Why is socialization the most frequently asked question when it comes to homeschooling? I think it’s because there are so many misconceptions about homeschooling. I think a lot of people believe homeschoolers stay in the house 24/7 with little to no interaction with the outside world. That’s just not true. Most homeschoolers have very active social lives. In fact, homeschoolers thrive in social situations. You don’t have to take my word for it, there are studies that show that homeschooled students are “more active and involved than their public school counterparts.”
How to Get Social
As a new-to-homeschool family, how can you get social? You can:
- Join a homeschool co-op. Co-ops provide students an opportunity to learn with a larger group, be taught by a non-family member, and learn subjects not taught at home.
- Plan play dates with other homeschooling families. Visiting homes or meeting at a local park, , provides opportunities for kids to connect.
- Have your child involved in community sports. In addition to socialization, team sports teach teamwork, communication, and discipline. Plus, sports help your kids stay physically fit.
- Enroll your child in a community class. Perhaps dance, art, music, or karate. These classes are great fun – plus they provide learning experiences on many levels.
- Attend homeschool specific days at local attractions/organizations. Many organizations offer discount days specifically for homeschoolers.
- Arrange for your child to have a mentor, an outside tutor, or even an outside teacher. I have a child that is exceptional in math. I hire a tutor for him, not because I can’t do the math, but because I think the tutor interacts with him differently than I do. He benefits from this interaction.
- Depending on the age of your child, encourage your child to work . This can be on a volunteer basis or on a paid basis. This provides an opportunity to socialize while on the job, plus it teaches responsibility as well as specific task-related skills.
- If your student is old enough, check into dual-credit options at your local community college.
- Consider online options – for your kids – and for you. Your kids can have online pen pals. You can join other homeschoolers on various social media channels. Want someplace to start? I really like Educents’ Facebook and Pinterest pages.
Do you have additional ideas on how to get social?
Please leave helpful tips/hints in the comments below!