Socialization Opportunities For The Homeschooled Child

Perhaps the biggest concern your family and friends will express when you tell them that you are going to homeschool is how your children are going to learn to socialize with their peers if they are not in school. This is a common fear, and it can be valid in some cases, but for most of the homeschooling families that I know, or have met, it is a misplaced fear.

There are several ways to ensure that your child has every opportunity to develop into a well-adjusted member of society, with friends of many ages. And this interaction doesn’t necessarily need to involve a single school district, school or overbearing teacher -- I promise!

Study Groups and Communal Learning

With homeschooling becoming a popular and more main-stream choice, a lot of churches have begun welcoming homeschooling groups to come and use their facilities. Fortunately, these homeschool groups are not hard to find. You can Google the subject and get many good results, or also check in with your state homeschooling association to find local groups in your area. Online homeschool forums are another excellent place to connect with other homeschooling families and to find those who homeschool near you.

If there isn’t a current homeschool group in your own area, consider starting your own. Hang fliers on community boards, churches, and any place where people go. See what sort of a response you get. Homeschool groups can vary from a list of contacts for support and socializing, to a formal structure where families meet at set times. They are handy for advice, support, friendship, and the sharing of skills. If a parent is proficient in a particular area, they may want to run a class for several children on that topic. It also becomes a cost-effective option to create small groups for tutoring in specialized subjects such as sports, chemistry, biology, manual arts, maths, physics, etc.

You can participate as much, or as little, as you wish with your homeschool group, but you will know how to get into contact with other homeschooling families should you ever want or need.

Extracurricular Activities

Today school districts no longer dominant the extra-curricular market. There are a lot of community based organizations that your child can participate, and socialize, in. Joining these groups allows your child to make friends, learn a skill, keep fit, and sample different activities to find their own interests and talents. If you have a local homeschooling association, this is a great place to start. Homeschooling parents are usually well-researched into what is available in their local area. Other families, community centers, even the local council, are all good places to find out what activities are available in your town. If your town has a directory, this is even better.

Keep in mind, however, that most school districts will (for a fee of course) allow your child to participate in sports and music etc. Feel free to explore that option in addition to exploring private schools and community colleges in the area who will, for the same small fee, allow you to drop-into their activities as well. These are also great resources for extra classes you may need help with as well, so keep that in mind as a note.

Other Events:

Don’t forget to utilize bookstore events, library events, and any other children/teen events to socialize (and treat!) your child or teen. Look for postings and newsletters to find these. If you don’t ask you may not know that your local community centers, for example, holds a year-long sporting program, as well as arts and crafts lessons. Many towns also have a theatre group, where your child can participate on stage or behind the scenes.

Don’t forget that even ‘just playing’ has great value to your child’s mental and emotional well-being. Playgrounds are a great place where kids can just meet and play and expend that excess energy. Send the teens off to the movies and the mall; it’s OK, not every hour of the day need be spent learning. These experiences are all helpful to creating a well-rounded and adjusted young adult when you’re done. Also, there is nothing to say that you can’t ask for a written or oral movie review when they return!

In conclusion, there are a variety of socialization resources around you if you spend the time to look. The result is that you will find a place where your child fits in and has fun. That is something every loving parent wants for their child.

Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home. For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit

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2 Responses to “Socialization Opportunities For The Homeschooled Child”

  1. avatar Eleanor says:

    I love the fact that there are so many great (and many times free!) activities in my community for my kids to be involved in. I find that the library has a lot of resources. Our community has a chess team through the library as well as book clubs and even social dance classes for teenagers.

  2. We have six kids ages 6-22 and all have been homeschooled. Two are now in college and the rest are home.

    For a number of years I have been in charge of a group called Teen Scene. We get together once per month and have anywhere from 20-70 kids come to a wide variety of activities. This Friday 40+ kids are coming to my house. We’re going to see a musical at a local community theater and then have a party at my house.

    The kids are amazing and we have a great time.
    .-= Alison Moore Smith´s last blog ..Best Toys: 60 Educational Family Games =-.