Author Topic: Hints for joining a small town  (Read 9605 times)

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mj

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 04:38:02 PM »
I LOL'd at the steering wheel wave.  Exactly! 

I grew up with half my childhood in a small town, it's not always a vicious gossip experience.  My folks still live there and one of their newer neighbors threw a Halloween/Meet the Neighbors outdoor bonfire.  I thought that was a great idea.  With other holidays coming up, maybe you can do something similar?

Also, a big thing at Xmas is to send the kids to the neighbors with your best baked goods as a gift.  So Mrs. Smith will send her pies out, Mrs. Jones will send cookies out, Mrs. Johnson will send her breads out etc.  If you bake, maybe that's another option?

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 05:10:22 PM »
All good suggestions so far.  I would seriously consider re-thinking the homeschooling.  School is one of the biggest gatherings of the locals.  Small town school is where everyone meets each other parents and children.  If your daughter isn't attending, she (and you) will have a more difficult time making friends, gaining acceptance and trust from other parents, having playdates, etc.     

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 05:20:59 PM »
Sending her to public school is not an option.  Both my husband and I thought that public school was largely a waste of time.  Most of our education came from reading textbooks during school out of boredom. 
But, we are open to her doing every other child-activity she is interested in.  I also plan on volunteering to be a girl scout (co)troop leader when she gets to be of age. 

Marguette

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 05:25:34 PM »
Corner Gas was a comedy TV show about life in a very small prairie town. One of the recurring themes is Lacey’s attempts to fit in (she comes from the big city). The best episode highlighting this theme is Season 1, Episode 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=PoB4zE95yHw. Lacey wants to introduce the town to Pilates, but in the end she finds out that the townsfolk are more sophisticated than she thought. (22 minutes. It’s all fun, but there are some lessons to learn, too.)

LeveeWoman

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2012, 05:30:47 PM »
Sending her to public school is not an option.  Both my husband and I thought that public school was largely a waste of time.  Most of our education came from reading textbooks during school out of boredom. 
But, we are open to her doing every other child-activity she is interested in.  I also plan on volunteering to be a girl scout (co)troop leader when she gets to be of age.

Have you thought about looking for other home-schooling parents? In this area, there are several groups who get together at the park, at the lake, etc.

Sharnita

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2012, 05:35:18 PM »
Sending her to public school is not an option.  Both my husband and I thought that public school was largely a waste of time.  Most of our education came from reading textbooks during school out of boredom. 
But, we are open to her doing every other child-activity she is interested in.  I also plan on volunteering to be a girl scout (co)troop leader when she gets to be of age.

That is entirely your choice but I wouldn't voice that explanation to anybody in your town.  The assumption that all schools would be similar to your experience could insult a lot of people and in a small towns a lot or even most people will know teachers, school board members, etc. It is one thing to choose home schooling but if you seem to be criticizing their schools, especially without firsthand experience with their schools, that might be the one thing that will create some hostility.

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2012, 06:42:06 PM »
I wasn't planning on saying anything about the school, and since she is 2 the topic won't come up for awhile.  I suspect they are a tad touchy on the subject because after major complaining about lazy H.S. teachers they have been cleaning house.  Although, we are moving from one of the top school districts in the state, and she wasn't going to school here either.

I would like to be entrenched in the town before the topic comes up.  I do realize that an easy way of getting to know people is closed to us, and one of the reasons I want to put forth extra effort now.  We will homeschool for academic reasons, not to get away from the community.  There is a small group of homeschoolers in the town, and we plan on joining them whenever there will be someone her age to play with at an outing. 

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2012, 07:02:28 PM »
The only things that I can add are to advise you against forcing yourself to get involved in something that you don't enjoy, just for the sake of "fitting in".

If you are a football-hater, please don't force yourself to attend the Friday night high school games just because "that's what everyone does".  I am not sure what the football culture is like in Texas vs. small-town Ohio (where I am) but here people won't think less of you if you don't go to the games.  However, they will think less of you if you go to the games and are visibly not enthusiastic about it.

Don't spread yourself too thin.  If you try to do everything, you run the risk of people thinking that you are either fake, or trying to take over with your "big city ways".

Pick just a few things that you can really enjoy (the library, the rotary club, the garden club, the bridge society, etc... small towns often have a LOT of stuff going on) and get involved with your new town that way.

In Texas, football isn't a sport, it's a handed-down-from-deity religion. :D
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Magnet

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2012, 07:53:53 PM »
Get a manicure locally.

Sharnita

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2012, 07:57:06 PM »
Get a manicure locally.

Definitely get your hair done locally.

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2012, 10:51:00 PM »
Get a manicure locally.

Definitely get your hair done locally.

I never would have thought of that.  I don't do manicures, but I do need a trim. 

jellyjar

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2012, 11:21:45 PM »
I now live in suburban land, but lived half of my life in a very rural area.  My biggest advice is just be yourself.  There are cultural difference wherever you move, but people are people anywhere you go.  Go to a Texas football game for the fun of it since it is big there, but don't go to try to fit in.  Do what you like and you will find people that like the same things.  The same people that would gossip in a small town are the same people who gossip at the water cooler at work. 

If you go into an area thinking that they are somehow so different and that they are small minded against homeschooling, etc. then people will sense that you feel that way about them.  If you just approach people with a friendly kind attitude, you will most likely get that back.  If you show an interest in them, then they will show an interest in you.

I know a lot of rural people who homeschool their kids.  Sometimes it is because of long distances to school.  So I really don't think you are going to find the differences on that that you might worry about.  Church is a great place to meet people, library reading times for your child, jobs, etc.   I do tend to be biased toward small towns because I perceive them as friendlier, but I think it is really the group of people you choose to surround yourself around.  It will be what you make of it.  I hope your move goes smoothly and that you just love it there.  It sounds like you are going to do great because you are caring about making friends and being a part of the community.  I am sure it will go well.  :)

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2012, 12:22:26 AM »
I don't think small towns are friendlier, per se... they're just less distant and aloof, for good or bad.
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LizC

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 02:38:22 AM »
I'm from a small town of 1800, high up in the mountains... and homeschooling is absolutely NO bar to community participation. About 1/3 of the kids in the county homeschool, actually, for a wide variety of reasons from academics, to social concerns, to religious beliefs, to flat-out distance from school.

(I've found it harder/more isolated to homeschool our four in our small city of about 70K than in the little place we moved from (about 500), or "back home". We get along just fine, but when we visit Grandma? We get absorbed into a really great instant network of activities and acceptance, because homeschoolers are thick on the ground there.)

Your list, and the other suggestions for settling in (huge grins on the Steering Wheel Wave--that's how I know I'm nearly home!) ring true to this small-town girl!

(My folks have been in that small town (very active in the community) since 1975, and raised the whole tribe of us there. At one point, three of my siblings and their families lived there, too. And we're still "new people".)

oz diva

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 02:46:32 AM »
Do you play sport? A friend moved to the country and got involved in the local netball team. (netball is akin to basketball). She made a lot of friends that way. Particularly since you've opted to homeschool your child, you might find it hard to connect with people and team sports are a great icebreaker. You don't have to be good. I play netball and I'm awful at it, but it's a social thing for me.

Victoria