Last night was KidsROCK's Round Table Discussion. We used to do these, and they died out for lack of interest. Now, we have lots of interest and I love it! We reinstated the meeting in January and it was so enjoyable. As people were leaving, they were asking for the next meeting date.
So, we met again last night, Mar 1. Already people are asking for the next one. One lady couldn't make it for a friend's emergency, and she was hoping there was another planned as solace. Another lady has already offered her home for the next meeting. The enthusiasm is a wonderful gift and serves as a fair litmus test for our calendar planning.
Something that struck me as funny was the extreme difference between last night and the January meeting. the first meeting had several husbands present. I think dads are pivotal to successful homeschooling. It is a soap box of mine and I try to remember to not step on any toes when I talk about it.
Dads can give an air of waiting for us to fail, or can come in as reinforcements when things get rough. They can question everything mom does from chores to scheduling to academics. Or they can check in, but with an air of trust and respect--which can be a real gift when mom may not be feeling so confident. Depending on how dad approaches homeschooling, the home can be a haven of stability and support or embody the air of a cold war.
With that in mind, I really like the dads at meetings like this. I think they get a chance to hear from other families that the struggles and fears are normal and worth pushing through. I think those who are fully convicted that homeschooling is best for the kids and the family can really be a source of encouragement to other dads who aren't so sure this is a totally sane venture. And on top of all that, homeschooling and KidsROCK are both family ventures, so having the head of the family there just makes sense.
Last night, however, was an all-lady event. We talked babies, birth, periods, and cute kid stories just as much as we talked homeschooling. I gave so much more latitude at this meeting about our topics and focus. We were really all over the place, even when I posed a question for discussion, we were on rabbit trails before the end of the first sentence. I was mindful of the differences as we moved through evening, and I was OK with it.
We ladies need to just talk sometimes. We need to share frustrations and fears, plus hopes and silly stories in a safe place. Those intimacies grow friendships more than all the 'shop-talk' in the world. And if those friendships do develop, there is an established source for any homeschool questions arrive in the future. I feel like we just expanded the time frame of the Q&A to everyday access. I like that.
But I still like those men!