Who is this group for?
This group is especially aimed at extremely-high-functioning and high-functioning kids. These are the kids who typically have the most difficulty finding a niche. Frequently they don’t fit with special needs groups and they don’t fit with neurotypical groups. Research shows that of all special needs groups, extremely-high-functioning and high-functioning kids consistently self-report the lowest quality of life. A big part of that is because they find it difficult to find friends who truly like and value them the way they are. They are lonely. We hope to change that for kids in the Houston metro area.
What diagnoses does this group include?
Any diagnosis that affects learning. We started to make a list of all possible diagnoses and the list very quickly became so long that it was just impractical to list them. We have what we call a “quirky” kid. If you’ve got one of those, too, you know what we’re talking about.
What age groups does this group include?
All ages. The group is open to homeschooled kids of all ages. Membership in the group currently ranges from age 3 to 17. All activities are for all age groups; we strive to do activities that all ages can enjoy together.
What kinds of activities do you do?
Past activities include bowling, Halloween party, park day, swimming, laser tag, board game day, volunteering at a homeless shelter, watercolor painting, sign language class, aquarium/hatchery visit, Christmas party, Minecraft party, Mad Hatter “tea” party, trampoline park, ice skating, splash pad, show ‘n’ tell day, scavenger hunt in the park, edible kitchen science day, carnival, kite flying, fishing, snake and reptile show, archery, movie, arts & crafts day, pool party, zoo trip, classic video game arcade, and more. This year we’ll repeat many of these activities and add some new ones. We have regular polls on the Facebook page to see what activities have the most interest. Anyone in the group can propose and host an activity. We welcome everyone’s participation. If you want to host an activity, wonderful! Just contact a group moderator to get it on the calendar so there aren’t scheduling conflicts.
We’re also exploring the possibility of doing some on-line clubs and having some on-line chat or friend meet-up options so that there are social opportunities for group members in a variety of ways, and at times other than just scheduled events. We hope to come up with some creative ways that kids in the group can be friends beyond just formal group activities.
Where do activities take place?
We live in Cypress, and our core group of members is in the Katy-Cypress-Spring-Tomball-Woodlands-northwest Houston corridor so most of our activities are also in that corridor, although we do plan some things in other areas. But the group is not limited to people in those areas. If you are in another area, but would still like to join and are willing to drive to attend activities, you’re welcome!
We have space reserved at the Weekley Community Center in Cypress twice a month — 2nd Thursday of the month and 4th Friday of the month. We often use the space we have reserved, but not always. We have a kid activity every week and parent meetings in the evenings occasionally. Parent meetings are usually on Thursdays, but occasionally on a Tuesday, for scheduling reasons. We typically hold kid activities on Thursdays and some Fridays, usually from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Occasionally an activity will be on a different day or at a different time because it’s only available then. We’ve tried rotating through all the days of the week, and Thursday and Friday are the days the most people can/will attend. We also tried rotating times and found that the 11 a.m. time seems to work best for the most members.
Also, anyone in the group is always welcome to plan and schedule an activity, so if anyone wants to have an activity close to where they live, they are welcome (encouraged!!!) to do that.
What else does the group offer?
We’d like this group to be a clearing house for practical information about anything that seems useful for families homeschooling “quirky” kids. Emphasis on “practical”. We’d like this to be place you can go to get real, hands-on information and reviews of curriculum, teaching techniques, therapies, providers, resources in the local community . . . . whatever will make our lives easier. Our Facebook page includes files with parent curriculum reviews, reviews of therapists and doctors, reviews of local community facilities and activities, ideas about things you can do to make teaching more effective or more fun — things that actually work for “quirky” kids, ways you can handle challenges, etc. Plus we regularly post information about free stuff that will help in the classroom, along with links to free stuff. From time to time, we’ll also post entries in the blog page and inspiration page.
Is there a membership fee?
Yes, there is an annual fee of $20 per family. This is used to pay for kid activities. In the past this has been used for a private snake and reptile show, carnival, Halloween party, scavenger hunt, etc.
Why does the membership form include a code of conduct?
We want this group to be safe and fun for everyone. Unfortunately, in the past we’ve been in groups where the guidelines in our code of conduct got broken regularly. It was hurtful and damaging, and not at all fun. We’re setting standards up front, so that everyone in the group starts with the same expectations. Hopefully, this will help create the kind of loving and supportive environment groups like this should provide.
How do I stay in touch with the group?
Our original intent was to offer group access on both the website and the Facebook page. For technical reasons this has proven to be impractical, so for now all information/group activity is available through the Facebook page only. If you want to access the group events calendar, information files, group discussion, etc., you will need to be on Facebook.