Some parents worry that homeschooling children means that they can’t learn important social skills, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are plenty of activities and programs that can help homeschoolers learn to interact with kids that are not their siblings and family. This helps them learn important skills regarding communication, reconciliation, and interpersonal engagement. Being homeschooled hardly means that your kids aren’t able to make friends their own age! Here are some of the strategies that you can employ in order to give your kids opportunities to socialize and make friends with other kids.
Engage Community Programs
Your local community probably offers lots of programs when it comes to getting your kids involved. These could come in the form of sports teams, 4-H programs, or even church activities. All of these programs are good ways for your kids to get exposure to other kids their own age. They will allow your kids to learn about things outside of their school work and could help them to develop coping skills that will pay off later in life. Community programs can cost money, but they often involve more professional or volunteer oversight as well.
Join a Co-op
Many homeschoolers join larger organizations or groups of homeschoolers. These organizations or groups are sometimes referred to as co-ops. Joining this type of program means that you don’t have to go it alone it terms of educating and socializing your kids. Many of these programs will have field trips that can be taken in a group or other types of outreach programs in which you can enroll your kids. Just because you want to homeschool your kids doesn’t mean that they can’t still find friends who are studying similar courses. Co-ops are also helpful because they give parents a chance to engage with other homeschooling families and parents. It’s always nice to know you’re not doing this alone.
Enroll in Lessons
There are lots of lessons that you can sign up for with your kids. These could be art and music lessons at your local community center or community college. Another type of lesson that’s popular is swimming lessons. This gives your kids the opportunity to learn how to swim and engage with other kids of a similar age. Tailor the outside lessons to interests that your kids have so that they’ll enjoy this time away from their studies. Lessons in extracurricular skills also help your children later in life when applying for scholarships or colleges.
You may be able to interact with other parents that homeschool their kids. Schedule a playdate with their kids so that everyone can learn some of the social cues that are required to survive in the world. Start this at an early age because it helps with the development process. As your kids age, they may be able to schedule their own playdates. This will take some of the hassle off of your plate.
There are so many activities that are available for your kids to try out. Use these tips to get started on finding the activities that will erase your socialization concerns. There is no need to be worried about your kids finding ways to socialize, even if they are homeschooled. There are plenty of opportunities for them to meet and interact with other children, which will help them grow into well-rounded adults.