Conflicted in New York!

Good Evening everyone! I’m really feeling a little bummed today. I went to the county LEAH meeting last night and I left feeling really disappointed and a bit conflicted. I was really hoping that my kids would be able to join the co-op group, but I found out the co-op is full. I’m just having a really hard time finding activities for my kids to do with other kids… At the meeting the co-op leader said that they only accept 135 kids because they want to keep the class sizes at co-op small. So I asked about their spring session and they woman gave me this funny look and said, “Its just really hard to get into. The women who teach and the women who are the assistants get first priority for space for their children and that really takes all the space. We try to let a few new families in to get a try, but yeah its just hard to get into”… So, during the meeting they had said that its required for moms to either teach or be an assistant and I told her that I would be willing to help in the spring and she said that they really have all the people that they need and she repeated that its just hard to get into but if I wanted to pay to join LEAH I was welcome to come to the monthly support group for just myself… I guess for one, I feel like its wrong to accept my money for the membership but not allow my kids into co-op and basically tell me that they won’t have room in spring either. I felt kind of crushed. I was hoping that co-op would be an answer to a prayer. My kids aren’t sporty and girl scouts didn’t work out last year. Church doesn’t have Wednesday night group anymore they have Sunday night sports, which like I said, my kids don’t enjoy! I can see that my kids, mainly my daughter, is in need of a friend. I understand that co-op isn’t public school and they don’t have to admit everyone, but I came home last night and a verse kept sticking in my head. The one that says, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” It bothered me that the LEAH group is putting this limit on the number of kids that can be involved. I know where they meet, and trust me when I say it isn’t a space issue. It just felt like they were a tight group that had their doors closed to new people. The table I sat at had four other women who were disappointed that their kids wouldn’t be joining co-op,unfortunately they didn’t have any kids my daughters age or I would have suggested a play date! I don’t really know what I’m asking for from you guys… I thought of emailing the district LEAH person and just suggesting that they expand how many kids they accept because I just feel like if you have the parents wiling to help and kids who want to go, it just doesn’t feel right to turn people away. I feel like a Bible believing group should follow Jesus’s example and let the children come! :grinning: Would you send an email out or would you just let it go? Am I wrong to feel like that? I really feel just, almost like a bad mom. We moved here fairly recently and my kids have zero friends. Homeschooling has gone so well education wise, but I feel like I’m failing them in another area. I thought co-op was going to be the answer, but it looks like it isn’t an option at all. To make me feel worse my son had a physical today and they tried to give him an eye exam and he didn’t know all the letters to read the eye chart and they asked if he was in preschool and I said I was homeschooling pre-k this year and the nurse gave me such a hard time and I let it shake my confidence and then I doubted myself a lot all day. Sigh.


Chin up! Where in Ny are you? I’m in Western NY! We also moved here recently and am struggling in the EXACT areas you are…private msg me, I hope we are close!! Maybe we can start something up:)


@Jenny, I wish I had magical words of advice. We moved to NC last year and are facing the same struggles. We actually were able to join a co-op. While everyone was kind, they were a very gossipy group of “tight nit” women… I almost felt like we were in high school when I’d listen to them gossip… about each other! We stuck through it for the year, but between the parents and the fact that my kids didn’t make any lasting friendships, we decided to bag the co-op for this year. I’m REALLY struggling to find alternative activities for us to join. Everything seems to be at the wrong time of day, or very expensive or very far… having trouble finding the right combination of time vs location vs $$. Too bad we don’t all live closer… we could form our own co-op :slight_smile: Anyway, I don’t think you are wrong for feeling any of the ways you are feeling. It’s disappointing, and it’s making you second-guess yourself and your choices. I don’t know you, but I’m sure you’re on the right path. The rest will come… slowly unfortunately, but it will all come together. Hopefully we will be able to look back at this post in a year and we will all have found our niches. Again, sorry I don’t have great words of wisdom, but keep in mind that you’re not alone! Msg me if you ever want to chat… I could use a HS mom friend also :smile:


@Jenny - sorry - one more thing - how old is your daughter? Not that age really matters, but my daughter is looking to connect with other homeschoolers. Ideally she’d want to connect with kids locally, but if you have any interest, we could have them try being pen-pals - via snail mail or email. It would give them some connection to another homeschool girl. If interested, private message me :slight_smile:


Co-op groups really don’t exist in the rural area of Wyoming where I live.

You might look at a small, local, private dance studio. It’s more movement and music based - not the sports. Over half the students in my son’s ballet class are homeschooled, but kids from all types of learning environments and ethnicities are there having fun and making friends.
It might be counted as P.E. as well depending on your area.

Even if the other mothers whose children are not going to be enrolled in the co-op aren’t the same age as your kids it would be worth a reach out to see if maybe they would be interested in field trips or even art/music groups that you non- co-op ladies could put together yourselves.
Our loosely knit group of moms tries to put together fun things - holiday parties, pool parties at the end of summer. These are scheduled as we think of them and invitation are sent out by email. Usually one or two events in the fall and one or two in the spring. Nothing real complex, but they are fun and well attended.


You could send the email, but I don’t know if it would do any good. It sounds like they know what their limits are as far as what a good ratio of teacher to student is, and what works for them–there are lots of issues besides space that can make someone limit a co-op. Keep praying for opportunities and for friends for your kids. God will bring something along. We were never part of a co-op until last year. (Our group had a monthly activity day but whenever we did that, I always came home overwhelmed and so did my kids–too many kids at once! Co-op may not be that good source of friends you envisioned.) Some years were lean friend-wise, and others were better. I’d find out if there are other parents in the support group who don’t have kids in co-op. It may be a good place to meet other homeschoolers and do some play dates. Does the group also do field trips? That can be a way of meeting possible family friends, and then getting together one on one after that (I typically find that classes, group meetings etc… may be places to meet people but aren’t where the friendships actually form). Ask if you can go to a meeting or two before deciding to join. Don’t burn any bridges. You may want to consider joining because it might mean you could get into the co-op in a year or two also. Being in a homeschool support group can help you find out about unique opportunities you might not find out about otherwise. Find out what your group offers to see if it’s worthwhile.

But in the mean time…look for other opportunities. My kids usually met friends in Sunday School. Sometimes in AWANA. Are there any churches around you that do AWANA? Sometimes my kids met friends in extra-curricular activities like art classes or music. I’m always amazed at the unique teachers and individuals in our area–an opportunity will come up here or there that I wouldn’t expect (like, our town has an indoor archery range and the most amazing guys who teach–they are great role models and such caring instructors).

Most of all, keep praying. God knows your little ones need friends and you do too…watch for him to provide for you. You are not failing your children by providing a good education for them (and there’s no failure in a pre-k student not knowing his alphabet yet either–I know K students who struggle with that, mine included! They used to do exams with E’s pointing in different ways and let kids move their hands to show which way the letter was pointing, and should have done that with your son rather than laying blame on you. I think they didn’t do their job as well as they could have.)


I messaged you! I hope I did it right :smile:

EXACTLY! :grinning: This is really our struggle. Both you and @Merry make a great point that co-op may not even be the great source of friends that I was hoping for anyways. I’ll keep praying that something else comes along that is just right for us.

Thank you very much for your reply @Merry You made some great points that I will certainly take to heart and think on.

I found a beautiful verse this morning that I thought would be nice to share with everyone today. Its Isaiah 58:11. “The Lord will guide you always and will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”


What a beautiful verse! Thanks so much for sharing this today–such a balm in so many ways.

Ah, Leah. I know exactly what you are going through. We just moved a few months ago from NY. It was SUCH a struggle to find other homeschoolers. I have a theory that it’s because NY makes it so difficult to homeschool, so not many people do.

I tried with LEAH for 3 semesters (two different chapters) and found it to be extremely cliquey. They just aren’t very welcoming to new members.

My kids made friends at church and through the AWANA program. My daughter did gymnastics, my son did karate at our local YMCA. My younger son did soccer with the local school district. Those were much better places for them to meet kids than the leah co-op.

Even though your kids aren’t “sporty,” I would highly suggest that you let them try new things. You never know what might stick. And even if they aren’t the best at the sport, all that matters is that they are having fun and making friends.

I would also suggest going to parks and playgrounds during the day, when the public schools are in session. The libraries too. That is when you are more likely to find other homeschoolers.

Where in NY are you?


I love the idea of dance or martial arts, and also thought of 4-H. It is a bit different from scouts. I know there’s a misconception that it is only for farm kids, but it’s truly not. Might be worth looking into.


My children are in 4H and have been for many years. We mainly take animals but they have so many different projects besides animals! My daughter took a sewing & cooking project this year and made it to state! Some other projects my children have taken are Horseless Horse, First Aid, All About Trees, and Let’s Explore the Outdoors! So I would definately try that! They have made many friends through 4H. In fact my sons 2 very best friends and my daughters best friend are in our 4H group and they are not homeschooled kids! Many of my kids friends are not homeschooled. But they do have many that are!


Hi Jenny!
I am so sorry LEAH groups in your area are like that! I know of two who are not. I’m also in Western NY. @Luvmyboys maybe we are close too. Or maybe I know someone (who knows someone) in your area! I’d love to help figure this out. PM me, please.

We recently moved to upstate NY. Would love to connect.

@shannoncarlin where in upstate ny?

We are in Malta/Ballston Spa.

Hi @Pikermum I wasn’t sure if you were referring to @Luvmyboys or me in your post, but in case it was me, I do not live in western NY!

You can find a Wednesday AWANA at any church and go. You don’t have to be a church member. At least that’s how we do it here in TX. Also, check local museums and galleries. Sometimes they have HS classes. Keep trying and praying and something will work. Better than public school any day!

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