Socialization for Homeschoolers - Ideas and Tips
There are many opportunities for socialization for homeschoolers. Parents of homeschoolers know that socialization is usually not an issue for their students at all. They often have to pull back and start limiting activities because there are so many good things that homeschoolers can do. Homeschoolers can be involved in the real world while their public school counterparts are stuck in school all day. Whether students participate in volunteer opportunities or just go on a field trip, they are using more senses and engaging their minds in what is really out in the world besides the four walls of their classroom.
Ideas for socialization for homeschoolers:
- Church Activities - Most churches have children's classes, children's choir, youth groups, volunteer opportunities along with the public worship services on Sunday. Many churches also run food banks, clothing banks, building projects for widows, and much more.
- Community Sports Activities - So many local towns have sports activities where any children can participate. Depending on the size of town will determine how many options are available. Some teams I have seen include baseball, softball, biddy basketball, biddy wrestling, soccer, volleyball, biddy football, and many others. Any students of elementary age and sometimes even up to age 14 are allowed to participate without having to be public school students - hence more opportunity for socialization for homeschoolers.
- Homeschool Groups or Coops - Groups of homeschoolers are an obvious option for socialization for homeschoolers. Many groups are springing up all over the country. There are a few cautions when finding a homeschool group that are worth mentioning. It's important to find a group where everyone shares the work load. If only a few people in the group do all the work then there is a chance that the group won't be around for long because the leaders will burn out. Make sure to check whether there are membership fees and if the scheduled activities or meetings fit in with your family schedule. It's also wise to make sure that most of the members of your family have enough in common with members of the group and also that the amount of activity of the group fits in with your family's needs. If a group has too many activities and require their members to participate and your family doesn't like having that many things to do, then it's wise to step back and see if this is the right group for you.
- Service Organizations - When students serve and help others it not only helps them learn valuable skills but helps them develop a sense of being needed. It's good for people to see people less fortunate than them and offer to help. Some ideas of service projects could include helping with a food bank, helping with a clothing bank, helping tutor students, helping build a home with Habitat for Humanity or just help with a building project at a local church. There are lots of ways that families can help others and if they keep their eyes open, the opportunities will present themselves.
- Lessons - Taking lessons can also help homeschoolers interact with others in the community. Students can take lessons to learn to play an instrument, learn to dance ballet, learn how to swim, learn how to do karate, and many others.
Don't let the myth that homeschoolers do not have enough socialization opportunities keep you from homeschooling. Many studies have shown that homeschoolers have much higher self esteem levels and that they adapt very well to working with many different types of people. When students are not confined to a classroom and can have a say in their educational options, they very often thrive much better than their public school peers.