Because I am helping with some communications stuff for one of our co-ops, I have been sending notices out about the co-op on the various e-mail lists for homeschoolers in the metro area.
This was an eye-opener — there are even more groups than I had heard of previously. When I searched groups for homeschool in my region, I got a list of 110. That’s just yahoo e-lists!
Many lists purport to be general. Then there are of course several Christian, several Catholic, a Muslim, a politically liberal, a “socially and politically” conservative, general secular, a “night owl” for people who stay up late, Charlotte Mason, people who travel in RVs (which I think could be really fun if we all survived), Thomas Jefferson, chronic illness, part-time homeschool, parents of teens, parents of tweens — in Minnesota.
Also there is a group by a fan of the boy band Hanson especially for homeschooling Hanson fans.
Add to that multiple Yahoo groups for certain types of families, with a certain variation on a theme: natural, holistic, peaceful, gentle, earthy, crunchy. (Among these groups, one interested me because it wasn’t enough to *do* family bed, but you had to *love* doing it. Really? How many nights out of 7?) Out of curiosity, I started looking for other types of parenting: strict, rigid, firm, confrontational. I had a bit of luck with “old-fashioned,” which oddly led to one or two “pro-corporal punishment” groups. One group seemed to be entirely devoted to the defense of spanking!
But I digress.
I began to wonder — what would my group be? Were I seeking to create a group of like-minded travellers, how would I describe it?
The question was a nonstarter. Everything I could think of sounded too stifling or specific, or too general to be meaningful. All I could do is start a group for me and all my internet friends who have complained over the years that we don’t fit well anywhere.
In this vein, I tried “misfit homeschoolers” as a search term. I got exactly one result:
Well-Trained Mind Secular Homeschoolers. (?!)
If these guys are the misfits, you and I, my friends, inhabit an alternate reality.
Which, since it is a pretty good reality, is OK with me.