One of the things that homeschooling parents often hear is that their homeschooled child or children will not be "socialized." Public schools are one of the conventional ways that kids make friends and engage in social behavior, but it is by no means the only way.
Socializing the Homeschooled Child
Let's look at some of the ways you can help your homeschooled child interact with others and develop healthy friendships.
Find out what's going on around you and take part! Search online, the newspaper or the community newsletter for local kids sports teams, theater groups, choirs, clubs, group art and dance lessons and other activities. A good place to start is your local library – the librarian is often a fund of information about community events. Many events are held at the library itself.
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.
Another good way to help your child foster friendships is to join a homeschooling co-op. These are groups of homeschoolers who pitch in to teach, plan events, or otherwise participate. Sometimes co-ops have classes. Parents may offer to teach a science or reading class or plan a field trip.
Members of the community can also participate. Local firefighters, police officers, and others can contribute information and fun activities. Co-ops allow for a great variety of experience and interaction.
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. Take along other parents and kids from your homeschool group. These field trips can be an opportunity for kids to learn new vocabulary, learn to handle money at the museum store and practice conversational skills.
Scavenger hunts can be arranged with other kids in the community or neighborhood.
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 or reading club. There might be many neighbor kids you haven’t met. Invite some neighborhood kids over for a day of arts and crafts or baking.
With all these suggestions – and some ideas of your own – your homeschooled child should not have any problem finding ways to socialize and form friendships with other children.