Something had to be done. So I turned to a homeschool group I joined when we first moved up here, a group full of the very sweetest, kindest families you'll ever meet. Most of them live a distance from us, and thus many of the activities take place a distance from us, but it's worth it to get some of that Socialization in.
Rather than the structured co-op many homeschool groups offer, this group decided to give moms a break by having the kids start interest groups called Guilds. These are all completely student-led groups and can be very academia-focused or not.
I have to be honest, I didn't completely understand the guilds when I presented it to my children. I asked them what types of guilds they would like to be involved in. Michael said Legos. Obviously. Alex's interest was writing. I signed them up. I didn't entirely understand that I was signing them each up to lead the groups.
But...they ended up being just fine with leading the groups, and they took charge. Michael has a week-by-week plan of attack for the Lego guild. The first week he presented the best way to build a strong Lego wall. This week he focused his group on vehicles.
Jacob has joined Michael's group.
Alex enjoys her writing group, though I think she more appreciates the fact that she can hang out with her good friend Abbey and whomever else shows up than the fact that she gets to spend a couple hours writing, but that's OK.
Audrey was bored out of her mind the first week. This homeschool group has a great age range...lots of teenagers and kids my older kids' ages. I'm so happy about that as the group at my church had few to none my kids' ages. However, this group does not have many younger ones.
This week, though, a new guild formed. It is called Daughters of Zion (DOZ), which I found out is a national ministry which focuses on music and dance. They do a lot with the tambourine and ribbons. I knew this would be right up Audrey's alley, and as they introduced the new group, I leaned down to whisper to Audrey, "That looks like fun! Do you want to try it?"
She paused contemplatively for a moment. Her eyes sparkled with interest. But then I saw the shyness creep in and cloud the interest. She shook her head.
Everyone dispersed to their guild, and Audrey and I retired to a table over where Alex's group was. Alex began then to encourage her to join the DOZ group. I tried again to convince her to just give it a try. She finally conceded, and she was warmly welcomed to the group by a very capable young lady who couldn't have been more than 9 but was teaching choreography like an experienced 28-year-old.
After Guilds, Audrey could not stop talking about it and about how she needed her own tangerine. I promised her she would have a tangerine of her very own by the time the next guild rolls around!