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Ktgrok

Talk to me about Massachusetts

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My husband has talked about Boston a lot, and for various reasons we are actually at a place of considering moving. Out of the country is one option, but if we don't do that Boston area is also on the table. He's in Cybersecurity and it's a tech hub, from what he says. 

 

I'm going to freeze wherever we go, lol, so I've about given up on the weather. And there is so much I dislike about Orlando, that I'm realizing the trade off for cold versus this city may be worth it. 

 

What's the homeschool climate like. Obviously there are a ton of field trip opportunities. 

 

Is it possible to live slightly outside the city proper, and commute in by train? I'm wondering if we could go down to one car if we lived somewhere that actually had real public transportation. 

 

I hear it's a non religious state, which my secular husband would like, but one of the most Catholic states, which I would like. 

 

Cost of living is supposed to be very high, but I hear salaries may adjust for that. 

 

Any other factors I'm missing? We are pretty darned far left on the political scheme, and well, that is an influence as well. 

 

My husband LOVES urban areas, and loved Boston when he visited. LOVED. I like more suburbia, or at least access to green spaces, and we have two large dogs, and two cats and soon to be 4 kids, so apartment living in the actual city sounds...difficult. But I do love museums, parks, churches, etc. And communities. Not many real communities here anymore. Just gated off enclaves. 

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Cost of living is supposed to be very high, but I hear salaries may adjust for that.

 

I'm not sure I have ever heard of a HCOL area where the salaries were generally adjusted enough to make up for the high housing expenses.

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I'm not sure I have ever heard of a HCOL area where the salaries were generally adjusted enough to make up for the high housing expenses.

 

Well that's depressing. 

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So, do single income families live in that area at all? Up to an hour commute would be fine, especially if it was public transportation, but for all I know even that is not feasible. 

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I love Boston! There are definitely trains into the city. Waltham is a big tech hub and I used to commute there from RI. We have friends that live in Millis and it's a really nice town. He commutes to Waltham and she commutes into the city. She takes the T in and says it's not a bad commute at all. 

 

I'd personally like to live in the Carver area because it's gorgeous and not a bad commute in to the city. Manchester NH is another decent sized tech area. NH is a lot cheaper to live in and has no income or sales taxes. Lots of people live in NH and commute into MA.

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Looks like Oracle has an office in Burlington, MA, but I have no idea where that is. (will map it in a minute). 

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I love Boston! There are definitely trains into the city. Waltham is a big tech hub and I used to commute there from RI. We have friends that live in Millis and it's a really nice town. He commutes to Waltham and she commutes into the city. She takes the T in and says it's not a bad commute at all. 

 

I'd personally like to live in the Carver area because it's gorgeous and not a bad commute in to the city. Manchester NH is another decent sized tech area. NH is a lot cheaper to live in and has no income or sales taxes. Lots of people live in NH and commute into MA.

 

Oh, good thought. My husband likes a train commute, he can decompress on the way home, listen to podcasts, etc. He commutes easily 40-45 minutes now, but that's driving.

 

I'll add Waltham to my list of tech places. 

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Boston is awesome, but expensive for very little square footage.

As others have said, there is a fairly large tech center in both Nashua and Manchester NH (no sales tax, lower housing cost)  It only takes about 45-1hour to get to the city and enjoy all of the cultural events, but you are in more of a suburb.

 

Check out Salary Genius for both NH and MA.  Their numbers are fairly accurate in my experience. 

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My DH commuted via train to Cambridge from my parents' house on the I-495 belt. It's definitely do-able though be forewarned that when it snows, the MBTA often cancels trains :cursing:

 

If you're not worried about the schools, there are definitely some less expensive suburbs in MetroWest that still have decent neighborhoods. I'm most familiar with ones on the 495 belt since that's where I grew up. Marlborough, Maynard, Hudson, Clinton, Devens, Ayer, Shirley. Basically you'd want to look for neighborhoods that border a fancy suburb but still are zoned for schools in the less well-heeled town. So Marlborough on the Sudbury line, Maynard on the Concord or Sudbury line, Hudson on the Stow or Sudbury line, etc.

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Looks like Oracle has an office in Burlington, MA, but I have no idea where that is. (will map it in a minute). 

 

Burlington is definitely commutable from NH.

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Groton is really nice and far less expensive than the immediate Boston area.  About an hour or a little less from Boston.  No trains though, I don't think.  Generally big city lots--half an acre is not uncommon.  Lots of trees.  Lots of mosquitoes.  Cruising range of the southern New Hampshire tech area.

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Some people live in Worcester and take the commuter train in to Boston. Worcester is a lot more affordable than the communities closer to Boston. 20-30 years ago it used to be a pretty grungy city, but it has changed a lot. 

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Looks like Oracle has an office in Burlington, MA, but I have no idea where that is. (will map it in a minute). 

 

Yes -- my husband worked at that Oracle office in Burlington.  It is certainly commutable from some lovely and affordable small towns in Southern NH.  

 

When I worked in Boston (and my husband in Burlington), we lived in Wellesley, MA.  I walked to the commuter rail station in Wellesley, took the train in to South Station, and then walked to my law firm.  Door to door, my commute was exactly one hour.  Very do-able, and did not require a car . . . although a car was certainly needed for shopping and a social life.  It was actually an issue, as I had forgotten how to drive after spending ten years in NYC.

 

We rented half of a duplex in a great neighborhood at a very reasonable price ($2,000/month, I think -- but that was ten years ago), but had trouble finding a house that we felt we could afford on one income, as I was planning to stay home once we had our first child.  Median house prices were about $850K at the time, and a decent house in a decent neighborhood was at least $1M.  We moved to NH because of the high cost of living in the Boston area, and because my husband was eventually able to work from home, which gave us a lot more flexibility (and the benefit of no state income tax in NH).  

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I'm not sure I have ever heard of a HCOL area where the salaries were generally adjusted enough to make up for the high housing expenses.

 

I think in the NY metro area that is somewhat true(that salaries are higher).  But people take the job thinking that they are getting a huge salary, but it really is just equal to or less than what they are used to living on.  Don't just look at food and housing. Consider also the cost of extra curriculuar activities (rec center classes were 4x what we paid in Canada and rural PA, for instance, but dh was not even making twice what he made in Canada). 

 

You may also find the Massachusetts culture very different if you are used to the South.  I went to college in Western Mass and in general found the culture a challenge--much less niceties and smiles, for instance.  So, I would suggest going into stores before you move and judging how you feel you are treated and whether you could deal with that coming from the culture you come from.  (What I'm talking about here is not right or wrong ways to be, but rather how we, coming from the cultures we do, interpret body language.  What is correct storekeeper body language in Mass would have been extremely rude body language in DC where I grew up--and remember being chastised by store folks for not making eye contact or not touching skin when receiving change.  I always felt the store keepers in Mass. didn't want me in their store or to sell anything to me, but that CAN'T be correct, right?  I think I was just reading folks wrong.)

 

Also, with regard to your sun question, I don't think Boston gets a lot of sun.

 

With regard to homeschooling, it is an "approval" state and how easy it is to homeschool is district dependent.

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I just re-read your original post, and think you would adore Massachusetts (or Souther NH).  Outside of the metro areas, New England is all about small-town living and beautiful neighborhoods.  And even Boston always felt like a small and very town-like city.  There are lots of parks, families, and dogs, and not so many high-rises.  The political climate is fairly far to the left in Massachusetts, and it does tend to be more secular, with a strong Catholic community.  

 

I am from the area, so maybe my cultural background shapes my bias -- but I find people to be friendly (but respectful of boundaries), proper, cerebral, direct, and non-cloying.  Freesia, that is so funny that you were told to make skin contact when making change in the south.  If a storekeeper did that to me (and it was clearly not accidental), I would be completely creeped out!

 

 

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I just re-read your original post, and think you would adore Massachusetts (or Souther NH).  Outside of the metro areas, New England is all about small-town living and beautiful neighborhoods.  And even Boston always felt like a small and very town-like city.  There are lots of parks, families, and dogs, and not so many high-rises.  The political climate is fairly far to the left in Massachusetts, and it does tend to be more secular, with a strong Catholic community.  

 

I am from the area, so maybe my cultural background shapes my bias -- but I find people to be friendly (but respectful of boundaries), proper, cerebral, direct, and non-cloying.  Freesia, that is so funny that you were told to make skin contact when making change in the south.  If a storekeeper did that to me (and it was clearly not accidental), I would be completely creeped out!

 

Yes, that's what I mean. What is expected one place, is not another place and sometimes you really have to keep reminding yourself of that.

 

What I forgot to say, Katie, is that I have an Aunt and Uncle who LOVE the area. They have lived in Delaware, Illinois, NJ, Singapore, Venezuela (and probably somewhere else that I've forgotten).  They lived north of Boston when I was in college and now live in Southern NH.  So, lots of people do love it, I just want you to consider all the angles. :-)

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We loved Boston so much. We lived just outside of Cambridge and my hubby biked to work. I've gotta run, but I'll get back to you soon.

 

Emily

ETA We love where we live now, but would move back there in a heartbeat. If we did, our kids would probably go to public school for high school.

Edited by EmilyGF

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I would definitely suggest visiting before making any moves. Drive in the city, drive to/from the suburbs during rush hour. If at possible, drive in the snow, and then again during summer traffic. Perhaps coming from where you live the traffic will be tolerable (if likely much more aggressive). For us, we avoid it as much as possible.

 

It is not known as a car friendly city for good reason, and while there is public transit, unless your start and end are on the lines it's not always convenient (and as a pp pointed out, it can shut down during snowstorms). Plus, with many kids the trains aren't going to be easy.

 

The city itself is small, but the suburbs stretch way out. Housing is expensive even by east coast standards, which is why so many people commute 2 hours each way to more affordable communities. If your DH works in an inner ring suburb, you might find what you are looking for further out within a reasonable range.

 

Religion and so on generally isn't a consideration in the northeast. Likely no one will ever, ever ask or bring it up, and it will probably be assumed you lean liberal. Compared to the south it might seem that people take longer to warm up, but really it's just respect for personal space. There aren't as many cultural rules as in the south, and Boston is so diverse no one will think twice about however you act. I find Bostonians to be friendly, but I know that's the not the general reputation (their reputation for poor and aggressive driving, otoh, is well deserved).

 

All of New England is pretty community oriented, compared to anything I've seen in Florida or elsewhere in the south. There are sprawling ugly suburban areas, of course, but also lots of charming old towns that retain some of their colonial beauty despite the traffic and growth. If his company is in Burlington and you wanted more space, you might check out the villages on Cape Ann (Ipswitch, Salem, Gloucester and so on). Otherwise the whole Burlington-Woburn-Lexington-etc area is nice, if very suburban. I'm partial to north of the city, especially if you don't have to venture in too often.

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Looks like Oracle has an office in Burlington, MA, but I have no idea where that is. (will map it in a minute). 

 

My husband works in Burlington, in the high school science dept (and I worked there for 1 year, a decade ago). I looked for a house there, but there was no way we could afford even a small condo.

 

 

 

... Nashua and Manchester NH (no sales tax, lower housing cost)  It only takes about 45-1hour to get to the city and enjoy all of the cultural events, but you are in more of a suburb.

 

 

My husband used to live in Manchester and work in Nashua. He said the commute (drive) into Boston during rush hour was routinely upwards of 2 hours.

 

 

Also, with regard to your sun question, I don't think Boston gets a lot of sun.

 

With regard to homeschooling, it is an "approval" state and how easy it is to homeschool is district dependent.

 

We live in Methuen, approximately 30 minutes north of Boston. It's plenty sunny, except during the shortest days of year (which are coming quick). 

 

I only had to fill out a 1-page form to homeschool in Methuen, no hoops to jump through.

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Hi, haven't read all the posts, but I live here, so here's my take...

 

Unless your dh is earning the big bucks, don't even bother looking at anything closer to Boston than the 128/95 belt.  $$$$$$$$.  

 

But your dh may not have to commute to Boston anyway.  128 is known as "America's Technology Highway" - really, there's a sign :lol:.  There's also lots of jobs in tech out on the 495 belt.  Houses get more reasonably priced when you get to 495 and beyond.  We live right on 495 NW of Boston and it takes about 45 min to get into Boston without traffic, and 1.5 or so during rush hour - during normal mid-week traffic I'd give it an hour.  Dh doesn't commute in there, though, he works about 15 min away (he works in tech, like almost everyone here).  He used to work down in Burlington on 128, that's about 20 min without traffic and a half hour or more during rush hour - he used to just take back roads.  Waltham's a bit further.  128 is a bit of a parking lot during rush hour.  If you live further off the highway, it can add a lot of time on back roads.

 

From the 495 belt there are a number of train stops to get into Boston proper - they take from 1/2 to 1 hour to get to either North or South station (depending on how many stops that line makes along the way).  If you don't work near North or South station, though, you'd have to take the T from there, which can make the commute longer.  If he did want to commute into Boston by train, I'd look for where the stations are and make sure you can et to one easily or that would also add lots of time.   There are also some park & ride places (I think that's a bus?).  Southern NH is also commutable to Boston, 495 or 128, but trains don't go up that far.  Trains also only work into/out of Boston; there's no public transportation to anywhere else.

 

Homeschooling is very easy here.  You have to send in an ed plan once a year (which can be fairly general), and then some kind of evaluation (I always send them in at the same time, so just one correspondence a year).  There's no in-person meeting or evaluator required.  Evaluation can be a progress report, standardized test, or portfolio - your choice.  Things are run town by town, so you might want to check in on one of the state email lists (masshomelearningassoc or mahomeschoolers or ahem - I think they're all yahoo groups) to ask about particular towns.  Most are easy, but some are a bit of a pain - usually some superintendent who doesn't know state case law and oversteps - you just have to quote them chapter and verse, but it can be a hassle, and if you're moving here, it should be easy to avoid if you ask ahead.

 

There are lots of coops and homeschool learning centers.  Some are Christian, but many are secular.  The state overall is very secular and if you do a pie chart of what religion people overall affiliate with, I  do think it's over 50% Catholic.  Our local CC is very DE/homeschool friendly.

Edited by Matryoshka
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You all rock! And for whomever mentioned the cultural differences. .my best friend is from Boston but I know Exactly what you mean. She and I got a kick out of our differences to say the least. I'm from south Florida though which is mostly former new yorkers.

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I grew up in a Boston suburb. I love Boston but I couldn't live there now. It's crazy expensive and the traffic is insane. My brother loves outside Worcester and commutes to Boston daily. I couldn't do it. The pros are great with good libraries, public transport (if you're close enough), lots of culture and sports, but real estate and property taxes are so high I wouldn't consider it a good investment for our family.

 

ETA - And I hope I'm not starting a spin-off, but the college thing is also a huge issue for me too. Growing up there, none of the "smart" kids went to public colleges. It wasn't if, but where you'd go (Williams, Smith, Middlebury, etc...). Small, private liberal arts schools were/are huge. Culturally (at least all my family up there) it's the same now. TONS of pressure. No, or at least very little, concern for price tags. Now, I live South and all the kids do undergrad at state schools as a rule. Private schools are the exception. Employers don't blink over U of whatever. The networking is huge here for grads. Anyway, if you add in some of those cultural costs it can be a lot. I like the lower pressure and ability to enjoy high school a little more.

Edited by FriedClams

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My husband has talked about Boston a lot, and for various reasons we are actually at a place of considering moving. Out of the country is one option, but if we don't do that Boston area is also on the table. He's in Cybersecurity and it's a tech hub, from what he says.

 

I'm going to freeze wherever we go, lol, so I've about given up on the weather. And there is so much I dislike about Orlando, that I'm realizing the trade off for cold versus this city may be worth it.

 

What's the homeschool climate like. Obviously there are a ton of field trip opportunities.

 

Is it possible to live slightly outside the city proper, and commute in by train? I'm wondering if we could go down to one car if we lived somewhere that actually had real public transportation.

 

I hear it's a non religious state, which my secular husband would like, but one of the most Catholic states, which I would like.

 

Cost of living is supposed to be very high, but I hear salaries may adjust for that.

 

Any other factors I'm missing? We are pretty darned far left on the political scheme, and well, that is an influence as well.

 

My husband LOVES urban areas, and loved Boston when he visited. LOVED. I like more suburbia, or at least access to green spaces, and we have two large dogs, and two cats and soon to be 4 kids, so apartment living in the actual city sounds...difficult. But I do love museums, parks, churches, etc. And communities. Not many real communities here anymore. Just gated off enclaves.

Come to Maryland! DH could do Cybersecurity in Baltimore, Fort Meede or D.C. Large Catholic population. Plenty of secular types too, if that's no one's cuppa tea. Great homeschool community; laws are reasonable. Museums, parks, and historic sites abound. State is blue and liberal, though there are pockets of heavy GOP and conservative sentiment. Cost of housing is high, but probably no worse than Boston.

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My wife and I live in Somerville, Massachusetts, less than 5 miles from Boston.  We don't own a car and don't want or need one.  We get around by walking, taking the subway, taking the bus, riding a Hubway (the city's shared bikes), riding our own bicycle, taking an Uber/Lyft car ride, or renting a Zipcar by the hour.  Housing is not cheap here, but the lower transportation expenses help keep the overall cost down.  We love it.  We get automatic fitness by just walking or riding a bike.   

 

About where to live in the Boston area, that depends a lot on where exactly your husband finds a job.  Good luck!   

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 And I hope I'm not starting a spin-off, but the college thing is also a huge issue for me too. Growing up there, none of the "smart" kids went to public colleges. It wasn't if, but where you'd go (Williams, Smith, Middlebury, etc...). Small, private liberal arts schools were/are huge. Culturally (at least all my family up there) it's the same now. TONS of pressure. No, or at least very little, concern for price tags.

 

My cousin's son is a sophomore in college and from what my cousin and his wife have said, this has dramatically changed since when we were all in high school in the late 80's (my cousin) to early 90's (his wife and me). UMass was where students used to go if they couldn't get into a better school. Now the honors program actually attracts a lot of high-achieving students. I think the average SAT score in the honors program is something like 1350. Back when I was in high school, a student scoring in that range would NEVER have attended UMass.

 

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Better if the job is outside the city. My husband has been commuting into Boston for 2 years and it takes him just under an hour with public transportation. There really isn't a great system in Boston. Traffic can be awful depending on what direction your commute is. We have thought about moving further out for a bigger house but his commute time would add another 1/2 or more. He really doesn't want more than an hour. Any towns with commuter train is much more expensive.

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ETA - And I hope I'm not starting a spin-off, but the college thing is also a huge issue for me too. Growing up there, none of the "smart" kids went to public colleges. It wasn't if, but where you'd go (Williams, Smith, Middlebury, etc...). Small, private liberal arts schools were/are huge. Culturally (at least all my family up there) it's the same now. TONS of pressure. No, or at least very little, concern for price tags.

I think that's common in the northeast in general. We are in Maine and it's definitely like that here too. Kids have high aspirations; culturally there is the assumption and expectation they will attend private or big named schools.

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Also not a popular homeschooling state. A few larger Christian groups and one large unschooling group is about all I know about.

Lots of groups here: http://www.mhla.org/support/supportgroups.htm

 

Of course I don't know if they all are active or not. But it's my experience that higher educated populations tend to be overwhelmingly supportive of alternative educational paths.

 

The number of homeschool opportunities I've seen listed there over the years has been incredible, and of course the entire area is steeped in history. We've driven down for a few things, but it's just a touch too far for us to really take advantage. Our homeschooling would look very different if we lived there though.

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Also not a popular homeschooling state. A few larger Christian groups and one large unschooling group is about all I know about.

There are tons of homeschoolers here. And not just unschooling or Christian. All three groups I linked are inclusive. There are other groups that are more Christian, but I know less about them.

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There may be more homeschooling groups in other parts of the state, but not too much in the greater Boston metro area. I've been homeschooling here for about 8 years. I've connected with a few of them from time to time.

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I do think there is a huge cultural difference compared to Florida. It is completely normal (at least where we lived) for successful families to live in duplexes or other multi-family buildings. We really liked it because we knew our neighbors on every side and felt really connected to the community. But, from what I know of Florida, people live in huge houses and drive into their garages. That just isn't what anything vaguely affordable and near the city is like. We liked that better, but it did take adjustment. It took us a year or so to adapt to public transportation, but once we did, we really liked where we lived. So did our kids.

Emily

ETA We lived in Belmont where there were almost no homeschoolers. There were a lot in Arlington. And, of course, the Suzuki music school in Belmont attracted homeschoolers.

Edited by EmilyGF

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There may be more homeschooling groups in other parts of the state, but not too much in the greater Boston metro area. I've been homeschooling here for about 8 years. I've connected with a few of them from time to time.

There are so many resources though, even if you haven't connected with a group. The museums have homeschool programming, of course there's MIT and Harvard etc that offer so much both for homeschoolers and general educational opportunities... It's endless. The Boston Mom blog (I think that's what it's called) lists lots of cool things happening around the city for academically minded kids. Such diverse choices! I could almost be jealous (except about that traffic...). :)

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There may be more homeschooling groups in other parts of the state, but not too much in the greater Boston metro area. I've been homeschooling here for about 8 years. I've connected with a few of them from time to time.

 

There's lots of stuff in and around Boston.  There used to be a ton going on in Arlington - my friend drives all the way in there for Model UN. There are the weekly homeschool classes (2x a day on Fridays) at the MFA.  There are regular homeschool classes at the Zoo (both Stone and Franklin) and the Aquarium.  The homeschool Fall Fair is coming up in a few weeks in Watertown - we used to go to that every year.  Someone just set up a free Coding Class for homeschoolers at the Microsoft store in the Prudential center.  I just read they're starting a homeschool rock climbing class in Everett.

 

Those are just things off the top of my head I've seen going through the state homeschooling lists recently that are in or very close in to Boston, and that are dedicated to homeschoolers.  I'm sure I'd know of a lot more if I were on a more local list, and there's a always ton more if you organize yourself (used to run field trips at the Museum of Science, someone's always setting up a class at the Edgerton Center at MIT, or it's super-easy to do yourself - virtually all the museums and historical sites have classes or programs that they'll offer if you say you'll bring a small group - I used to just advertise on the email lists).  There are always tons of homeschoolers at the Splash, Spark, and HSSP programs at MIT, even though they're not homeschooling events per se.  

 

If you're talking about a local group that has weekly park days, I know there used to be park days in Arlington - I haven't seen them posted in a while, but that kind of stuff doesn't get posted on statewide lists.  

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Come to Maryland! DH could do Cybersecurity in Baltimore, Fort Meede or D.C. Large Catholic population. Plenty of secular types too, if that's no one's cuppa tea. Great homeschool community; laws are reasonable. Museums, parks, and historic sites abound. State is blue and liberal, though there are pockets of heavy GOP and conservative sentiment. Cost of housing is high, but probably no worse than Boston.

 

I almost butted into the thread to make the same suggestion. Maryland also is relatively politically liberal, relatively secular, has a healthy tech industry, has lots of Catholics (many of our homeschool friends are liberal Catholics). And yeah, COL is going to be an issue, but the tech industry stuff is more spread out and there are pockets of cheaper living in a different way than Massachusetts. If you're just looking for options, Katie, I'd put that on a list.

 

Not that Massachusetts is bad... I went to college there. The grungy New England cities have actually come a long way since then too. And it's a pretty state. The weather was rough on me as a southerner though.

Edited by Farrar
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Really investigate the property tax situation in the areas you are considering. When people mention "high taxes" it means vastly different things in different areas. In an affluent suburb like Sudbury where my friend lives, a three bedroom two bath two story ranchâ€looking "colonial" on an acre can cost you $16,0000 a year in property taxes. (This is why I never complain about my property taxes to anyone in the Boston or NY suburbs).

 

Otherwise, it really is a fabulous place to live. Very intellectual. Full of history and museums and natural areas. The people are reserved so they never bother you, but if you need help they will be there.

Edited by Kalmia
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Go north or west. South Shore and southeastern MA don't have a lot in terms of homeschooling. Some of the groups in the link above aren't active, or are just people who share occasional playground meet ups or advocacy email shares.

 

I like it in Boston, but , it's expensive ....for a 30-45 min commute expected to pay a minimum $400k or $2500/mo rent . Commuting is expensive unless you can get on the t (subway) which is safe but really grimy. People are kind but not warm and that can be harder than you might expect to adjust to. And the humor has a hard bite.

 

There are a lot of good things about Boston , trying to think of the tougher parts to mention .

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Go north or west. South Shore and southeastern MA don't have a lot in terms of homeschooling. Some of the groups in the link above aren't active, or are just people who share occasional playground meet ups or advocacy email shares.

 

I like it in Boston, but , it's expensive ....for a 30-45 min commute expected to pay a minimum $400k or $2500/mo rent . Commuting is expensive unless you can get on the t (subway) which is safe but really grimy. People are kind but not warm and that can be harder than you might expect to adjust to. And the humor has a hard bite.

 

There are a lot of good things about Boston , trying to think of the tougher parts to mention .

 

Thank you, I appreciate that. Unless salaries are much higher than here, which I don't think they are, it sounds unaffordable for us. We can live fairly cheaply BUT dh has 100K in student loan debt. So yeah,that's a huge chunk of our budget. 

 

Nashua, NH looks more affordable, and DH said that the people he knows that work for Oracle telecommute most of the time. So we may not need to be in an easy commute distance. 

 

However, that brings up other issues...him working from home when I've got loud kids running around is a whole other problem. We'd need to figure out a way to handle that. 

 

And canada isn't off the table either,but obviously a bit more difficult to make happen. 

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Nashua, NH looks more affordable, and DH said that the people he knows that work for Oracle telecommute most of the time. So we may not need to be in an easy commute distance.

 

Nashua would get more affordable and while property taxes are a bit higher in New Hampshire there is no state income tax... although if you work in MA you still have to pay some here. If you want to take advantage of DE, the Nashua CC does not have as much selection as the MA one. The MA CC in this area is 50% off for DE students who are in-state.

 

Nashua is actually not too bad a commute from Burlington; only about a half hour with no traffic. If your dh has some telecommuting or flexible work hours, rush hour can be avoided by starting work at home and going in a bit after 9... that's what my dh does a lot.

 

Tyngsborough is the MA town right over the border from Nashua and right off the highway. It's not super pricey - like 1/2 the cost of a Lexington or Wellesley, especially if you don't insist on living in a brand new subdivision. There's a huge secular coop in the town next to it. (Which is of course also very close to Nashua)

 

We live close enough to Nashua to do almost all our shopping there. No sales tax. :)

Edited by Matryoshka

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Nashua would get more affordable and while property taxes are a bit higher in New Hampshire there is no state income tax... although if you work in MA you still have to pay some here. If you want to take advantage of DE, the Nashua CC does not have as much selection as the MA one. The MA CC in this area is 50% off for DE students who are in-state.

 

Nashua is actually not too bad a commute from Burlington; only about a half hour with no traffic. If your dh has some telecommuting or flexible work hours, rush hour can be avoided by starting work at home and going in a bit after 9... that's what my dh does a lot.

 

Tyngsborough is the MA town right over the border from Nashua and right off the highway. It's not super pricey - like 1/2 the cost of a Lexington or Wellesley, especially if you don't insist on living in a brand new subdivision. There's a huge secular coop in the town next to it. (Which is of course also very close to Nashua)

 

We live close enough to Nashua to do almost all our shopping there. No sales tax. :)

 

Ooh, will look into Tyngsborough. And the flex hours thing is a good point. He has them where he works now and I know that's pretty common. Going in at an odd hour would make a lot of sense. That would be feasible from a kid/work standpoint. And he likes to get work done at night, too. 

 

I'd RATHER live in MA for a few reasons, especially since yes, we'd have to pay the income tax anyway,so heads up on areas that might be more affordable is great. 

 

I also don't want to live IN Burlington I don't think....it looks much more metro than small town from what I'm seeing via google images. I want some beauty in my life. 

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Go north or west. South Shore and southeastern MA don't have a lot in terms of homeschooling. .

 

FALSE!

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Ooh, will look into Tyngsborough. And the flex hours thing is a good point. He has them where he works now and I know that's pretty common. Going in at an odd hour would make a lot of sense. That would be feasible from a kid/work standpoint. And he likes to get work done at night, too.

 

I'd RATHER live in MA for a few reasons, especially since yes, we'd have to pay the income tax anyway,so heads up on areas that might be more affordable is great.

 

I also don't want to live IN Burlington I don't think....it looks much more metro than small town from what I'm seeing via google images. I want some beauty in my life.

 

You're right, Burlington is *very* congested. Tyngsborough doesn't have a quaint downtown (not much of a center at all, actually), but it does have a very pretty bridge over the Merrimack river, which runs right through it. Tyngsborough is fairly rural in nature. Being smack next to all the shopping in Nashua, guess it hasn't needed any commercial development of its own...

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Those are just things off the top of my head I've seen going through the state homeschooling lists ...

 

Please, where can I find these lists? I've just joined CHIME (Catholic Homeschoolers in MA East), but I haven't really found much else for resources (besides groups that require a signed statement of faith, which I'm not comfortable with). I'm struggling to find groups/classes for my boys (ages 7, 4 & 2) in the Merrimack Valley.

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Please, where can I find these lists? I've just joined CHIME (Catholic Homeschoolers in MA East), but I haven't really found much else for resources (besides groups that require a signed statement of faith, which I'm not comfortable with). I'm struggling to find groups/classes for my boys (ages 7, 4 & 2) in the Merrimack Valley.

 

I don't know if it would help, but this is one of the resources we were directed to - http://www.ahem.info/SupportGroups.html

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Ooh, will look into Tyngsborough. And the flex hours thing is a good point. He has them where he works now and I know that's pretty common. Going in at an odd hour would make a lot of sense. That would be feasible from a kid/work standpoint. And he likes to get work done at night, too. 

 

I'd RATHER live in MA for a few reasons, especially since yes, we'd have to pay the income tax anyway,so heads up on areas that might be more affordable is great. 

 

I also don't want to live IN Burlington I don't think....it looks much more metro than small town from what I'm seeing via google images. I want some beauty in my life. 

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Don't forget about Vermont too. :-) Burlington VT and it's surrounding areas have tech jobs  and we're definitely more affordable than MA. Great communities up here, you can drive to Montreal in an hour and a half and VT stays very insulated from the rest of the country. One of the reasons we moved here was because the political climate was making us wary back in late 2002. The recession didn't hit here as hard and people seem to be sensible as a general rule. 

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Please, where can I find these lists? I've just joined CHIME (Catholic Homeschoolers in MA East), but I haven't really found much else for resources (besides groups that require a signed statement of faith, which I'm not comfortable with). I'm struggling to find groups/classes for my boys (ages 7, 4 & 2) in the Merrimack Valley.

I posted the three big secular state lists upthread. I'm not sure what local lists there are these days.. the group that was active when my kids were young is defunct... another group with younger kids sprang up, but the person who started that quit homeschooling and I'm not sure it survived? I'm a bit out of the loop with what's going on for younger kids these days.

 

Voyagers is the biggest group in this area (and very secular). If you don't want to join a coop day, they now have drop-in activities for younger kids and individual classes for teens on Fridays.

 

I do have some friends with younger kids; i can ask around if you want... pm me.

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Don't forget about Vermont too. :-) Burlington VT and it's surrounding areas have tech jobs  and we're definitely more affordable than MA. Great communities up here, you can drive to Montreal in an hour and a half and VT stays very insulated from the rest of the country. One of the reasons we moved here was because the political climate was making us wary back in late 2002. The recession didn't hit here as hard and people seem to be sensible as a general rule. 

 

I know it's not MUCH farther north, but Vermont just may be too far north for me. (says the girl googling Canada). 

 

Which as more sun, Boston/Southern NH or Vermont? I don't need warmth, just sunshine. 

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