Non-homeschoolers frequently ask about homeschool socialization. Homeschoolers like to laugh about this amongst ourselves. It’s kind of an inside joke. Yes, homeschool kids socialize. In my town, there are many opportunities for homeschool kids to make friends. We have homeschool co-ops and field trip days, community groups and the normal extracurricular activities and playing with neighbourhood kids.
Homeschool Co-ops & Field Trip Days:
There are many options for finding B co-ops and field trips. All of which would be fairly easy to set up in your town if they don’t already exist. Our favourite is through the Victoria Home Learners Network (VHLN) which hosts four major events throughout the year, weekly park days and then parents, through the aid of a Yahoo Group, can host workshops, field trips, create co-ops or just post, “We’re going swimming/skating/hiking/[insert activity here] come join us.” Anyone interested either shows ups or RSVP’s depending on what the instructions are. VHLN is also on Facebook but the members prefer Yahoo because it’s email based. Not everyone is on Facebook.
Another place to look for homeschool friends is Facebook. There are many regional Facebook homeschool groups. In Victoria, we have VicHomeLearn. This page has over 400 members. We have been on a few field trips organized by moms from this group. We also joined a co-op from this group.
Some organizations run closed groups and others have public pages. Sometimes the same organization will have both but the group serves a different purpose than the page. VHLN does have both a page and a group. The page is more for activities and awareness of the organization whereas the group is more for support with homeschooling. Very few of our members use either.
Let’s Talk Science
There are also different organizations that will help with workshops such as Let’s Talk Science (LTS). LTS is run through many universities across Canada. They have preset workshops that are taught by university science students. All you need to do is provide the kids, have one adult be there to be the “teacher”. B and I hosted a few of science workshops this past year and it was a lot of fun. Really easy for me too. I just invited people, they showed up and we all had fun learning.
Community Groups, Camps & Extracurricular Activities:
Here’s where we start getting into the more everyday stuff. Except with the twist that homeschool kids have more opportunities to take part in various interest led groups that are available during the day. In Victoria, we have a lot of community class option: art, nature, sports, etc, that are held during the day specifically for homeschoolers. Depending on how a homeschool student is registered and what school they are registered with, they may also have community classes through the school and attend one morning a week.
Victoria also has a lot of different camps in athletics, arts and academics after normal son the weekends throughout the school year. Plus there is Beavers, Scouts, Brownies, Guides, hockey, soccer, swimming, figure skating, music lessons, and all the normal kid stuff. This gives plenty of opportunities not only to make homeschool friends but to make friends in general.
Depending on your religious affiliations there is also children’s programs through your church or synagogue. B has his church friends. But he also has learned how to socialize with adults during some of the coffee times and dinners we’ve attended at church.
There are some pretty scary things going on in the world. We don’t live in the best of neighbourhoods but we do live in a community oriented apartment building. I chuckle when there’s a knock at the door but can’t see anyone there. B’s friends can’t be seen through the eye hole; they’re too short. When it’s nice outside the kids play out back in the courtyard. B also has a couple friends from church that live close by that he also plays with.
We’re also involved in different community groups in our neighbourhood that have allowed B to make his own friends in the neighbourhood. We go to community dinners and BBQ’s at the community centre. And B does still go back to his old school to play with a few of his friends when the get out for the day.
All in all, there are plenty of opportunities for homeschool kids to socialize that are similar to public or private school kids such as community groups, camps, extra-curricular activities and neighbourhood kids. Then there are additional ways, the homeschool groups, co-ops, field trips and workshops, that are held during school hours for homeschool kids to socialize.
What are some ways that you ensure your homeschool kids socialize? Leave a comment below.