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What we're about

The Difference Between Interest and Commitment "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when the circumstances permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."

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GOT KICK?

(Recent events have forced this conversation to be added to our intro pages. It's not a pleasant topic, but it most definitely is an important one. After this conversation, there is all the rest of "all about us.")

In the days of Grog and Bog careening down the great plains of the world back in days of ol', when they had discord between them it is conceivable that they may have taken self-wittled bats to each other as a form of resolution. Did it resolve matters? No, not really. It mostly just made your opponent too busy reeling in pain to keep arguing - a false sense of accomplishment coming to the aggressor. What's the point? The point is that I would like to believe that over the many, many years us lowly humans have been on planet Earth (oh, the good ol' days of planet Zorkon, eh?), that there has been potential for us to evolve, that perhaps we would see that when we have conflict we are capable of resolving it with words.

Now, for kids this can be a hard sell. We humans, in our early years, have much in common with the animals in the field, acting more on impulse than intellect, acting more from base emotions than from a marriage of the head and heart. However, as parents, if we want a country without weekly shootings, if we want a world without constant war, we need to make that first, critical step in teaching our children that, when problems arise, and, oh boy, they will, that our kids must seek to solve it amongst themselves and, if unable after enough attempts have been made, to seek out a parent for guidance as opposed to giving the other kid hard, square, repeated punches on the arm, and spitting repeated slurs into his ear at the same time.

As parents, we are moulding our children toward that behavior that we want to see in them as adults in the future, that they should see in us adults right now. We are moulding the way we want to see the world of the future, for every way we act is a scribe in them of what should and should not be, for what is right and what is wrong. If we tell our children to take up the proverbial sword, we may feel strongly vindicated that our sweet Janey successfully fought back that evil Johnny (I knew he was never any good!), her holding the sword of victory high as she pounced off, leaving him floundering in pain and tears. But, moreover, what we have done is open the door to might makes right.

Kids will have scrapes, and kids will most definitely have misunderstanding (especially when, egad, new kids join a group - how dare they!). But resolution does not come from a fist. Resolution is coming to an understanding, finding the answer to a problem, finding the key to confusion. A fist...is just a fist.

Talking is hard. Talking means you have to turn off hate. Talking means you open your ears. Talking means you may have to hear from persons different from you. Talking means you may have to (dare I say it) give peace a chance. Your head may ache from it. Your heart may be pounding from it. And your fists may, indeed, be clenched, sweat dripping down your face. And deep inside you may be repeating "But I hate her! But I hate her!" But, after all, with all the mustering and complaints from society to governments or leaders as to "why can't they just find a peaceful resolution with that country?!" or "here we go again invading this place now!," who are we to talk if in the smallest arena of conflict, in the most personal setting of hard feelings we cannot reach out and say "Let's talk."

For if you live by the sword, as you swipe it readily toward your enemies so shall ensue lifelessness and dark all around (boy, now that WAS dramatic! I had images of Lord of the Rings. You?)

It is important at this juncture to make a clear distinction between violent response to conflict and self defense. Self-defense is quite literally "...a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well- being of oneself from harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger...." (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

Violent resolution to conflict is NOT self-defense. One is justified to engage in self-defense. If our sweet, little Janey is being pinned down by Johnny's legs while he pummels her with his fists - therein lies a justification for self-defense. If sweet Janey again is cornered by multiple kids, who threaten her, taking swings, intermingled with shoving, kicking, and spitting - therein lies a case for self-defense. But not when kids are, for example, playing a game of freeze tag:

• The kids are all playing a game of freeze tag. Johnny agrees to help his teammates, to sacrifice himself by walking up and putting his arms around Janey, who is "the freezer." This freezes himself to her, thus allowing all of his teammates can get safely away. Janey doesn't want Johnny touching her. Janey tells Johnny to get away, but to Johnny he cannot move. He's frozen, after all. Janey pummels Johnny repeatedly, all the while saying multiple racial epitaphs in his ear.

This is not self defense. This is violent resolution to conflict.

If little Janey would have marched off to mom, complaining of the incident (all without any violent interlude), and if Janey's mom reached out to Johnny's mom to discuss the matter, it would have been a quick and easy path to follow to see where the misunderstanding originated.

Now, kids on their own will sometimes resort to violence when angry and frustrated. This happens. But wherein fighting is policy....

Long story short. I do not abide violent resolution to conflict. Violence is easy. Understanding is hard.

And do not think for a second this group has not seen bullies! Boy, it has! And even when our kids were subject to bullying, and when resolution could not be found, we removed the situation. We didn't beat it out.

We didn't hit.

We didn't kick.

We didn't pinch so hard the other person had welts.

We didn't say slurs.

We didn't go on a warpath of hurt and destruction to prove to them that no one messes with us.

We didn't seek out anyone we've known for years to join the march of hate.

So, haters go somewhere else.

And, again, the short version, we don't do violence here. So, if you've taught your child that, when faced with a problem, hit your way out of it, kindly kick yourself out of this group now.

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(Ok. Here's the regular, group-like stuff to read. Enough of all that kick the crap out of everyone who pisses you off stuff.)

GOT KID?

We are a small, intimate group of moms who are passionate about homeschooling. Our members are enthusiastic about learning and growing with their children, and they are excited to be part of a group of moms who share that same enthusiasm.

The goal of our group is to provide fun experiences and friendship for our children, and to offer support to one another as we start, discuss, continue, question and share our homeschool journeys. We support moms doing all kinds of homeschooling, no matter the method or ideology. We welcome homeschool families of all beliefs, including those who do not adhere to any religion.

Our group is a cooperative, one in which all members are expected to share ideas, organize events, and participate!

What we offer

weekly get-togethers

field trips

holiday parties, etc.

We invite you to join us if you...

Are a homeschool family looking for support and friendship,

Have a passion for teaching your children at home,

Have an enthusiasm and dedication to plan, host, and participate in group events, activities and discussions,

Have a strong commitment to build and nurture friendships for your children and yourself,

In this group...

when you show up, you will not be left hanging, where you show up to a location only to find no one, meet no one, not even sure if anyone else from the group ever showed. Not only will I show up to each event (barring unusual circumstances), but I will find you, and you will then be able to interact with the group. (What a concept....)

events scheduled will not be located simply for the ease and convenience of me. Event locations will shift round robin style so that each person gets a chance for an event hosted in their area. Everyone deserves a short drive!

there will not be 100+ potential BFFs that, ironically, the majority of whom you have, and never will, meet. It will be a small group of actually active persons committed, dedicated to forming a welcoming, open community of homeschooling families.

there is no clique here. There is no "secret handshake" to become one of the group. When you show up, every effort will be made to make you feel welcome, and your efforts of attendance wholly appreciated. You will not be ignored! Got a mole the size of Mount Everest sitting smack on your nose? No problem. Thin, fat, short, really tall? Okeedookee! Black, white, purple or green with orange pokey dots??? So what!

every effort will be made to schedule events at a set day/time so that you can easily schedule the remainder of your month, leaving you time to have a life with your biggest, and best, commitment - your family.

will not be littered with a plethora of stuff to fill your every aching hour. Don't know about you, but I feel busy enough! 2-3 events per month will be average so you can.....b r e a t h e!!!!!!

If you love sharing new experiences with your children, watching them marvel at the new discoveries they find in the world, then we encourage you to join us!

Wanna read more?? Then thou must-tith (not a real word but my mind is sooooo bored right now) see the "Rules Page" for all the nitty gritty! It's where all the fun stuff is listed! :O You will find it by going to the top menu, right under where it says TEXAS HOME LEARNERS, between the words home and more, and selecting PAGES. That's where you'll find the hard core stuff which will either elicit a squeal of joy or a groan of disgust. FYI, if you groan, do us all a favor and keep-a-walkie'. Danka!

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Ok. So I copied the rules here...because it seems navigating Meetup for some is about as easy as...oh geez, who knows. I am so out of creativity at this point. But read on! Even if you don't end up agreeing with out schtick, what lies below at the very least dares to be entertaining....!!

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Oh Boy! Look at all the rules!

Who Can Join
We encourage any mom who is actively homeschooling her child(ren) to join our group, with younger and older siblings always welcome (and we've got 'em!). We welcome moms who homeschool as long as you are able to join us regularly for events. We'll be glad to have you on board!

Note, this group is for moms are actively homeschooling their children. It is not a resource for persons who are interested in finding out more about it, and potentially getting involved - potentially homeschooling. The Internet is resplendent with a plethora of information to help those researching this avenue. This group is for people who ARE homeschooling. Not fair to the kids to have moms join just for info, all the while the kids are forming connections and wonder, when the mom's done fact gathering, why that kid that became a friend disappeared. (Yep, people have actually done this.)

Please note, persons who are part of 6 or more Meetup homeschool/children's groups are STRONGLY discouraged from joining. Why? Because no one can give sufficient effort and time to so many groups at once. Short version - never had someone join who was part of a bunch of groups who ever actually showed up. Are you the exception? Fine. But so far, given all opportunities, welcomes, and throwing out the proverbial red carpet...persons who are heavy with tons of groups have never, ever, ever actually showed up. Tiring is the nicest word I can think of. If you are genuinely looking for a new group because the others didn't work out, that's just fine. But if you're just looking to pad your calendar, this will not be the group for you. Our children are not padding - they're people.

Where We Meet
Tired of the constant drive!??? Where the events will take place will be determined based on where members live. Locations for events will be selected round robin style, so that members can take turns having small drives to events, as no one always likes to be the one doing all the driving.

Obviously, for field trips, those are based on set locations of where those items exist. However, our "home range" boundary is based on where our current members live.....and stretches along the 35W corridor from Keller to South Fort Worth. It also goes west to roughly Benbrook. We do not serve the eastern cities, i.e., Arlington, etc. However, we do go to northeastern areas like Southlake, and Grapevine occasionally. As long as you are up for a true round robin - where sometimes you do the majority of the driving and other times the other members do - then feel free to sign up!

Note, your location will NOT be added to the round robin until you prove yourself a dedicated, consistent member. Why? Because many people sign up to many meetup groups who never show up. On more than one occasion, after a new person has signed up, an event right near their location had been scheduled. When the date came, too often we had a no show/no call from the new person. So we all went out of our way for nothing. As such, via past experience, we have been taught to wait until someone makes the effort to show up consistently before we include them in our round robin. In other words, you have to earn your stripes. No freebees here. You want friends for your kids? Make the effort. Actually show up. Want friends for yourself? Show up, RSVP, and don't leave people hanging. Want people to go out of their way to do something for you? Then go out of your way for them….

If you live outside of the range mentioned, feel free to sign up. However, again, we are a FW and surrounding cities based group. If you live outside of our boundary, you will be driving longer than anyone else on a regular basis.

Locations for get-togethers

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For our to-dos, we mostly get together at smaller, quieter parks, not only to allow the kids free play but also a smaller, less distracted venue to really get to know each other well and become friends. We will also have in-home events. These smaller atmospheres foster an easier getting-to-know-you for both the kids and the moms. Plus, it keeps most of our get-togethers free. They may not be the most WOW places, but, frankly, WOW isn't the point here. Wanna get a group to really get to know each other? Isolate them in a small venue with few options to chat to outsiders, and do this on a regular basis - basically forcing the children's hands to get to know each other. If we went to big, WOW parks with lots of other kids, which are so big that one can easier wander way off from the group...the kids will then get distracted with the WOW and other children, wherein we end up spending an entire day watching the kids play with others they will never see again. That does not create friendships.

For a once and awhile field trip we'll venture to larger venues, noted below. We do these trips often in the afternoon to keep us away from the school kid crowds.

The purpose of the field trips is equally for a change of venue, a "wouldn't this be fun" kind of thing, as it is for educational exposure. However, we're not pushing the educational aspect. For us, the kids get enough educational exposure. We're looking to give them something of equal value in this group - friends. (However, as the group ages, and moves toward the teenage years, educational activities may abound, but this is a way off. And, even then, the primary focus will be fun activities to allow friendships to blossom….)

Field trip venues may include:

Fort Worth Zoo
Dallas Zoo
Free Splash Parks throughout the Metroplex during hot months
Local farms for pumpkin picking and Christmas trees (if you favor)
Sandy Lake Amusement in Carrollton
Dinosaur World, Glen Rose
Fort Worth Science Center

How to Become a Member
Make sure you agree with all the information regarding membership, participation, fees, submitting
and changing an RSVP, and illnesses.
Click the Join Us button
Complete the profile questions and upload a photo of yourself
The organizer will then let you know about your membership
Note: a personal photo is mandatory for prospective new members. If you can navigate the computer enough to sign up to this group, you can navigate it enough to post a photo.

Membership
Membership dues are $20. Why? To cover costs of some events and the group fees.

Once you sign up, you have 60 days from the time you join to attend an event. If you do not attend an event within 60 days of joining our group, we will assume that you do not wish to participate with us and you will be removed from the group. You may reapply at any time when you are ready to be active with us! During this 60 days, however, you will be expected to RSVP and respond to any request for communication. If you do not communicate, it will be assumed that you do not wish to participate and be removed. No quiet moles from the underground are accepted here. If you join, it is expected that you wish to interface with people - and communication is key to that.

Participation
Our goal is to have an active group of moms who want to get together frequently to share ideas, learn from one another, and build friendships for ourselves and our children. This can only happen if we each commit to participating in our group. Since our goal is to have an active group, members who do not attend an event at least twice per month, and/or neglect to respond to the organizer emails, will be removed from the group. RSVPs are also mandatory, born not only of good manners necessity of planning. If there is an unexpected event in your life that prevents you from attending our events, please let the organizer know! This is simple, people. Why sign up if you do not show up!? I have been part of other groups where the sign up/no show up phenomenon took plague proportions. This will not happen here simply because it will not be tolerated.

If you are a chronic joiner of meetup groups but not a chronic doer, if you cannot help yourself but to RSVP but cannot actually never make the effort to be at a place, if you are the queen of last minute drop outs, if you have a communication disability wherein you are unable to call/text/email/send smoke signals/communicate through the toaster when unable to show...go someplace else. This behavior is not welcome here. We are raising children! Not adults! Also, if you only sign up for events when they are on your side of town, well, that's not a friend. That is an opportunist. This is not welcome here.

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Please be is known here on this day..!!..that we will not tolerate those who sign up and then disappear off the face of the earth. This is the real, grown up world. If you sign up for something the expectation is that you show up for something. We're trying to do what is best for the kids and fair for the moms. We are not here to provide a "virtual" fill for your Facebook wall so you look important. This is NOT Facebook. We are not your friends just because you clicked on us. This is the REAL WORLD....where relationships are made of actions - not posts.

Organizing and Planning Events
This group works best if everyone is involved. All members are encouraged to forward ideas for events and also to host some themselves. If you have a great idea for an event, please email it to the organizers. If you want to lead an event like an art or science lesson, or a story time, you can always place a limit on the number of members who can attend so that the event won't be too big. It takes all of us to make our group great!

Fees for Events
Most of our events will be FREE with the exception of some field trips.

Who Can Attend Events
All events listed on our calendar are for group members only unless otherwise noted in the event description. Extended family members are welcome at events, but please check with the event organizer before attending. We want to ensure that group members and their children have first priority for events that have limited openings. We also want members to know who will be attending all events, especially those at member homes. Special considerations are made for moms who homeschool and provide in-home daycare. Please contact a Group Facilitator if you have questions regarding this.

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BULLIES!!
Got Bully? Got a kid who tends to leave ‘em cryin’? Likes to exclude? Isolate? Got a prima donna who believes that Galileo was wrong and the Sun revolves around them...? Bad mouthing elevated to an art form? Eye rolling at others a chronic illness? Prone to hitting, kicking, smacking, punching, shoving….? Then please do not join. This is not a therapy group where the children of others are the sounding board for your child to work out their social improprieties. Have a regular kid who sometimes does wrong (and who doesn’t)? No worries. Shtick happens. Bullies here will not.

"Boys will be boys!" "Your kid is just oversensitive!" "S/he's just having some trouble adjusting to a ….." "That's just how big families are." "He's used to playing rough with his brothers/cousins/uncle/dad." "Kids should be left to work things out themselves." "Oh, s/he's just excited!" "S/he's just spirited and lively."

Good kids can go through bad times. And it can mean bad behavior. Unfortunately, even if bad times are prompting bad behavior from your child, it still does not justify putting other children in the path of it. If you child is going through an aggressive phase that involved hitting, kicking, pushing, throwing things at others, then your child should not participate until he or she has their aggression under control. All kids go through phases, including hitting. This doesn't make them bad, but it makes them a hard sell to the rest of us who don't want our kids used as punching bags while yours may be working out how to solve conflict and interrelate without aggression… We are happy to have children join once aggression issues have been resolved. This doesn't mean mistakes won't happen. Being human means mistakes. But repeated mistakes happening over and over and over again means a pattern of behavior. Further, as an aggressive (physical, mental, or emotional) pattern, this means others are getting hurt in the meantime. This is SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE.

You would not accept another adult that hits, smacks, shoves, or punches you, all the while claiming "boys will be boys" or "I'm just going through a phase." On the same token, you should not accept your child doing it to someone's else's kids. (If this is acceptable to you, this is NOT the group for you.)

RSVP
RSVP to all events - whether is be yes or no. If you RSVP yes for an event, the expectation, as crazy as this sounds, will be that you show up! Check the website before attending an event to see any last minute changes. If your plans change, please update your RSVP on the website as soon as you can and email the organizer directly. When an event is planned and you RSVP yes, the hostess is expecting you! Respect each other and the efforts that we make in planning our events! Members who RSVP yes to events and do not show up will be removed from the group. Members who do not RSVP will also be removed. It is a basic courtesy, not born of obligation via membership rules but of basic human kindness and mutual respect, both of which are requisite to the development of friendships.

Illnesses

Please be respectful of other members and do not attend any events if you or your children are ill. Keep your child home if he or she is coughing, has a runny nose or fever, and allow at least 24 hours to pass after your child has had a fever before you attend an event. If you bring a seemingly sick child to an event you may be asked to leave. If you frequently bring your ill child to events, the organizers will contact you and possibly remove you from the group.

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Odd Man Out

On a last note...worried you may feel like the odd one out? Fearful that this group may have a cliquish bent that will keep you, and your kids, from feeling at home? Well, it could happen - if you're mean, have a side job outside the bounds of the law, participate in animal sacrifices, participate in causing harm to others, have yelling as a past-time or anger issues, physically punish your children, like to sit quietly and avoid talking to people all the while thinking how anti-social everyone else is, like to exclude others based on external factors instead of what is in their heart, what comes out of their mouth, or what words their actions speak. So, yes, there is a chance of exile. However, if you are just a mom looking for connection for yourself and friends for your kids, then you should fit in just fine.

Bent

What's the bent of the group? The major theme? Who are we? The only theme is getting together consistently to allow our kids chances to make friends.

Who are we? We are a myriad of different women from different backgrounds and different beliefs. This is NOT a Christian homeschool group. Let me repeat - THIS IS NOT A CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL GROUP! Now, I will simultaneously translate this into 143 different languages just to make sure everyone heard me on that. Ready??? "This is NOT a Christian homeschool group." Got that??? GREAT! Conversely, this is not an anti-Christian homeschool group. This is a homeschool friendship group. Religion is in no way the if, and, or but of this group. It is irrelevant for the purpose of this group. If you are more comfortable in a group where your religion and its requisite demands are front and center to a group, then you will mostly likely be more comfortable elsewhere.

Religion is not a goal of this group.

The goal of this group is friends for the kids.

As such, if you join is it expected that you will allow each person their choice of religion, or lack thereof, without considering it your mission to change it. If you are uncomfortable around people who discuss the Jurassic period without your feathers being ruffled, dislike overhearing another thanking God, Vishnu, etc., or rubbing shoulders with people who worship 300 million year old fossils and ponder the Big Bang, then this may not be the group for you. If someone likes to dress up in My Little Pony costumes while munching on seaweed...I don't care! And if they do this while simultaneously balancing on a peg board while churning out the Star Spangle Banner on a mini piano, while, then I DO care because that would be really very awesome to see.

Just play by the rules, be nice, obey the laws of the land, and let's focus on the purpose of the group - friends for the kids.

And in a pseudo-religious bent, although this is a homeschool group, it does not directly translate that this is what is currently termed a “granola” group. It is not. In this group there are persons who use the McDonald's drive thru on purpose, think of brownies as a religious activity, think Ding Dongs are sacred and should be worshipped (and WHO doesn't????), prefer plastic over paper, believe in physicians, vaccines, medicine, etc.

Again, this group is about making friends for the kids.

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