Fellowship It Does Matter
In this day of social media and online connections we can feel like we are in fellowship with other homeschoolers. And to some extent we are but there are some different aspects to this subject that I would like to take a few moments and exam as we head off back to school as homeschoolers.
In Real Life Fellowship
No matter and how many groups we belong to online if at all possible we need to seek out in real life fellowship. This is not always easy to do because you need to find a group that you are comfortable with but that is also practical in terms of your schedule and geographical location.
When we first started homeschooling I was not a very bold person. As recent blog articles I’ve read point out I was a very typical introverted person. But I heard of a group that was going to be meeting in our town and I was actually
brave desperate enough to give the leader a call. I went to the first meeting and the other woman in the group were already homeschooling and they made me feel welcomed and accepted. It was a very small group so I didn’t feel overwhelmed. But at the end of the first year it was clear that the group would probably not be around in another year and I was at a loss for what to do. Luckily one my fellow group members was a very bold and outgoing person. She found a new group. It seemed so big and overwhelming but she just dragged me along and over time I become comfortable. I even ended up in leadership to that group. That group is now probably looking at its last days and I’m again faced with the dilemma of what to do now. I don’t have a friend to drag me to a new place and my schedule is so crazy I don’t know how to even fit something more in. But I have in real life fellowship with people I have encountered over the years that should meet that need for now.
But back to the reason for in real life fellowship. When you are there locally you can be there to be the feet and hands for someone in need. You can be the friend that drags someone to new adventures, you can be the one to provide meals or other practical service, you can stay informed on local homeschool happenings both good and bad, and the hardest of all is you can be the person to receive the care and nurturing of others. I blog a couple of weeks ago about a loss in our family and how meaningful the service of other homeschool moms were to me and my family. There is no way to duplicate that online.
Deeper Online Fellowship
These are groups of people who form a closer circle. You might have had a chance to meet up with them in real life, talked on the phone, or only online but you still have a deeper friendship level. These are people you interact with in closed groups, you have shared your triumphant and your tragedies. These people who you may never have met still really know the real you. You know that even if you don’t interact regularly you are still in their thoughts and them in yours. And you never know what might happen. Getting a call from Australia just to check on you can really make you feel special.
Causal Online Fellowship
I don’t think there is anything wrong with causal online friendships. Sometimes you can find the answer to a question for a unique concern that your closer friends might not have experience with. It is neat to be able to offer support or advice to someone even in a quick sound bite. Even in the dinosaur days when the online community was a place like Prodigy it was nice to go into the forum and find a quick answer to curriculum concern. There is something to knowing you are part of a larger community than you local area, state, or even country. I think it can be helpful to know you are part of the global community of homeschoolers.
But there is a caution to not take somethings to seriously. News spreads fast, gets distorted, or reactions can get out of hand so it’s important to remember to step back and keep things in perspective. Also, when people comment on something you’ve posted you can’t see their face or hear their tone of voice so try to take thing in the most positive light. Also, you can get so caught up in online friendships that you can isolate yourself so make sure you take time to get out there.
Also, don’t get upset if no one seems to respond to something you felt deeply about. It might be that it just didn’t touch them in the same way or they may just not like to comment publicly on something. Maybe you only reach one person but that one person was the one who needed to hear your message the most. Social media can be fickle and it seems that a picture of a silly pet will be more popular than something with more meaning.
Fellowship Wrap Up
So as you get your school year started and you make your plans and find the supplies you need make sure you take the time to think about the connects you need to make so that you as a homeschool mom stay nurtured and fed. You need to make sure you find ways to connect that fill you up and don’t drain you further. If you are looking for a local group you might have to try more than one. If there is only one choice and it doesn’t fit maybe you can find one or two other moms to connect with. Perhaps there are people online that you feel a deeper connection to and you can form a closed group so that you can have a safe place to share and fellowship. For more causal fellowship it’s alright to be picking so that you can have the time to invest without being overwhelmed and pulled from more important things.
Group 5 Links
Since there are so many people playing along in this blog post we have divided up into groups. Here is the links for my group #5
Dawn @ Double O Farms
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler
Lexi @ Lextin Academy
Karen @ My Harbor Lights (This is where you are at right now.)
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama
Lisa @ Home to 4 Kiddos
Lori @ Home: where life happens
Posts in This Series
Day 1 – Plan
Day 2 – Supplies
Day 3 – Fellowship
Day 4 – Service
Day 5 – Technology
Don’t Forget The Giveaway
You have until August 18th to join in the contest. Head over to the Giveaway Post to enter.
Check the Link to the Anchor Post for the Back to School Blog Hop