Socialization is usually one of the major concerns of parents who are still deciding whether to homeschool their children or not. They’re normally concerned that staying at home will prevent their kids from interacting with others and making friends, which is something that can be easily done in a classroom. It’s a valid concern. However, socialization goes beyond just making friends with kids in school.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines socialization as “the process beginning during childhood by which individuals acquire the values, habits, and attitudes of a society”. There’s nowhere in that definition that says it’s something that can only happen in school. In fact, society is everywhere around us, which means that socialization can happen anywhere.
With that in mind, there are many opportunities available for homeschoolers to meet and make friends with different types of people. Here are some fun ways they can socialize.
1. Help out with your business.
Take this opportunity to teach your child some business skills by immersing him or her in your business. Do you have a store? Take your child with you and teach him or her how to properly communicate with your customers.
2. Join homeschool co-ops.
Homeschool co-ops normally meet regularly. This is the perfect way to meet other homeschoolers, learn, and do fun things together.
3. Join local classes.
Ask your child what he or she is interested in. Whether your child is interested to learn a sport, an art, or a musical instrument, there’s usually a variety of these classes available in most communities.
4. Go on field trips.
Field trips make learning fun. It’s also a good opportunity to meet people who happen to be visiting the same place as you. You can even bring along friends of yours to make the trip even more enjoyable.
5. Volunteer for a cause.
Ask your child if there’s a cause that he or she would like to support and look for volunteer opportunities in your community that will allow that. It’s a great way to help the community and connect with the people in it too.
6. Join a sports team.
Just because your child is not in school doesn’t mean he or she can no longer join sports teams. Your community might have its own leagues for basketball, baseball, or other sports. You can find or start teams in homeschool groups too.
7. Join library and museum programs.
Libraries and museums usually organize events and classes for kids to entice more of them to visit. Aside from story time, they could have reading challenges, workshops, tours, and other fun learning opportunities.
8. Go on a mission.
If your child has a heart for helping others, send him or her on a mission trip. It can also be a great opportunity to travel and learn about some place new.
9. Join a summer camp.
There are all sorts of camps available during the summer where your kids can take part in activities they are interested in. Aside from the traditional camp, there’s also sports camps, art camps, and music camps among others.
10. Find online groups.
Since the world is experiencing a pandemic right now because of the coronavirus, it might be challenging for some to socialize for health and safety reasons. Thank goodness for the Internet though, it’s still possible to “meet” with people online either through a class or just to hang out.
11. Go to the park.
Most kids love going to the park. It’s a great place to meet other kids. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to have any organized activity to enjoy the place. Just go there and play.
12. Spend time with relatives.
Don’t forget that socializing doesn’t just mean meeting other people outside of your family. Even spending some quality time with grandparents and cousins count as socialization too.
Just because you are home educating doesn’t mean that your kids are cut off from the world. In fact, it’s the opposite. Homeschooling gives you the flexibility to expose your kids to many different opportunities for real life socialization. Letting them interact with the real world is what socialization is really about.