Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Downward Spiral

We have all heard the statistics that 10% of church members do all the work, while the other 90% sit on their “blessed assurance” each week.  As a church worker for many years, I can STRONGLY attest that yes, this is true.  Anyone who has ever worked in children’s ministry can tell you there are NEVER enough workers.

Sadly, I’m noticing that this same “do for me” attitude has crept into so many aspects of our lives, and the homeschooling community is not exempt.  Stunned silence and indignation are probably your first response, but hear me out.

Homeschool co-ops and support groups are all the rage.   Large, active groups can often have something happening every single day of the week.   There are field trips, group learning activities and play dates to choose from.   What you may not realize is that all of those things don’t just happen, they are planned and organized by someone.  Typically that someone is a homeschool veteran who has been around for a while. 

As homeschooling grows in popularity, we’re seeing that new homeschool families are loving being a part of all of those things, but they aren’t willing to teach a class, organize an event or coordinate a portion of a group.  I have news for you, those homeschool veterans will graduate their last child soon, or at least sooner than you.   Then where does that leave you and your co-op?

Look at the things you and your family count as important.  Maybe it’s a co-op, scouts, 4-H or Awana that your family really enjoys.   Look around at the next gathering and see who’s an active adult participant.  If you live in a small community, you very well may see the same “leaders” at more than one event.   Then ask yourself the simple question “How can I contribute to the success of this program?”   Look for ways to get involved, not just a place to drop your kids and bolt out the door.

At first you may feel a bit out of your comfort zone, a little awkward.  It’ll be a lot less awkward now, learning alongside those veterans than it will be trying to figure it all out on your own when they are gone.

If you live in an area where there really isn’t any type of group activity, guess what, you can start one.  Scary stuff, right?  No, not really.   Look for ways to make opportunities happen, don’t just sit back and wait for someone else to get inspired.

One day you will be the homeschool veteran.  People will  look to you for support and guidance.  Will you be up to the task, or will your group slowly die because everyone expected someone else to take charge?

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