How to Socialize While Homeschooling
How to Socialize While Homeschooling – When it comes to homeschooling, the biggest concern most parents will have is about socialization. ‘How will my son/daughter socialize when he or she doesn’t have any classmates?’ While many don’t find a problem making friends while homeschooling, others find it difficult. That’s because they typically have a hard time socializing with others in different environments rather than the normal classrooms.
As much as this might be a big concern to many parents, you can rest easy knowing that there are several ways to get your homeschooling child to socialize. It obviously is a bit different than what you are used to, but it definitely works. Let’s take a look at 6 effective ways to socialize when homeschooling.
Effective ways to socialize when Homeschooling
1. Join/Create a Co-op
There are many reasons why you should consider joining a homeschool co-op. Without a doubt, a co-op can be an invaluable point of support for parents who work outside the home. It additionally offers a good place for socialization and can be used to supplement what parents generally teach their kids.
A homeschooling co-op is very different from homeschooling group support systems. While group support is a source for parents to hold meetings on a monthly basis, a homeschooling co-op is a group of homeschooling families.
It’s a place where families get to share their children’s education and parents work cooperatively to achieve their homeschooling goals. So instead of your dropping your son or daughter off to a class every morning, you as a parent would be participating in the teaching, the activities, and the projects.
Benefits for a Homeschooling co-op
Homeschooling offers incredible opportunities where parents and students get to socialize with the rest of the group. A weekly meet and greet will give the students a chance to form friendships with the rest of the group members.
On the bright side, co-ops offer incredible opportunities for both parents and students to ask questions about their development. They also get to share their experiences with the rest of their families.
Share equipment and expenses
There are certain subjects that can be very expensive and difficult for a single family to afford. Subjects that require equipment such as microscopes or even quality lab equipment might be challenging to prepare for a lesson. With a homeschooling co-op, you will be able to share expenses and pool the available resources together.
More to that, there are certain subjects that parents might feel unqualified to teach their kids such as foreign languages. In such instances, you can hire an experienced tutor and you can share the expenses between participating families.
Those are just some of the advantages that come with a Homeschooling co-op. While not everyone might like the idea of a homeschooling co-op, it’s a good idea when it comes to socialization and interacting with other families going through the same situation.
2. Community Sports
Some local schools may not allow homeschoolers to compete in sports but there are some that will. There are community sports available that will ensure your kid gets to the right team. Such communities can be found in parks and recreation areas. There, you will find soccer, basketball, and football.
Additionally, there are homeschooling organizations that actually provide track and soccer competitions where your kid can get involved. Such areas present the best place for social connection and teamwork building. Your children get to discover a sport that they are talented and passionate about. The beauty of this is that you get to be a part of a special moment in their lives.
3. Play Dates
If the above suggestions are still not enough, then you can organize a play date with the other parents. This will give your kids a chance to bond with other children going through homeschooling. You will also get the chance to socialize with other parents and learn about their challenges. More to that, you can also share your experience with them, and they might offer solutions to some of the problems you might be facing while homeschooling your kid.
4. Church Activities
Yeah I know, you shouldn’t go to church just to make friends and socialize. However, it’s an incredible place to strengthen your faith and also ensure your kids have a strong faith background. All in all, it’s still a great place to learn about faith while making friends who study in private, public or homeschool.
In this section, the sky is the limit. There are several classes you can take your kid to. Here, you can easily sign up for different classes including ballet, gymnastics, and martial arts or even enroll him or her in clubs such as scouts among others.
In most places, the local YMCAs will offer summer camps, swim teams and sports programs for kids. While parents go about their exercises, they pay attention to childcare of the younger kids.
Find out about book clubs and Lego clubs in your local library as well. These provide a good opportunity for socialization depending on the age of your kid. On the same note, any programs that might be suitable for your kid at the local zoos and museums will be very helpful.
Let’s say for instance the local galleries, aquariums and nature centers. These will not only be great opportunities for your kid to learn something new but also get to meet new friends.
6. Pen pal Groups
Most people get homeschooling support from email groups, Facebook pen pal groups among others. At first, everyone joins with a unique agenda but with time it becomes a great place for making friends both offline and online.
Check out local homeschooling groups on Facebook. These also give a person the opportunity to make connections with homeschoolers in a certain location.
If you’re homeschooling your kid, there’s a need for him or her to start working on friendships. The process of fostering these friendships will definitely require more work from the parents than it would for parents with kids in the traditional school setting. The good thing is that the effort you put in as a parent will be worth it at the end of the day.
CHIME IN: How do you any your family socialize? Let us know in the comment section.