One of the things that home schoolers often hear is that their home schooled kids will not be ” well-socialized.” The public school setting seems to be the conventional way that kids are expected to make friends and engage in social behavior, but it is by no means the only way. And some would contend that public schools are not necessarily the best way to socialize, either.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can help your home schooled child interact with others and develop healthy friendships.
1. Participate in community activities.
Find out what’s going on around you, and take part! Look into local theater, choirs, clubs, group art lessons, and other activities. A good place to start is your local library – they are often at the hub of community events. Many events are held at the library itself.
2. Join in events sponsored by your religious community.
Joining a church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious community can help your child connect with others. Many religious centers have group activities like choirs, game night, camps, and other events.
3. Find and join a home school co-ops
Another good way to help your child foster friendships is to join a home schooling co-op. These are groups of home schooling individuals who pitch in to teach, plan events, or otherwise participate. Sometimes co-ops have classes – a parent may offer to teach a science or reading class, for example. Another parent might offer to plan a field trip.
Members of the community can also participate – experts like firefighters, police officers, and others can contribute information and fun activities. Co-ops allow for a great variety of experience and interaction.
4. Plan your own field trips.
You don’t have to be a member of a co-op to plan field trips. During the day, when public school kids are at their desks, you and your home school child can be at the local museum, talking and interacting with curators and museum visitors. These field trips can be learning experiences, too – let your child take along some money on a store trip and, using his or her math skills, decide what to buy. Scavenger hunts can be arranged with other kids in the community or neighborhood.
5. Organize neighborhood events.
Nothing going on in your community? Organize something! Maybe the neighborhood kids would like to hold a pet show, or participate in a clean-up day. You might meet neighbors your kid’s age that you never knew lived near you!
Contrary to what many people think, there are a variety of opportunities for socializing kids in a home school setting. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, with a little imagination and some investigation, you will likely find just the kind of social activities that are right for your child.