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no middle school activities in our town...can I vent my frustration!!

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We have lived in this small town(approximately 16,000) for 3 years. There are very few homeschoolers here and they do very little activities...in fact, the type of activities they do are hmmm..well, just not our type. No fun field trips, outdoor activities or leagues of any sort. My son has played soccer in the past but it is not his favorite sport. Last year, we just happened to find out about Upward basketball and he played...LOVED IT but it only goes up thru 6th grade! Which really sucked as he was in 6th so that was his last opportunity to play. I have called out YMCA and they only offer basketball up thru 4th. Called the Lions Club which I was told does a program...yep...just younger grades. We take guitar and they take an art class(which also has poor turnout considering we have taken it for 3 years...same few 5-8 kids and the boys in there don't seem to have much going on as far as a personality!)

Have any of you experienced this with your middle school age kids? What do kids do for physical activities? My youngest son love sports but there is nothing offered and it makes me sad for him. We have been struggling to find a church and we think we have found one which does seem to have more boys their age but I just feel sorry for my kids as there is nothing going on in this town for them to make friends. Sorry so long but I am just sad today. For us to be here in this town for 3 years and my kids not have friends...I feel like crying.

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One thought on Upward is to call the Director and see if you son can help out with the program either as an assistant coach or ref. He will still get exercise and might be able to connect with some other boys his age. Also if he gets some ref or assist coach experience then he might be able to ref as a paid job when he gets older.


Also it seems like many middle schoolers in our area are into airsoft. I don't know if that would work for your family, but my ds plays several times a week. It is great exercise and provides another social opportunity.


How about swimming or a running club?

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my children have no friends either. The closest town to where I live is 20 minutes away, it is around 2000 people.

my boys do do basketball, it only goes for 6 months of the year. then they have basketball training. I am trying to get my ds15 into the men's comp. just so he can have some extra sport.

the homeschool group I go to is about 40 km away they meet once a month, and there are only 4 families that go to it, granted they are very large families, but they are worn-out mothers who don't do any activities, just have a chat, while their kids run around outside, no activities at all.

I have thought about organising activities myself, but it hasn't really worked. I live right by the beach, and thought f doing things like sailing ( we have small sail boats) swimming etc, but found out that not one of the other families has taught any of their children to swim, I am taking teens here.

really in the end, I have realised that we are on our own., we have to make our own activities as a family, just like we school as a family and do everything else as a family.

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That sucks. The closest small town of 3,000+ offers hockey/skating, soccer, and baseball, in addition to whatever goes on at the elementary and high schools. I think they have Scouts, Girl Guides, and church youth programs for the tweens and teens, too. It took years of hockey and soccer for my kids to start making some friends. One advantage to a small town - it's always the same kids. Summer swimming lessons? Same kids. I guess that could be a disadvantage, too. I really feel for your kids.

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We run into the same problem next year. I did find out that some of the private Christian schools will allow homeschoolers to play with them. Of course there is a fee, not sure how much, but you might check into that. Everyone assumes that the kids will play for the middle school, so they stop offering things. You might check into baseball. Little League has a league for older kids, I think all the way through high school.

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Might be hard in a small town but are there places he can volunteer?


Middle school age is the perfect time in our town to start volunteering at the local animal shelter, small zoo, museum, etc. He might be able to find even a vet or farmer or someone else who would allow him to volunteer some of his time.


My brother volunteered with a farmer at that age and helped run his produce stand. He had a blast. I volunteered with a local dentist and did filing, etc. for them.


Anything to keep them busy and learning about various trades.

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Our kids have been migrating toward individual sports as they have gotten to middle school. There are other kids in their classes or at practices, but there is no real team aspect - just club pride. :001_smile: 12yo dd shoots rifle with the local 4H club. 11yo dd fences. 8yo ds is currently playing football, but will be switching to fencing in January. 5yo ds just gets dragged around to everyone else's practices right now and plays with all the younger siblings. :001_smile: They all also swim, but none have an interest in doing it competitively.


Our youth group added an evening a week to just have the kids come play since all the team activities for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students around here are all linked to schools and highly competitive. They just play ultimate frisbee, soccer, football, kickball, etc. I am really thankful that they added this aspect to the group.

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:grouphug: We have a similar situation. We live near a town of 1500. We have to drive an hour to find a town as large as yours!


Anyway, even though my kids are young, I already know they will have to participate in public school activities. Well, they already do. :001_smile: ALL activities (other than 4-H) run through the school. We don't have little league, girl scouts, rec sports, or any other typical kid activities.

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thanks for the ideas and the sympathy! I am glad to see that some of you drive a distance for an activity. My husband has told me to drive an hour to Belleville/O'Fallon IL which is about 55 miles from Mt. Vernon. I have just hesitated as I would like the boys to have friends that are local. But, I think I should work beyond that. We tried to contact the local 4-H here 3 times and they took our info and never called back...so I tried the county up the way and we joined...however, we tried 2 different groups which were very clickish and met at times that we couldn't do.

I want to say thanks for the encouragement...I know I can't shelter my kids from all the hurt in the world but I just want them to have a connection. Everyone needs to have a friend. They always write each other's names on assignments when it comes to writing a friend's name down. wow...that makes me sooooo sad writing that. I have got to find something for them.

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We tried to contact the local 4-H here 3 times and they took our info and never called back...so I tried the county up the way and we joined...however, we tried 2 different groups which were very clickish and met at times that we couldn't do.




Perhaps you could start a 4-H club that suits your schedule--others in your county may be waiting on the sidelines to join. I have found that I often need to get the ball rolling...

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  • Check the county rec. dept. (or did you say you already did that)? Check the surrounding counties as well.
  • Swim lessons during the summer months through the rec. dept. or YMCA
  • Horseback riding
  • Individual sports like gymnastics, martial arts, dance (some boys dance)
  • Organize a beach walk/clean up/volleyball/sandcastle building contest/you get the idea
  • Call the YMCA/gymnastics/martial arts/etc. to see about setting up a discounted class for homeschoolers that meets weekly or bi-weekly. If you check neighboring counties you may find something that is already organized.
  • Plan an annual field day.
  • If you can get several students together you can have them participate in the President's Physical Fitness Challenge.
  • Physically walk into the local 4-H extension office with your children and get the information you need!
  • Organize a homeschool kickball/softball/basketball/fill-in-the-blank afternoon bi-weekly or monthly at a local park
  • Participate in a local 5K
  • Join or start an email loop with local homeschoolers so that you can easily disseminate information. Make up flyers and distribute them to local churches, post on community bulletin boards, etc. Get the word out.


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:grouphug: We drive an hour each way for swim team. Our solution.


We do exactly the same! An hour for swimming.


It is hard. My boys are starting to want to do other sports, but there is nothing available unless we drive an hour, and it would be an hour south instead of north where we go for swimming.


There is no easy answer, and the drive gets hard. There are days I hate it, but it is something we want to do for the kids. They need to be involved, they need the phyical activity, and they need to feel like they do more then stay home all day, everyday (something I would love to do. :glare:).

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Well, I"m a little surprised about not finding friends or leagues..have family in the area and they are busy. They are always surprised that the NY Metro area has so little compared to their area - but most of the problem here is lack of facilities due to high land costs, where they have the land and the community interest groups, so have much more to offer inexpensively. Most sports clubs are sponsored by interest groups, churches, a commercial facility, or a parent group.


It sounds like you're in the Mt. Vernon area -- for bball, I'd call Southtown and ask about winter leagues there and elsewhere.


Quickly looking around:


Winter sports:


Mt. Vernon Lion's Club: wrestling thru 8th grade


Swim team is available - the directory from our swim club lists the Centralia-Mt. Vernon YMCA team as closest, then probably the club that practices at SIU-Carbondale. If you call the facilities with pools, they can tell you what clubs practice there.



Rest of year:


Southtown Youth Center: bball


The city parks dept: tennis instruction through 8th grade and team through age 18. (They also have gals vball thru 8th grade.) They have a fishing clinic in June for all ages.


JeffCo Sports Authority: baseball for up to age 16 and football thru 8th grade.


I'd check the bowling alley and skate rink too for youth leagues. Same for golf courses, rifle club, and so forth. Sportsman's club or local fishing club probably does a youth event in June. Consider scouting - scoutmasters usually have a good feel for what the area resources are and the troop is usually where you find active middle schooler aged boys.


For biking, orienteering, track& field, just google and the club names and contacts will pop up.


Might want to give the ranger up at Rend Lake a call..probably has youth hiking activities available now.


Also, does your family have any interests that would lead to joining a club or volunteer activity? That would lead to making friends too.


Best wishes.

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