Homeschooling and Socialization Opportunities
If you have thought about homeschooling or presently home school, you have invariably thought about the socialization issue. “Lack of socialization” keeps many people from homeschooling because they think that homeschoolers don’t get the interaction with others that they need. People who home school can just smile when others ask about socialization, because they know that there are plenty of opportunities for homeschoolers to interact with others. Here are some examples:
- Community Activities. Almost every community has some form of recreation department that can offer a variety of activities like volleyball, softball, baseball, soccer, and more. Some communities even have drama, choir, and band groups in which your child can participate.
- Lessons and Classes. Parents can pay for their children to take classes like martial arts, gymnastics, ballet, and swimming. Free classes are sometimes offered by various organizations or groups that teach jewelry making, babysitting classes, drawing, and more. Homeschoolers can interact with people in these classes and learn a great deal about how to relate with adults and other children.
- Homeschool Co-ops or Support Groups. If homeschoolers belong to one of these groups they can often attend weekly or monthly classes or events. Sometimes parents trade teaching time with other parents so their children can learn something the parent isn’t able to teach them. Seasonal events such as spelling bees, science fairs, and group field trips allow plenty of opportunity for interaction with others and even public speaking practice.
- Interaction with Siblings and Parents. Just because a child interacts with 5 people each day instead of 30 doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to relate to people. Children who are homeschooled interact with their family members and siblings constantly. Sometimes family relationships are the most challenging relationships they will have to deal with. They can practice and learn problem solving skills all day long by interacting with their own family.
- Public School Activities. Some schools are now allowing older students to participate in classes that they can’t get at home such as band, choir, or drama. There are many programs that schools provide that are open to anyone in the community and are usually free. Students can attend sporting events with their families and interact with others while watching.
- Youth Group or Church Activities. Many churches promote children’s programs where children meet and practice a drama or musical and then perform it for the congregation. Youth groups often have a youth band where students can participate by singing or playing an instrument. Many times adult worship teams encourage teens to participate with them. Various churches have sports teams or open gym activities as an outreach to the community. Homeschool students can participate there and interact with others in a sports setting. Homeschooling offers plenty of ways for children to interact and socialize with others as long as parents watch for and are aware of the various opportunities available to them.
Copyright, 2009. All rights reserved by author below. Content provided by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC.
Heidi Johnson specializes in helping families find resources to simplify and improve their lives. For more tips on homeschooling and homeschool resources grab your free report “How to Homeschool Using the Best Resources” at http://www.homeschool-how-to.com by Heidi.