Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
February 21st, 2008
I’m Smitten

Ok… I’m usually the last to find out about all the really neato, super excellent places to go, but thanks to Kristina, I just got clued in to The Homeschool Lounge – which, is entirely addictive.  It seems to be all the rage, and I have already had a lot of fun running around and bumping into things, figuring out how things work, etc. Here is the page I set up last night.  It almost feels like going to a homeschool convention and running into all of your friends.  I’ve never seen a website like it before.  I Like It Tons Times Two.

Ok, in other news, I found an email that I had missed (from about a month ago) from a friend who was asking what I did about ‘visiting issues’ when my kids played with other friends.  Essentially, she was having some difficulties because she has a large family with kids that are different ages, and inevitably, it seemed like some of her kids would get left out, or the younger ones not get invited to parties of older kids, etc. and hanging out with friends would end up causing stress.  She was wondering if anybody else ever felt compelled to talk to other kids’ parents (her friends) and complain if their kids won’t include her younger ones. 

I had never really thought of that being an issue, but she wondered if anybody else dealt with that… the pressure to be age segregated even in homeschool circles.  I didn’t have a whole lot to say because I am such a hermit, we hardly ever see anybody, and when we do, my kids are very particular about keeping their siblings tied to their hip. Not to mention I also sort of like it when my kids get left out, or if somebody is kind of mean to them because then they get to practice being a leader, and to toughen up, and to deal with real life issues that may hit them in the ‘real world’.  That’s an important thing to learn and a hard thing to teach!

I probably do not fit the norm when it comes to ‘socializing’. First of all, like I said, we don’t do it very often.  And when we do, my kids are their own peer group and are very sensitive to look out for each other.  Plus, they are also not shy, so they do not usually end up getting left out  – or if they do, they are like me and aren’t bright enough to know when they’re being snubbed.  We’re like a pack of big dumb sheep dogs.  hi… hi… how’s it going? … wanna play catch? No?  ok!  Wanna run around the yard? No?  ok!  Wanna see my new socks? No?  ok!  You want me to get lost?  Ok!  I’ll hide, find me when you’re ready.  Grin grin slobber slobber”  We just keeping asking until somebody finally humors us.

But anyways, I told her I would throw it out and see if any of you smart people had any insight, advice, philosophies or examples of what happens when your kids are grouped up with others.  Any takers?

February 21st, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

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  1. Anonymous said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 11:40 am

    being hurt

    Hi Jen,

    Well spoken philosophy! Kids have to experience a little pain to learn compassion. (Sound like a sadist, don't I?) Disappointment and hurt feelings can teach many lessons if we, as the mama bear, don't sidetrack God's lesson plan. Not to imply that I would stand by and watch my child be attacked but I would encourage him/her to be slow to be offended, quick to forgive and consider what the other child is going through. (Now if I can just take that medicine myself…)

    I enjoy your blog, Jen, thanks!

    Susan in Ohio

  2. Anonymous said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Untitled Comment

    lfdshnafojdsaf I'm cracking up here. “hi… hi… how’s it going? … wanna play catch? No?" that's hilarious.. not to be mean, but when I saw the "hi.. hi.." I couldn't help but think of Emmi.. you should have followed it with, ".. guess what???"..

  3. jess4him said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Untitled Comment

    that last post was me by the way..

  4. Anonymous said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I say long live the dumb sheep dogs.

    I'd picka dumb old sheepdog over a standard poodle ANY day. 🙂

    and that you can take to the bank.


  5. Anonymous said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Untitled Comment

    That doesn't go for me, I am totally social. Would you say I'm the most social in the family?

    Australia? You wouldn't be able to stand that.

  6. solidrockhomeschool said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Socializing & Learning

    When we do socialize and 1 of my kids is being "left out" I make sure that my other child (old enough to know better) includes him / her in the activity they are in unless it is too girly or boyish. We usually try to make sure we bring extra things to do in case we get bored (to park days) not to someone's house, especially if I think this may be a possibility. If 1 of my children is in on purposely & cruelly leaving the other out, the one being mean is then pulled from that activity. If he / she wants to play he / she must play w/ his / her sibling.

    I agree that they do need to learn how to deal with rejection respectfully and in a non-pouty way. We do discuss the situation & if I don't deem it to be a purposeful neglect and if it is something that the kid wants to do i make them go ask if they can join. Most groups we are in have kids the same ages as mine (all 3 of them) & if they don't that doesn't usually cause an interaction problem

    ~ Rachel

  7. diamondsintherough said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I don't have any suggestions, sorry, we are boring too. But I like what you said about the lessons kids need to learn, but are hard for parents to teach. See this good post:

    Wish I had written it myself, then I could be famous or something!


  8. seekingHim said,

    on February 21st, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I'll bite…

    This hasn't been a huge problem for us either b/c we don't have very many kids on our street and most of the friends we have do invite us over as a family. Personally, I think it's fine for my kids to have friends their own age. Socialization among all age groups is a plus for homeschooling, but I don't find it has to be at the exclusion of all else(i.e. having friends within your age group is always a bad thing). I like my dd8 to play with other 8yo's(or 7 or 9 or 10 yos) because she isn't always able to fully develop her games with her other siblings. Ds7 isn't much into playing dollhouse with her and dd4 wants to play but not in the same way and don't get me started on why it's hard to play with ds2!

    If one of my kids got invited to something that the others didn't (and assuming that the parents were people I knew well and trusted), I would not think of talking to the parents about inviting everyone else. That's just not the way the world works. There will be times in their lives when others will be invited to something that they won't for whatever reason(even including people from church and definitely in the workplace). It happens even within our own family (dh takes one child out for a special outing and eventually gets around to everyone but everyone does not get to go everywhere).

  9. blessingsundreamtof said,

    on February 22nd, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Honor and Respect!!!!!!

    Over the years, we have found that honor and respect are KEY when fellowshipping with others. Sometimes consciously, sometimes not, we tend to migrate toward those friendships with other families who show honor and respect. We may not all agree on what each other’s individual family rules are, but (out of this honor and respect) when we’re together we go along with the rules of the most conservative family. Please know that when the fellowship involves families where honor and respect are instilled regularly (instead of complaining and negativity), no one feels slighted or cheated as the “new fellowship rules” become effective. As for WHAT the rules are… they are merely those kept out of respect and honor for each other’s physical safety, intellectual safety, emotional safety, spiritual safety, and out of respect and honor for the facilities where we’re gathering. We are old tired sheep dogs who’ve been kicked MANY times. We’ve learned that the best friendships are not always just with those who think exactly the same way we think, but with those who… yep, you guessed it… show honor and respect. Hope that helps.



  10. kellieann said,

    on February 22nd, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Untitled Comment

    No advice on the socializing. I have one girl and one boy, about 3 years apart. If we're visiting someone with just one friend for them, I tell the other to make due and play along or bring a book.

    I keep hearing about the lounge. I'm going to have to check that out…

  11. AFJen88 said,

    on February 22nd, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Untitled Comment

    We’re like a pack of big dumb sheep dogs.<<

    bwa hahahaha…that made me spit out my drink laughing…

    seriously though–advice? In all my years of parenting, I've found it rarely goes well to 'talk to' other parents about their children's behavior. Also, if you force other children to be nice to and play with yours, they end up resenting the child you were originally trying to help. (I would recommend reading the Pearl books for more on this!)

    We tend to just end up avoiding those types of people or use it to teach those life lessons about the fact there will always be difficult people to deal with.

    I guess it would depend on how bad the situation was, whether we decided to avoid or deal. 🙂

  12. KarenW said,

    on February 22nd, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Untitled Comment

    The homeschool lounge has been fun. Is it a fad or will it overtake blogging?

  13. Panshrmu said,

    on February 23rd, 2008 at 6:34 am

    just wanting to say…

    i read your blog alot, but usually there are tons of comments and i just don't leave anything out there….the socialization issue, we are only starting to deal with ds1 is 9yr old and making friends……the Chinese here let their 5 year old ride bikes everywhere and well, that doesn't set well with the American mommy, and Chinese daddy thinks I am crazy. We haven't had any issues, slight attitude that gets cut back really soon, or if continues, then you just don't play with them anymore.

    I really enjoy your blog.

    Deana-in Taiwan

  14. praise4jesus said,

    on February 23rd, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Untitled Comment

    You are so funny Jen.

    We dont get out much either. *U*


  15. Petersonclan said,

    on February 23rd, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Socialization in Large Families

    I don't really worry about a lot of socialization either. My question is this: I have one older girl who really would like to hang out with other wonderful teens playing volleyball and things. Most of the times they are all together it is about an hour from us, and happens at night. The rest of my children (most of them) are small, and really cannot stay up as late as it would take for all of us to go up there and let my oldest hang out… how do people handle a LARGE age spread, in the time before there are enough big children to go together and watch out for each other?

  16. doughgirl37 said,

    on February 24th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I am not the only one

    Thank you everyone who mentioned that they do not get out often. (One reason being we only have one car.) I feel so much better now! I am a homebody. I like it 70% of the time. Do not ask how I feel the other 30% of the time!! LOL!

    We have a playground right smack in front of our house, convenient and annoying. Most of the kids are unsupervised. I would have to be everyone's mommy. Really sad. I am dreading warmer weather when my son will beg to go out. I have to constantly watch. I need to buck up though and let him learn the lessons. God help me!

  17. doughgirl37 said,

    on February 24th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Jen

    I love your blog!


    Jen aka doughgirl

  18. moreofhim said,

    on February 24th, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I'm going to check out the Homeschool Lounge – sounds really interesting!

    I gave you an award – come by and see!

    God bless you ~ Julie

  19. deedeeuk said,

    on February 25th, 2008 at 2:11 pm


    I thought I would answer this one since we actually DO go out of the house! LOL! I'm not sure if this helps, but we do have some issues with visiting friends. My 8yo son has quite a few friends his age from church, where as my 6 yo son has no one his age at church at all! It does mean that through the years DS8 has been invited to about 4x as many parties every year as DS6 has! We do try to make sure that we turn heaven and earth to make sure that DS6 can get to any parties he is invited to since they are so rare. Also he has simply had to learn that children aren't being unfair to him. They are simply allowed to invite only so many friends and they have chosen children their own age and not him. We try to make sure he gets an extra special outing with one of us instead or gets to do something special like bake cookies while his brother is gone. It has been a very hard lesson (and still is!) for him, but one that didn't seem to be avoidable. I didn't feel it was fair to insist to my friends that their child must invite my younger son, or to force their child to invite a younger child to their party if that was not their choice. On the other hand when we have a party, our boys are allowed to invite any child of any age that they wish to and we usually have rather large parties since they are sociable boys who like to invite everyone they know! Just like their Momma! LOL! We don't play the ' They didn't invite me to theirs so I'm not inviteing them to mine' game. I teach them to be gracious and if they want that friend to come than invite them no matter if they invited you. Some parents only allow a limited number of children, so it is impossible for other children to invite all the friends they want to. It isn't that they are being mean or anything. Now if they are just being spiteful, than we probably don't need friends like that anymore, but we haven't really hit this problem – yet! During regular playdays, we insist that both boys include their brother in the playtime or else they will be punished for excluding them. They aren't allowed to run off and leave the other behind – same with our foster children, they must include them in their playtime or else loose out on playtime with friends altogether! I hope this helps answer some of the question.

  20. cricket313 said,

    on February 27th, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Had to stop and say Hi

    I have to read your blog when I get the chance to stop by… You're gonna have to tell me where in TN you all are living again… We are moving to the country this weekend…about an hour sw of Nashville.

    Okay, onto the topic at hand….

    I have a 9yodd, 7yodds, & 6yods–there have been times when one has been invited and not the other… I personally don't take offense; it's usually with good reason. It used to be b/c the youngest was so much younger than the other children–he got tons of mom/dad time. Dd gets invited to stuff that the boys do not–I think that's good b/c she needs more girls–she's with boys all the time. Sometimes it's a number thing (for parties), sometimes it's just who the friend invites. I mean I don't have all the same friends as my brother–even when we lived in the same town we didn't. For instance, my brother and I have different uncles/aunts we're close to… I don't dislike the other nor do they think less of me. We are closest to those with whom we have similar interests. Sometimes he gets info that I don't — I don't think anything about it. (I hope that makes sense.)

  21. debbiecorley said,

    on February 27th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Untitled Comment

    My kids are spaced apart (3 years between the first two and then almost 5 years between number two and three) so this *has* been an issue with us. We do not socialize a huge amount, but when we do, it always comes up. I think there are two lessons to learn from these situations. The first lesson is to be kind, unselfish and to include others, which has already been touched on in the comments. I think the *other* lesson is that sometimes friends want to have time together alone. I love to visit and talk with kids and my adult friends, BUT sometimes I want my kids to play elsewhere so I can have adult conversations….maybe even about them! I think it's the same with the children. My 11 year old girl does not want to spend the rare two hours a month she has with a friend over with her 6 year old sister hanging around the whole time. I usually try to explain this upfront with a speech like, "Okay, I expect you all to play nicely and repectfully together, with no bullying or teasing or leaving anyone out for an hour. At that time, I will let the bigger kids split up and the little kids can play together or with legos." My 14 and 11 year olds do very well with younger kids, but they do want time to play/visit without the responsibility of always supervising.

  22. Anonymous said,

    on March 8th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    from Kathy P

    Hi Jen:

    Actually, I am a lot like you. We do not do any age segregation even among friends. I like all of my kids to play together and to stick together and they like it that way too. We actually have a buddy system (since we have children that are very close to the same age – we joke that we have two sets of twins – since we adopted and added a few kids of close to the same age). The buddy system does two things: Keeps the children that have difficulties behaving in tow (as I pair them up w/ more responsible children) and then also no one gets left out also we see this has helped the bonding in our mixed family.

    Also we tend to do things as a family. We learned the hard way with our oldest who is now married. She did everything away from the family and it was hard on the familial relationship as we were always running around and doing what she was interested in and she never worked on her relationships with her siblings. She will say now she agrees with how we do things. There is my two cents worth (not worth a whole lot, yeah?)

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