A few years ago I had been actively involved in a Meetup group for local homeschoolers but when the leadership in the group changed and they started charging dues, I decided to drop out. I really hadn't been very involved in the community; I would look at the upcoming events parents were posting and sometimes we would attend. Not all of the events were sponsored by members of the group, sometimes it worked more as a central location to learn about things happening in the community where homeschoolers could participate. When the leadership changed there seemed to be more focus on the local homeschool co-op that I had no interest in joining. The structure of co-ops really doesn't fit our style.
My boys attend a few regular activities with other homeschoolers, our monthly book club and bi-weekly game nights at the library. At the last game night a mom was talking about an ecology day that had been planned and posted in the Meetup. I realized we were missing out on events because I had quit the group. So I reluctantly paid my dues and started checking out the site.
I spent some time reading the schedule for their weekly co-op and I started to think, "Wouldn't it be great to take advantage of these classes?!" But then I thought about the time commitment we'd have to make; even though it's only one day a week, we'd be unable to travel during the months co-op was in session. I'd have to agree to teach or help in some way. We'd have to be there early in the morning and spend a whole day doing classes. This was starting to sound more and more like 'regular' school, except in this case, we'd have to pay a fee! One way it wouldn't be like regular school was that these classes are only held one day a week. I couldn't really see how a once a week class could really do much to improve the boys' math, science, or history learning. So even though some outsourcing may be appealing, I decided it was not worth it.
But then I found something we would be interested in trying. One father was putting together a three on three basketball program. Last year was our final year with Upward because EM has reached the maximum age. This would be a great opportunity for us. The group will meet one day a week for some instruction and then games. It looks like the rules will be very similar to Upward which will make it easy for them to adapt. The cost will only be a $20 participation fee. Overall, it looks like a great fit for us. The only problem is that the first week will be when we are traveling, but the coordinator said it wouldn't be a problem for us to miss one week. So I signed them up and we'll be playing basketball later this fall.
I found myself checking and re-checking the conversation about this event. Hopefully Meetup doesn't turn into another time waster like Facebook for me. Believe me, I don't need any more distractions from what I am supposed to be doing around here! It's hard enough to stay focused and get these kids a little education when there are so many other things that can suck up my time.