Several years ago I helped to form a homeschool group that meets just 10 minutes from my house. The format was simple enough, we'd meet once per month, everyone volunteered to head up one months event, and everyone benefited. It was a great little group with a wide age range and we were happy there. The group was not terribly demanding and everyone helped out.
When I stepped into leadership of the group things got a bit tougher. It seems that not everyone is willing to do their fair-share of the work. Many of the moms seemed to only want a babysitter. But I'm a bit of a bull-dog and made everyone pull their weight. It wasn't that I was mean, but I would simply explain that everyone MUST host or help with one monthly meeting in order to belong to the group. It must have worked because no one quit and we had a great year of events.
Two years ago, after the death of my mother-in-law, I stepped down. Thing around here were insane. I was depressed and angry and simply couldn't hold anyone's hand. Amazingly, the other moms stepped down too, leaving a group with no leadership and no direction.
Finally, three moms stepped forward to lead the group. It was very layed back, very few expectations, a lot of things changed. But we remained with the group. I had always had this dream that my children would have a graduation ceremony with these families. After all, we had watched each others children grow up. It only seemed right that our kids would graduate together.
However, one by one the families with older kids left the group. There just wasn't a lot the group had to offer the high schoolers. I tried to solve the problems, but I can only do so much and the other high schooling parents were just as busy as I was.
This year the group is changing yet again. Instead of meeting once a month, they'll meet for science classes and PE classes once per week. The science is way below where my kids are at and frankly, PE is NOT a huge concern for me.
So, we're leaving the group. It will be the first time in years (years!) that we have not been involved with a homeschool group. I am not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand I won't have to come up with some stupid craft project for thirty children to do. I won't have to stress out on Friday's to make sure I get to the meeting on time. I won't have to deal with one woman, who, frankly, needs a punch in the mouth (sorry, but if you knew her, you'd agree!).
I'll miss some of other moms and I know my daughter is really going to miss her circle of friends. We'll miss having some fun field trips and some pretty cool classes. Mostly, I will miss the graduation ceremony I have had planned in my head all these years.