The most dreaded question for any homeschooler is
But what about socialization?
There are a lot of ways to answer the question and truthfully, in the vast majority of cases, it’s a non-issue. Homeschoolers have plenty of opportunities to learn how to interact with other people in a much more natural way than going to school.
Sure, homeschoolers have trouble forming a line and walking in a line. They’re not too great at making a large circle either. But other than school, when do people ever need to do that?
There are many aspects of school that are totally irrelevant to the homeschooled student and there are plenty of jokes to prove it. But there is one thing about school that is definitely missing in a homeschool. And all jokes aside, I think this one thing is what people are actually asking when they ask the socialization question.
That thing is
It’s true. Without being intentional, it is more difficult for homeschoolers to make friends. Hopefully, homeschoolers can make friends at church, in the neighborhood, or in outside activities like sports teams. etc. But often, it’s not easy. In those groups the other kids may have built relationships in school, and the homeschooled child is the outsider. Since school takes such a huge portion of a child’s day, it’s only natural that there will be more time for friendships to develop during that time.
That’s why I think having friends is another positive thing about joining a homeschool co-op. In a co-op, there is weekly connection to the same people which helps children to become friends. Continuing in the same co-op for years helps even more. On the negative side, it can make it more difficult for new students to fit in, but in my experience, new students are quickly accepted into the group.
Not only does a co-op help homeschooled children make friends, it also provides opportunities for
Friends for Mom
Homeschool moms need friends too. As a homeschool mom, you probably already have some friends. You haven’t been homeschooling forever after all. But I’ve found that most friendships are formed and strengthened when you have things in common. Some friendships continue after the activity you shared is gone, but it takes work. For example, if you made a lot of friends who had children the same age as yours and you got together for play dates, you often lose touch when they send their kids to school. Your schedules won’t overlap much anymore.
At a homeschool co-op, you automatically have some things in common with the other moms there.
- You homeschool
- You use the same curriculum
- You have at least some children of similar ages
Add those similarities to the fact that you will be spending a lot of time together with at least some time to chat, and that can mean that co-op is mom’s social highlight of every week. At the co-op we attend, we try to intentionally build relationships between the moms by having moms’ activities at least a couple of times per year.
What do you think? Is a homeschool co-op a good place to make friends? How are you intentional about making friends for yourself and helping your children find friends?
If you missed homeschool benefit #1, be sure to check it out.