Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Meet My Bench Girls: Jenny

Yesterday I explained a little about what a bench girl is for me. Today I want to tell you the story of how I met my first bench girl, Jenny.

Five years ago I took Bookworm to the library every week for an open play time. Every mom I met lived very near the library. We live a few miles away. One day I overheard two moms talking and the one mom said she lived at MY crossroads! I get super shy when I'm around new people so I didn't introduce myself. I just kept an eye on this girl for the rest of the summer. Then I had Gypsy and attended the program sporadically for a few months. In an attempt to avoid PPD after Gypsy's birth I made sure to get out of the house and communicate with other adults. I also started making hats for my Etsy shop and shamelessly used my children as walking billboards. And that is when it happened. This girl I had been watching, in a completely non-stalkerish way, said she loved Gypsy's hat.

This was my in.
I jumped at the chance to talk with her.
The library was the first bench Jenny and I shared together.

I casually dropped in the conversation where I lived and found out that we didn't just live in the same area, but lived around the block from each other! We talked some more over the next few weeks and eventually exchanged info and started hanging out in each others homes. It was so comfortable and natural sharing ideas, crazy ideas I didn't even utter out loud to myself. We had so many similarities and same interests, yet we are different enough to complement the other.

My first crazy idea:
What if we got together and helped each other teach our children.
Homeschool, together.
She said, yes!

Fast forward another year plus a little and we were starting our homeschool co-op group. This glimmer of an idea was growing into a reality. We started with three other families. Five moms, ten children and endless learning curves. We didn't know what we were doing, but we said yes.

When we first meet we had 3.5 children between the two of us, now there are nine! Now we talk daily. We see each other at least once a week, often once a day. Our children are growing up together, having each other as pseudo siblings. Now we share several benches together. And we still have our co-op bench that we have extended to 12 families over the past four years!

Image Map  

This photo was taken last month. {Two children were not with us this day.} 

Our current group has seven moms and twenty-two children! 

Join me again tomorrow when I introduce you to another bench girl.

Andi and Brad have been married since 2002. They have five squishers who keep them on their toes. She is a second generation home educator. In her spare time Andi creates and sells handmade goodies in her shop, Andi Gould Designs.

1 comment:

  1. I love sitting on so many 'benches' with you! I love your heart, you inspire me to be so much 'more', and I totally forgot we only had 3.5 kids when we met :P Bahaha! I look forward to all that God has in store for us and I will keep saying 'yes' every step of the way with you.


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