MY EXPERIENCE WITH FLP
By Veruska Goerz
I got involved with the Family Learning Program (FLP) after attending one of the first brainstorming meetings held with a handful of parents who were looking to create a space where homeschooling families could gather to build community, attend classes and create clubs. My family had been homeschooling from the beginning and had a small group of homeschooling friends, but I could tell my kids were looking for more opportunities to meet new friends and explore a wider variety of classes outside the home. After the meeting, I knew I wanted to be involved in the creation of FLP. Luckily, the other parents on the steering committee welcomed me with open arms!
Those early months of working to create FLP were truly exciting ones. We held meetings around our kitchen tables while our children ranging from babies to young adults played in our backyards or basements. We had many interruptions and often spent more time distributing snacks and comforting kids then we did mapping out our ideas. But the ideas were grand and laughter plentiful. Those long hours of families working together built the foundation for FLP – a space where homeschooling families could come together to learn, enjoy and support each other.
Over the years FLP has given my children an opportunity to work with some amazingly talented and passionate teachers about subject matter neither of them ever imagined they would enjoy so much. Classes ranged from Shakespeare to Cooking, Sign Language to Latin, Fashion to Philosophy, and many others in between. As a parent, FLP allowed my kids to explore things that interest them. This seems to be a rarity for tweens and teens these days when the time and commitment to try anything new can be rather daunting. At FLP, high quality classes and teachers spark interest in their subject matter and offer resources and information to keep my kids interested long after the class has ended.
We have also gotten to meet, know and love so many wonderful families at FLP that continue to enrich our lives. A day at FLP can be like play dates or maybe free therapy with deep conversations on the fabulous and trying aspects of parenting and homeschooling. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into FLP feeling burnt out or overwhelmed and left with my parental cup refilled with empathy and laughter.
Now that my kids are teens, FLP continues to grow with us. It has become a meeting place for them to hang out with friends, for me to talk with folks who have kids ahead of my own and learn about the paths they’re taking. All the while, families with younger kids remind me of fond memories of that time.
Stepping down from the steering committee has allowed me the chance to watch and enjoy everything that has been built and continues to grow. I look forward to the wonderful years ahead and all the things that FLP will be for homeschooling families to come.