An Introduction to Homeschool PDX

Although I have always known that homeschooling is the best fit for my family, I found myself dealing with a truckload of self-doubt when my eldest child was due to start kindergarten. My husband and I had a clear plan in place, we were enthusiastic about starting to homeschool in earnest (after years of gently warming up through homeschooling preschool), and my daughter was ready to go. We were fully prepared. And then I made the mistake of going to our local country school’s kindergarten roundup.

All of my daughter’s friends were there, all of my own friends were there, and as the children played on the play structure I had a chance to meet with the newly hired kindergarten teacher. Unfortunately, she was amazing – warm, attentive, considerate, thoughtful and intelligent. I found myself doubting years of planning and imagining how my little girl might thrive in a classroom environment. After all, she had been friends with some of these children since they were just a few months old. Before I knew it, I was weaving a new web of reasons why it might benefit our family to at least try public school.

In the midst of making this enormous decision, I realized that a critical piece was missing from our homeschool puzzle: community. We had found no other homeschooling families in our five years in Portland. I had scoured the internet to no avail, and in our small town neck-of-the-woods where the local school is the social gathering place, everyone revered the school community and did their utmost to keep it thriving. Why couldn’t I do the same, I began to wonder?

And so our daughter began kindergarten at the local school. During the two weeks that she attended, many of our theoretical misgivings about public school became actualized. The children were pushed to learn reading and writing at an anxiety-producing pace, the teacher gave the children candy as a reward for remembering math concepts, and my little girl came home repeating things along the lines of, “All boys are gross, Mama.” Suffice it to say, public school was clearly not a good fit for our family.

When our daughter began waking up with tears in her eyes about the prospect of spending another morning in the kindergarten class, we knew it was time to pull her out of school. That very same day, we also decided to make it a priority to create / discover / manifest a strong, supportive community of local homeschooling families to share our homeschooling journey with. And that is how Homeschool PDX was born.

Within just a few weeks, our membership blossomed. I could hardly believe just how many people homeschool in Portland and how easy it was to find them using the meetup.com platform. Despite all of my initial dead-end investigations into the local world of home educators, it turns out that Portland is a homeschooling metropolis! I had definitely not been looking in the right places.

Now, just five months later, with nearly one hundred members and well over one hundred meetups under our belt, I’d like to welcome you to http://www.homeschoolpdx.com. This is a homeschool community project – a place where parents like you and me can first and foremost find each other, then share anything from curriculum ideas to personal stories about our homeschooling journeys. This site will also include links to local resources (including the many Portland homeschooling groups that I have since discovered!), relevant blogs and books, ideas for teaching various topics, and much more.

Please feel comfortable to comment, suggest or contribute content, and/or contact me at homeschoolpdx@gmail.com with any questions or ideas you may have. Also, if you’re interested in receiving email notifications of member posts, please subscribe using the “Follow Us” button at the top of the page.

Enjoy!

Lindsey

Founder / Organizer Homeschool PDX

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9 comments

  1. That sounds great. I created a meetup group in my area as well and have 6 members. I hope to have more sign ups with time. If you have time I would love for you to check out my blog studentleadlearning.com. I would love to know if you could use any of the posted ideas for your group.

  2. As a fellow Oregonian, the PDX pulled me in! 😉 Wonderful to hear of the community you are forming. The support is so important! I’ve been involved in a co-op (Southern Oregon Coast) since 2001 and I can honestly say that I’d not have made it without it. In case you haven’t already, you might check into OCEANetwork. They are wonderfully helpful and are based in your neck of the woods. Blessings to you!

  3. I’m always so heartened when I read stories of like minded parents pulling together for their kiddos. I need to stop reading the news and start reading blogs, stories of real people and real communities. Congratulations!

  4. I am really glad to read this post. I have a 2yo girl and a 3yo girl. We have always known we are going to homeschool. But we recently bought a house and found that we have access to a school that looks really amazing. For a moment, like you, I seriously doubted our decision as I hated to deny my children something that appeared wonderful. Since my kids are not kindergarten age, all of this is hypothetical. But I’m glad to read of your experience.

  5. I live in Hillsboro and just pulled my son out of kindergarten. I have been scouring the internet (and Amazon, ugh all the books, all the $$!) for everything I can find to feel a little less lost in the homeschooling world.

    This group just may be the ticket! I look forward to meeting some fellow homeschoolers ASAP. Thanks for taking the initiative and creating a haven for those of us with doubts, fears, and anticipation. I feel like I can take a little sigh of relief.

    Here is the beginning of my story: http://www.kbsquaredblog.com/2014/03/the-day.html

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