Are you looking for simple tips on how to help your homeschooler make friends? Socialization is somewhat of a common concern for parents of homeschooled children. While most will argue their children get plenty of opportunities to socialize and interact with others, it’s a fact that they don’t get nearly as much time with peers as children in traditional classrooms – and for most, that’s perfectly fine. After all, kids in class should be learning, not socializing.
However, it is important to make sure your homeschooler has plenty of social outlets and a strong circle of friends. Whether you are just beginning to homeschool your child, leaving your social circle behind as you move to a new city, or you simply want to give your child more opportunities to build friendships, here are some ways you can help your homeschooled kid make a few friends!
Make certain to check out my Homeschooling to Build Sibling Bonds as well.
How To Help Your Homeschooler Make Friends
These are just a few easy ways that you can help your homeschooling child socialize and connect with peers.
Sign up for a homeschool support group
These groups take many forms, but almost all provide a great way to get connected with other families who homeschool. Aside from providing parents a sense of community, these groups allow your child a chance to spend time with peers by coordinating play dates, field trips, and other events and activities. A quick Google search will help you identify some groups in your area. As some groups have age limitations or religious affiliations, it’s smart to do your research to see which group is best suited for your family.
Finding a home church and attending regularly will provide many opportunities for your kids, and you, to make friends and find a solid social network. Look for a church that has programs, services, and small groups for kids and teens. Your family can also serve in church and this is a great way to meet and interact with people of all ages.
Spend time in places where your child can meet other kids
Your homeschooler is going to have a hard time making friends at home. Instead, get out of the house and seek out fun, kid-friendly places. Your local playground, bowling alley, arcade, children’s museum, or library are great places to start. Visiting during the summer months can be a great way to let your kid meet kids from traditional schools, but if you’re specifically looking to help them befriend other homeschoolers, swing by during the day while school is in session. Most of the kids you’ll encounter will likely be homeschooled, too!
Let your child do what they love
Does your homeschooler play a sport? Sign them up for a local recreational or club team. Do they love to be the center of attention? Consider finding a local theater program, choir, or dance studio to channel their creativity. Getting your kids out of the house and pursuing a hobby they love can be incredibly enriching, and can also offer a great outlet to meet friends who share similar interests. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on an expensive hobby, see if you can find a program through your local library or parks and recreation department.
Volunteering is a great way to make a positive impact on your community, and it can also create opportunities for your homeschooler to make connections and build friendships with others. Depending on your child’s age, there are various ways they can get involved in a social setting. Younger kids can often participate in community park cleanups or help out at food pantries with other families, while older homeschoolers have a much wider variety of ways to get involved.
Don’t skip summer camp
Camp can be a bit of a financial investment, but it can be a great way for your homeschooler to make friends they’ll keep for a lifetime. Look into a sleepaway camp or specialized program to keep them busy and help them build connections during the summer months. Don’t forget about the shorter day camps schools, churches, and other community organizations host during spring break and long holiday weekends – these, too, provide a great way for your kid to meet others and have some fun!
While the idea of making friends online may feel a little strange, there are lots of forums, message boards, and Facebook groups that allow homeschoolers and their families to meet others in a similar situation and socialize. Additionally, social media and instant messaging tools can be great ways to keep in touch with friends from far away (like those friends your kid met at camp!) or even local friends they don’t get an opportunity to see very often.
It may take a little more effort than sending your kid to school, but there are plenty of ways to make sure your homeschooler has plenty of friends. These are just a few ways you can help encourage that process. How did your homeschooler make their best friends? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
More Homeschooling Resources
- The Best Homeschool Curriculum for Homeschooling Multiple Kids
- 10 Habits of a Highly Effective Homeschooling Mom
- 8 Homeschool Field Trips that Don’t Cost a Cent