The Socialization Question: Living Outside “The Cave” – Part II

In Part I of "The Socialization Question", I discussed creating a mindset that helps you find educational opportunities in a multitude of settings, thus enabling natural socialization to occur, and presented 5 activities related to peer-group interaction.

Part II will take a look at activities where your child will be working with age groups other than their own.  These can be rich and fulfilling experiences and can create closer family bonds and precious memories all at the same time.  You'll find quite a bit of education going on here as well!

1 - Family projects - I remember when we built our first house, and our 2 oldest were about 7 and 9 years old at the time.  We spent many days at "the lot" helping (no, really!) dad.  Our kids saw my husband interact with other tradesman, and did so themselves, and we usually had a bunch of (adult) friends helping us.  We'd eat lunch on buckets and laugh and talk.  They socialized with oodles of adults - and never seemed to be pining away for peers!

2 - Ministry to neighbors - If you take the time, you can certainly find someone you know in your neighborhood or circle of acquaintances who is elderly or ill and needs care. When I was younger, there was a retired lady living alone down the street, and we used to go visit her once a week and read to her or listen as she reminisced.  Seeking out people and trying to meet their needs also reminds your kids that  life is not just about them - an important lesson for us all to learn!

3 - Volunteering - Calling "Bingo" at a nursing home, stacking books in the library, babysitting at the church, helping out with the local cancer-awareness fund-raiser...are all ways to get quality socialization experiences with lots of different types and ages of people!

4 - Travel - If your family is able to travel... "oh the places you'll see and the people you'll meet"!  Travel opens your eyes like they've never been opened before. If you can swing a short-term mission trip, your lives will be forever changed.  And don't be put-off if the kids are young - our daughter spent her first birthday in a small town in Costa Rica - and having little kids around sure opened up socialization opportunities for us adults!

5 - Home business - Depending on your business, the kids can be involved in helping set up and take down displays, talking to customers or attending (short) meetings. In addition to the range and quantity of people they may socialize with, this is also a great learning experience in so many ways.

So, if you've read through this series from the start, you now have 10 resources to look into to provide your children with "socialization".  I hope by now you're starting to think outside the box and see why socialization really doesn't have to be a "problem" - and usually isn't - for a homeschooling family.

Read on to the third and final part in "The Socialization Question" - Stop and Smell the Roses! -  to see what to do when you start going overboard with socialization!!


Pat Fenner and her husband Paul have been homeschooling their five children for 14 years. You can visit Pat’s websites at Help-4-Your-Homeschool.com and Networkfromhome.squarespace.com.

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