One of the biggest misconceptions about homeschooling is that homeschooled children lack socialization. They assume that children are locked at home all day. Often they define socialization solely as being in a traditional school environment. I think this is a very narrow-minded view of socialization because families will have to work on socialization whether they homeschool or not.
Many new homeschoolers are also concerned about socialization because they feel the pressure of the naysayers around them. This is natural when you do anything differently than the rest of society. I’ve been there and I still have to defend myself at times. Remember, you are the one who has researched homeschooling for years. You stay up at night looking for groups, curriculum, and activity ideas. It’s not them. Trust your gut! I’ve come up with a list of ideas that will help your homeschooling family with socialization. Some of them are actually quite simple but they get overlooked.
Our Favorite Social Activities
- Attending weekly events at your local library
- Spending time with family members from elders to same-age cousins
- Joining classes based on their interest ( art, karate, dance, gymnastics, soccer, book clubs, survival skills, etc)
- Create your own weekly park meet-ups ( I recently started my Wild+Free Homeschooling group.)
- Joining local groups or co-ops ( you will probably find these on Facebook)
- Hanging out with other kids in the neighborhood
- Consistently going to parks/playgrounds ( they will probably run into the same friends)
- Attending museum classes
- Going shopping together or going to restaurants ( there are a lot of social skills to be learned here)
- Taking hybrid/ dual enrollment classes
- Taking classes at community colleges ( for older students)
- Classes at places of worship
- Volunteer/ do service work as a family or with their friends
- Sports classes
- Community events
As you can see, there are many opportunities for socialization. Don’t let this hold you back! I’m naturally introverted with driving anxiety but I was able to start my own group and get out of my comfort zone for the sake of my children. It is possible. My best advice is to start with a few and work on being consistent with them. I hope that you found this list helpful. I’d love to hear what other families do and learn from your experiences as well.