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Well, then. DH is thinking about moving. Not sure if I'm on board.


mommymonster
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My DH doesn't have a lot of friends, mostly the husbands of my friends (who he only sees when I arrange dinner parties or barbecues). He doesn't like his job, and it has been the source of much stress for him. He has pain issues, which makes him rather tense most of the time. 

 

We currently live in a large, progressive metropolitan area. We are all atheists (well, the youngest is hoping for a church in which he could worship Poseidon). I'm a vegetarian. I have an extensive group of close friends that I've had for decades. We take care of each other and are more family than friends. We have a secular play group we're entrenched in. The boys are into fencing, swimming and gymnastics.

 

DH announced that he thinks we should potentially move to the rural Midwest because he can transfer with his job there, and it will be a lower cost of living. He feels that he has very little in terms of personal ties here in terms of friends. The move would make us closer to our families. I'm not sure if that is a great thing, in all honesty. 

 

We're doing fine financially. We're both over our house, though. While it's fine for us financially, it's just too big and too much upkeep. I'd be totally into purchasing a smaller house, in all honesty. 

 

I've been searching for homeschool groups in the target town DH is talking about, but I'm just finding two religious groups (that require signed statements of faith). I'm not anti-religion at all. It's just that it's not something we believe in. 

 

I'm concerned about this move because the boys are getting a older and really enjoy hanging out with their friends. Also, I don't see DH amazingly becoming Mr. Social and making tons of friends. 

 

Talk me down, please. DH is not the final voice of everything in our relationship, and he's concerned about social isolation as well. He doesn't feel as though he truly fits in where we live. He has not had trouble making friends in other cities he's lived in, so the past 15 years here have been a little hard on him.

 

Tell me how this could potentially work out well. I'm concerned about social isolation primarily. And the fact that I haven't shoveled snow in 20 years.  :willy_nilly:

 

 

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Made a very similar move 5 years ago. Let's just say that I think your concerns about social isolation are very valid. Not that there haven't been benefits, both in terms of finances, as well as life goals that we couldn't easily have accomplished where we were previously. But social isolation is a definite issue for me.

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I would not care to do that, and I've lived in a lot of different places. I think the rural Midwest is lovely and I like to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there for a long time.

 

If work is causing your dh enough stress and pain that he wants to move, I would look at moving somewhere else though. There are probably a lot of places that might work for everyone in the family. I imagine the rural Midwest is not the only option.

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Shoveling snow? That's what kids are for. (Joking, people.)

 

As to the other stuff, some long, honest conversations about the pros/cons might be helpful. It sounds like you have a lot of positives where you live now. Has your DH thought about the specfic trade-offs the way you have? There would be some big ones for you and the kids especially.

 

You both seem to be on board with the idea of downsizing, so there's a point of agreement whether you move to a new town or not. Would staying put and just getting a smaller, less maintenance-intensive house help? (You said pain is an issue.) If it's just a feeling of not fitting in, how does he see things being different in the new location? Is he longing for more contact with family? Lots of questions that I would want to hash out thoroughly were I in your shoes. Not saying you haven't already done it.

 

If you can work through your concerns together, a move can be positive. I just think it's really important that everybody get to voice concerns fully and have clear expections. Good luck to you.

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Moving is difficult, but I think in a situation like this where one person is miserable and the option of moving is on the table, it should definitely be considered.  I think you can find a place where the needs (social, educational, financial) of both you and your husband are met.  

 

When we decided on our last move, my husband and I both had a list of things we were looking for, things that were non-negotiable for us.  We put together a list of cities that we thought could be a good fit for both of us, then went through that list, circling the places we knew there were openings for him in his line of work.  That was our starting point. Interviews, visits, etc., and the rest sort of fell into place.

 

 

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If you're signature is still accurate, and your boys are still both under ten, I wouldn't factor in their friendships/ties. But yours certainly aren't anything to sneeze at, and you're 100% correct that a move changes one's environment but not necessarily one's ability to suddenly make friends. So it seems a great initial attempt to address his challenges from where you currently are. But to do that:

 

how possible is it for him to change his position, company, and/or industry?

how likely is it for him to connect with a group online (gaming, internet)?

how interested is he in engaging in a hobby or IRL community?

how open is he to first moving within your area, rather than mid-continent?

how possible is it for an extended trip to the Midwest to feel it out? to see firsthand what's there (and isn't)?

 

 

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Are you in CA?  If so, downsizing is just going to lock in higher property tax rates, a big no no in my book.  I'd figure out a way to use less of the house before I'd do that.

 

Regarding the Midwest, I love it there, but outside of the college cities I understand that it's pretty hard to break into the social life there, even if you have a lot in common with people.  Big extended family network gatherings dominate holiday celebrations, and even at churches people get left out.  With the differences you have with the prevalent culture added to that, I would be very cautious about committing to the area if you want to experience community, particularly in the rural areas. 

 

Plus I don't know how much you have experienced rural life, but it's full of really bad smells and really obnoxious farm machinery noises, with very slow traffic on the back roads, and really bad air (from pesticide spraying, dust storms, and burning off the fields after harvest).  It's great but it's not for everyone.  Idyllic is more 'gentleman farmer'-like, not so much 'rural Midwest'. 

 

I'd visit and try to figure this out before making much of a commitment. 

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I'll be the outlier.  In ten to 15 years, you will be empty nesters.  If dh is miserable in his job and hasn't connected with friends, what will your life and relationship look like in ten years?   If moving will bring him more satisfaction with his job (not saying it will, just saying IF), and potentially you guys could make new friends together, it might be worth investigating. 

 

If you look online in my area, you won't find much in the way of homeschool support. But there is a TON of it, both secular and faith driven. And some in between.  

 

I would want to do everything I could to make dh's life happier.  Before committing to moving, I would have to investigate how likely the move is to make him happier.  I'm assuming the pain will not get better, and if he's an introvert the friend issue probably won't change.  So is the improved work situation enough to warrant the move? Maybe, maybe not. 

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I am very much like you and we live in a major metro.  We actually downsized our house just before our 2nd child was born.  And at the same time came in closer to all the amenities of the city and my DH has a short commute.  I would work on compromise with DH.  It sounds like he might just be the type to struggle wherever he goes?  Does he have any interests or hobbies that might help him hook up with people?   The options to meet people are going to be more limited in a rural setting, especially as homeschoolers not involved in a church community.  I'd acknowledge that he needs a change, but I would not be willing to go super rural.

 

I do not think I could homeschool rurally.  I think I'd end up throwing my kids in school and getting a job.  We go to a secular co-op about 10 minutes from home (just a few miles really).  People drive upwards of 90 minutes one way every week to get there from out state.  That is cray cray to me.  Some of them are fine with the drive.  But I've talked to more than a few secular homeschooling families who regret their location choice.  In most cases, they moved to the area without really knowing how things are laid out and how long the commutes to different parts of the city can be.  I love the outdoors, truly.  But I like to LIVE close to the city.  It doesn't hurt that our city has excellent parks and a top rated in the nation bike trail system either. 

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I live in the opposite coast, and when I visit the Midwest with my DH (because he is from there) I feel like I'm visiting a different country. And I am from a different country! I would not choose to move there voluntarily but I would if some amazing opportunity came up for DH's job or what have you. My roots do not run deep, they're just the extent of my immediate family. The happiness of each family member must be considered but there needs to be a net gain in something in order to uproot the family. Is he guaranteed to be happier there? im an introvert and would find it hard to make friends anywhere--mind, I prefer it that way.

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That would kill me.  I don't like rural for one thing.  I don't think his reasoning is very compelling.  If this were for a new job that he'd like better, that would be fine with me.even though I'd be upset about the other details.  Nothing worse than hating one's job.  BUT if this is the same job just somewhere else?  What is the point?

 

 

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We currently live in a large, progressive metropolitan area.

 

DH announced that he thinks we should potentially move to the rural Midwest

That is just such a huge, HUGE change. Have you guys discussed any in-between options? Anything less drastic?

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Why does it need to be rural? There are many urban areas in the Midwest that could offer more of the programming that you are looking for and provide a wider group of people from which to find a like-minded social circle. I live in the Midwest now, and I lived in Boston when I was a young adult. In both areas I've found a good mix of people that share my views and people that don't.

 

I do think that if you are likely to move sometime that doing it while the children are younger is easier, so better now than later.

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If you move near a metropolitan area in the midwest, you can find a lot of progressives along with a much lower cost of living than CA. Rural midwest vs. coastal city isn't the only divide.

 

Emily

 

That's what I was thinking. If you put the idea of relocating on the table, I'd look at all sorts of places to move. Asheville NC, Minneapolis, MN, Burlington VT, Portland, ME are all places that could work for you.

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I'm in the rural midwest. I grew up in the suburbs of big towns and I am totally socially isolated. 30 minutes to anything but Walmart, social activities are through the school or church and we don't do either. It depends on how small and where. The nearest town of 75k is a bit more progressive and open, but christian is the default anywhere. 

 

Around college towns are better. 

 

Depending on where, weather can be so varied. Some years we have lots of snow, some years not so much. Some years it's all ice, not fun to drive in. This week it's been about 104 heat index. 

 

I wouldn't think moving to an entirely different region and upsetting the rest of the family to live in a smaller town that may not have what you want is the way to resolve your dh's issues. (wow, what a run on sentence, sorry)

 

For instance, there is not a meet-up meeting anywhere within a 25 miles radius around here. Nothing. 

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It sound like your DH has some social problems, and he is seeking a geographic cure. Has he been to a counselor at all, to discuss depression? Has he pursued better pain management? I would want to see him work to solve those problems where you are currently living, before uprooting the whole family to potentially do better elsewhere.  This has a lot of red flags for me.

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That's what I was thinking. If you put the idea of relocating on the table, I'd look at all sorts of places to move. Asheville NC, Minneapolis, MN, Burlington VT, Portland, ME are all places that could work for you.

Ithaca, NY. Move a few miles out and it's as rural as you want, but still a place that it sounds you'd fit in. Housing costs aren't bad either if you get out of Ithaca proper. My 2200 square foot house, almost totally remodeled, was just appraised at $140k. That's twenty miles away but comparable.

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. He has not had trouble making friends in other cities he's lived in, so the past 15 years here have been a little hard on him.

The social isolation here is enough to drive me into looking for jobs if things don't get better. I'm neither introvert not extrovert though. Both hubby and I are tired of here and my kids doesn't have close friends so it's okay for us to move if a job open up somewhere else.

 

What other cities could your family move to? Your husband may be an introvert but he did make friends in other cities. What makes it difficult for him to make friends where you are now compare to all the other places where he had friends? Would a college town in a semi rural area work?

 

My kids would actually love snow. They don't like the heat here. A good friend doesn't mind the snow in Chicago. Apparently the public roads are well plowed and decently maintained by her standards. Her kids go to public school and she drives them there.

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My DH doesn't have a lot of friends, mostly the husbands of my friends (who he only sees when I arrange dinner parties or barbecues). He doesn't like his job, and it has been the source of much stress for him. He has pain issues, which makes him rather tense most of the time. 

 

We currently live in a large, progressive metropolitan area. We are all atheists (well, the youngest is hoping for a church in which he could worship Poseidon). I'm a vegetarian. I have an extensive group of close friends that I've had for decades. We take care of each other and are more family than friends. We have a secular play group we're entrenched in. The boys are into fencing, swimming and gymnastics.

 

DH announced that he thinks we should potentially move to the rural Midwest because he can transfer with his job there, and it will be a lower cost of living. He feels that he has very little in terms of personal ties here in terms of friends. The move would make us closer to our families. I'm not sure if that is a great thing, in all honesty. 

 

We're doing fine financially. We're both over our house, though. While it's fine for us financially, it's just too big and too much upkeep. I'd be totally into purchasing a smaller house, in all honesty. 

 

I've been searching for homeschool groups in the target town DH is talking about, but I'm just finding two religious groups (that require signed statements of faith). I'm not anti-religion at all. It's just that it's not something we believe in. 

 

I'm concerned about this move because the boys are getting a older and really enjoy hanging out with their friends. Also, I don't see DH amazingly becoming Mr. Social and making tons of friends. 

 

Talk me down, please. DH is not the final voice of everything in our relationship, and he's concerned about social isolation as well. He doesn't feel as though he truly fits in where we live. He has not had trouble making friends in other cities he's lived in, so the past 15 years here have been a little hard on him.

 

Tell me how this could potentially work out well. I'm concerned about social isolation primarily. And the fact that I haven't shoveled snow in 20 years.  :willy_nilly:

Your last sentence is the dealbreaker for me.

 

You have no idea how awful this is until you have been driven out of your home because of an extended power outage, and you can't get out of your driveway either, because it was too cold for the plow guy to get there, so your family takes 30 second stints to shovel in the -30 wind chill temperature, and it takes three hours to leave your own driveway.  Three hours later, you arrive at your friend's house twenty minutes away, because the roads are nearly undrivable.  Then you must stay for days until your stupid power company gets it together.  Then your neighbors cannot return home for a couple of months because they had the misfortune of having a hot water boiler system that burst, destroying most of two levels of their home.  

 

Ask me how I know. 

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Your last sentence is the dealbreaker for me.

 

You have no idea how awful this is until you have been driven out of your home because of an extended power outage, and you can't get out of your driveway either, because it was too cold for the plow guy to get there, so your family takes 30 second stints to shovel in the -30 wind chill temperature, and it takes three hours to leave your own driveway.  Three hours later, you arrive at your friend's house twenty minutes away, because the roads are nearly undrivable.  Then you must stay for days until your stupid power company gets it together.  Then your neighbors cannot return home for a couple of months because they had the misfortune of having a hot water boiler system that burst, destroying most of two levels of their home.  

 

Ask me how I know. 

 

Yes exactly.  It's absolutely awful.  We don't lose power much, but at least we aren't also in the middle of nowhere. 

But we do have to shovel a lot.  And it sucks butt like you cannot imagine.  It's back breaking.  My kids really can't help much because it is always this back breaking slushy or frozen solid crap.  They aren't physically strong enough most of the time. 

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Thanks, everyone for chiming in. A bit more background: both DH and I lived in smaller towns in MI and WI growing up, so we know the scene of the more rural areas. There are obviously great things about rural communities, and then some things that might not be as comfortable for us. We were both involved in churches growing up, though, so I think DH is thinking about the sense of community he had through his church (his parents were and are super, super involved in their church). 

 

The reason for this specific town DH has his eyes on is because it would still be with his current employer, and there is a position that makes sense for him. The town, oddly enough, seems to have a number of high-tech employers, which seems strange. DH is a pretty senior engineer with a crazy-specific technical specialty, so he's not super-portable. I am still researching the area, though. There is a college in a town about 30 minutes from the "target city," so that might be good. However, in looking for homeschool groups in that town, I still find only religious ones.

 

I agree that there are any number of great towns in the Midwest that are progressive and have tons to offer. I would love a place like Ann Arbor or Madison or St. Paul (except for maybe the winter situation... I'm still leery about snow). 

 

I just don't know. We have a lot to think about and talk about. I'm sure it will be an interesting year -- one way or the other, I'm guessing we will move. It will either be across town or across the country. 

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"Progressive" is a strange misnomer, imo. It does not follow that other people are "Regressives." Just musing about language. . . There also is a bad cultural habit by which "progressive" is considerd a virtue by some, and a bad trait by others.

 

I'm feeling a tad reflective today.

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When my dh mentioned moving,( he hated where we lived) I was literally living down the street from my oldest and dearest friend and her family. It was a childhood fantasy we had had that came true.

 

We ended up moving three months later. I left my bestie 8 1/2 months pregnant . My heart broke and we sobbed for days.

 

I ended up going because my hubby was so unhappy, and I truly could not be knowing he was.

 

9 years later, best decision we ever made.

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we have moved quite a bit over the years.  Always for a job change so dh can be happier.  I have left great friends more than once for these moves.  Sometimes it was ok.  Sometimes it sucked.  But I have found when DH is miserable, life at home isn't so great.  I have had to allow his professional happiness weigh heavier than the rest of us for where we live.  This last move has been super tough.  I still don't have close friends.  Kids very few friends.  Dh is happy.  Making friends....very unlike him.  

 

But we have had moves where I was super happy and connected when dh was not.  You have no guarantee either way.  Obviously looking at the midwest I would expect more religious homeschool groups.  And I think you have a right to be concerned.  

 

This last move....happened the week dd turned 11 and ds was 3 months to 13.  It's been ok for dd...she is making friends.  She misses her old ones, but since many have moved away as well she is positive about this place.  However, ds is not doing well.  He's 13 1/2 and sees kids at things, but really doesn't have that one friend to connect with daily.  He is very isolated.  I haven't found a way for him to meet more people.  He's quirky and needs time to bond with people.  The one kid he connected with is in a BUSY family.  Meaning I have to call often and beg for playdates.  While they love hanging out, it's clear the family lifestyle isn't about hanging out...it's about being busy.  Unless we join their activities they are too busy to get together.  Sad for ds.  Sad for their kids too.  

 

 

Is there any way you can visit the area he wants to go to?  Or keep trying to connect with a group in that area to suit your needs?  Maybe even start one?  You can't be the only non religious person in that town....there are others, but you might need to start a group to find them.  

 

good luck.  It's so hard to decide to move with kiddos.  And we did it more than I wanted to mine.  This last move has required the kids and myself to really suck it up and smile to dh about it all.  We love it here.  But the kids and I are really isolated and many days lonely.  mainly b/c no one gets together....they just do busy things.  *sigh*

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Midwest college towns just might have what you want. I'd suggest looking to Bloomington, Indiana, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Madison, Wisconsin.

I agree, except don't move to Wisconsin. I love Madison, but there are enough icky things politically that mean it's become a significantly different place than when I grew up. I've lived here my whole life and I'm not really sure I'd stay if my choices were different. Minnesota would be a much better option. Though, about the only thing we have over Minnesota is our homeschool regs are better.

 

I live in a rural midwest town. There are few secular homeschoolers and even fewer atheists. As far as I know, we're the only ones. We have an "inclusive" support group, but even there it's populated by a certain sort of very conservative type of religious homeschooler. I usually get bizarre looks and askance glances whenever I momentarily forget who I'm talking to and stumble into iffy topics (usually some form of why we don't attend one of the two Christian co-ops).

 

I don't think the sorts of things you've mentioned in your OP are anything to discount too easily. I'd love those sorts of things. About the only way I'll come close is if I drive 40 minutes or more one way.

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When someones job is making them unhappy, a change sooner than later is better. My dh's last corporate job was so vile that he is happy to own a restaurant and flip burgers rather than go through that again. He made for money in his corporate job, but those people nearly killed his spirit. If your dh is unhappy for good reasons, I would support his changing jobs sooner rather than later, because later might be too late for his attitude to ever recover. That is what happened to my dh, and if I had it to do over again I would support a job change. It seemed too scary to consider at the time, but by the time I was ready to consider it, things had gone too far for dh to trust a corporate environment again.

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Another rural Midwest person here. While I like it, it's certainly not for everyone. It seems like this would be a big change for you. And I definitely think you should try and explore lots of options if you and YH want to put relocating on the table.

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OP, if your husband is hampered by significant pain issues, can he convert to work-from-home status for the majority of his job? I may be missing some cues, but social needs do not sound high-priority for him. You, in contrast, and the children have solid networks in place where you are.

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Does hubby have any sort of hobby? I got my hubby a Mr. Beer brewing kit a decade ago - the hobby has taken off and he goes to meetings (and Cubs games) with folks from the local home-brewers club.  It has become his social life.

 

I think it may be easier to find a structured activity/club based around a hobby/interest/volunteer work for hubby than to replicate what you and your boys have where you are.   If hubby is not able/willing to try new things to make new friends, then tell him in a few years when the boys have left home, then you can move.

 

Oh, and any group that wants you to sign a statement of faith does NOT want non-believers in their group.  Ask me how I know this :-(

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It sounds like it would be a pretty drastic change for you.  Maybe you could compromise on specific location, midwest for DH, not-so-rural for you.

 

I do know what you're talking about regarding the politics in WI - we've been here for almost a decade, not in Madison but nearer the city on east side.  But, we are secular homeschoolers and have found a really nice community here where athiests aren't looked at funny and there is tons to do.  I describe our town as rural-suburban and we are 30 minutes from downtown.

 

But honestly, I've lived in the midwest most of my life, sometimes more rural than others, and I don't recognize some of the descriptions in this thread.

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I heard that it takes two years to fit into a new town. That is probably a good average. So if you choose to move, be realistic on how long it will take to make new friends.

 

I kept fighting a move to Florida that DH wanted. I did not want to leave my job and friends. I watched DH become more and more frustrated with life so I surprised him by secretly finding a job in the location he wanted. While it took a good two years before I had a friend, it was the best thing that could have happened to our family.

 

Bottom line, you can always move back if it doesn't work out.

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I would also push for urban Midwest. That's where we live and after 13 years here I'm beginning to experience a bit of culture shock when we visit DHs family 2 hours away in a rural town. It's VERY different. Our city, however, has something for everyone, and is very affordable. While Conservative Christian homeschooling groups are more prolific, there are several highly active secular groups as well. Also, make sure you are looking for groups on Facebook as well. Mi would guess only about 1/3 of the active groups here have a website, the rest organize through FB.

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Thanks, everyone for chiming in. A bit more background: both DH and I lived in smaller towns in MI and WI growing up, so we know the scene of the more rural areas. There are obviously great things about rural communities, and then some things that might not be as comfortable for us. We were both involved in churches growing up, though, so I think DH is thinking about the sense of community he had through his church (his parents were and are super, super involved in their church).

 

The reason for this specific town DH has his eyes on is because it would still be with his current employer, and there is a position that makes sense for him. The town, oddly enough, seems to have a number of high-tech employers, which seems strange. DH is a pretty senior engineer with a crazy-specific technical specialty, so he's not super-portable. I am still researching the area, though. There is a college in a town about 30 minutes from the "target city," so that might be good. However, in looking for homeschool groups in that town, I still find only religious ones.

 

I agree that there are any number of great towns in the Midwest that are progressive and have tons to offer. I would love a place like Ann Arbor or Madison or St. Paul (except for maybe the winter situation... I'm still leery about snow).

 

I just don't know. We have a lot to think about and talk about. I'm sure it will be an interesting year -- one way or the other, I'm guessing we will move. It will either be across town or across the country.

 

Oh well we are in St. Paul (bordering Minneapolis). The immediate metro is a fantastically awesome welcoming secular homeschool community! And the regs in MN are easy. You do have to test annually, but you can use any test and do not have to report scores. I have actually found it to be good practice for college bound kids and somewhat informative.

 

I also recommend a snow blower. ;) Winte is winter, but life doesn't shut down and there are good options for things to do in the winter. Roads are cleared quickly. We are very rarely snowed in. I like uggs and smart wool socks!

 

Anyway, good luck with your choices!

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"Progressive" is a strange misnomer, imo. It does not follow that other people are "Regressives." Just musing about language. . . There also is a bad cultural habit by which "progressive" is considerd a virtue by some, and a bad trait by others.

 

I'm feeling a tad reflective today.

I think that the term has its roots in the idea that technology and 'modern thought' must be expanded and harnessed in order to make progress toward a utopian ideal.

 

As you indicated, the opposite isn't so much regressive, but more committed to stability in values, morals, and beliefs.  It's more a clash between the idea of committing or not committing to eternal verities.  

 

It is really interesting to see progressivism complimented on a classical board.  Almost ironic, since regaining 'the lost tools of education' is inherently anti-progressive.  But it IS a useful descriptor in a thread like this.

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I think that the term has its roots in the idea that technology and 'modern thought' must be expanded and harnessed in order to make progress toward a utopian ideal.

 

The opposite isn't so much regressive, as you indicate, but more committed to stability in values, morals, and beliefs.  It's more a clash between the idea of committing or not committing to eternal verities.  

 

It is really interesting to see progressivism complimented on a classical board.  Almost ironic, since regaining 'the lost tools of education' is inherently anti-progressive.  But it IS a useful descriptor in a thread like this.

 

With you on your reply, and understanding your use of terms.  When I wrote that post, I did not consider the word "regressive" to be the best choice, but yielded to a penchant for antonyms.  An allegiance to older, established values is derided by those who believe mankind is "ascending", "improving", "progressing", or any of the notions tied to "the perfectibility of man and society" via "progress".  "Progress", too often, entails jettisoning something "good" by inventing or substituting other values.  "Older, established values" do not agree with that mindset.  For goodness sakes, readers here please refrain from inflating my thoughts into concepts which they are not.  Take the paragraph as it stands.  Thank you.

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With you on your reply, and understanding your use of terms.  When I wrote that post, I did not consider the word "regressive" to be the best choice, but yielded to a penchant for antonyms. 

O6, I understood that about your post, and edited mine to demonstrate that a bit more clearly.

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