One thing I’ve never understood is why homeschooling gets a bad rap for socialization. I think for my generation (when I was a kid) this was a big concern for people. And I’m happy to see that as much less of a concern for my kids. I almost never get asked “do your kids have friends?”. And I remember my mom being asked that many, many times. Or maybe it’s just the “bubble” that I’m in. I know a LOT of homeschoolers these days!
Or maybe no one asks me about my kids socialization because my kids are doing all the talking. They like to talk. To everyone.
So, how do my kids make friends? Well, first of all I live in a city that I would describe as very homeschool friendly. You either homeschool, or many of your friends homeschool. Because there are so many homeschoolers, my kids have lots of friends (both homeschooled and non-homeschooled) and no one expected kids to act different based on where they’re going to school.
Church – We live in the Bible Belt and while religion is an integral part of our lives, Church is also a major socialization group in this area of the country. It’s totally normal and acceptable for people to attend one church and participate in activities (such as preschool, AWANA, women’s groups, sports, etc. in another church). And there are a lot of Churches that host a lot of different events. So, not only do my kids get to see their friends Sundays, they’re also meeting other kids during the week.
Homeschool Groups – And there are lots of these in my town. There are groups that meet just for parental support. Groups for kids classes. Educational groups. Facebook groups – used for forming your own sub-groups for activities and such. You name it, there’s probably a homeschool group for it. We’re in a Classical Conversations group so my kids see the same group of kids on a weekly basis.
My Friends – No surprises here, but my friends have kids around my kid’s ages. So, playdates, museum trips, etc. are a fun way to catch up and let the kids have fun.
Extras – And then there’s the extracurricular activities like dance and sports. It’s not uncommon to keep running into the same people at these activities. My kids have friends that they know from church, dance, and the museum class. We just keep running into them. It’s always fun to sit with someone that you already know.
My kids have lots of friends. And because I also know most of their friends parents, we get to hang out and have fun with friends way more than we would if my children were not homeschooled.