The number one question we get when we tell people that we home school our children is this: “Do you find that your children get enough social interaction?” My response: “They are gone and involved with other children so many days of the week, ‘homeschooling’ is a misnomer.” Maybe you’re new to home schooling, are just now meeting families after moving to a new area, or are simply looking for ways to bring variety and some social opportunities into your home school adventures. These resources and ideas may help you find ways to socialize your homeschooled children that are a good fit for your students.
Co-operative learning groups. One academically-centered way to socialize your homeschooling children is through a home school co-op. This can be as informal as joining one other family and team teaching a given subject. Co-ops can also be larger, more organized, and structured. You can plug into one that exists, or you can start your own with a few other parents. One fairly easy and low-commitment way to run a home school co-op trial is to start with a kids’ book club.
Group music lessons. Often, more advanced music lessons are geared toward individuals. But with some investigating, you’ll probably find someone giving beginning group lessons. If not, with a little organizing on your own, you might be able to gather a small group of interested students and a teacher to give introductory lessons in guitar, for example. Perhaps a retired orchestra conductor or school band teacher would be willing to give a weekly lesson and practice session to your budding quartet or band, for a small fee or a barter arrangement. Reach out to friends and family to find instruments and music to borrow or rent, or visit your local rental store. Once your student is involved and has some playing experience, you can also investigate the availability of a community youth orchestra, band, or drum corps.
Sports camps or parks and recreation department classes and teams. These may be limited in duration, but by attending, you may meet other families with similar interests who can help you find places to plug into the things that interest your children.
Barter for art, dance, or ??? lessons. A friend’s son knows enough guitar to teach a beginner. He wanted art lessons and found an art teacher who wanted to learn guitar. They traded services. You could pull together a group of students and trade lessons taught by a professional for skills and services performed by parents in your group.
Service projects with other families. Don your grubbies, and volunteer at the next park or beach cleanup day. Ask families you know to invite someone you don’t know, and end your time with a picnic and some play.
Local homeschool support groups. Meeting with other homeschool families, you’ll learn about local opportunities for socializing your homeschooled children. To find homeschool support and resource groups, ask neighbors, call houses of worship, or look online.