to church.
    My mum is living with us till Easter, but after that I won’t have any adult company other than hubby during the whole week.
    Can’t get to any home ed meetings as they are too far and difficult to get to with no car and no matter how much I’ve tried people don’t come to us. We’re a bit out of everyone’s way. The only time I get to meet other home edders when we get to visit some friends (2-3x a year) and the Home Service camp in the first week of September.
    Even the bus stop is too far with my bunch and even if we got there, to get anywhere it’s yet another bus or train ride away. So, it would take 2-3 hours one way to get anywhere near a museum or over an hour for the library by public transport. And it would cost a fortune for all of us.
    Hubby has to travel a lot for his work and sleep away fairly often. It’s a lonely job we’ve got!
    I do feel like a hermit. It’s been 6 years…
    But hey, God knows! 🙂

    Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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