What about socialization? 5 Ways to Make Friends When Homeschooling

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I’m so excited to be participating in my very first “31 Days” series! All this month, join me every week day as I write about the place that we’re in: 31 Days of Classical Homeschooling in a Large Family!

These next couple of posts somehow got “lost” between my writer and my blog in the wonderful land of “Technical Difficulties”, so forgive them for being a couple of days late! I will spread their posting out over the next couple of days so that my email subscribers aren’t overwhelmed! 

While I hate to really start delving into the meat and bones of my series with this question, I believe it warrants touching on at least once or twice during the month. {It always seems strange to me, though, that people don’t worry a lick about me teaching math or science or reading, but worry about whether or not my children will be “socialized”!}

Don’t worry, though. I’m not going to beat the dead horse of pointing out how homeschooling, when done properly, produces productive members of society who actually know how to communicate with their boss {or employees, as the case may be}, neighbors, friends, strangers, etc. If you’re interested in a discussion on those topics, you can check out this post at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers or this series at Homeschool Diaries. This post is going to be about “How we make friends as homeschoolers”. : –) Making friends and socializing regularly really are big issues that you have to plan for whenever you decide to homeschool your children, for your entire family’s sanity. So here are my top five places to meet friends as homeschoolers.

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#1- Good ol’ fashion neighbors

We are fortunate to live in a decent area of countryside where we have the best of both worlds: plenty of yard space and privacy plus plenty of really great neighbors. Within a five mile radius of us, there are 75+ children, with several of those being homeschoolers as well. Although it was a little uncomfortable at first, it was worth the effort to get to know our neighbors {although we have several left to meet!} because our children have found quite a few good friends {old and young} who live close enough to drop by with little or no notice, and we, as parents, have found friends as well.

#2- Church

Granted, not all people who homeschool are religious. Even if you are, you may not be close enough or have found a church that believes the way you believe. But I really can’t leave church off of this list because, in my own experience, it’s invaluable for more than just “church”… there are some really great friends to be found at a good church. My advice is always “Find a church you don’t disagree with until you can find one you agree with.” In other words, find a church that you don’t feel like you have to explain and contradict everything your children are being taught until you can go to a church where you absolutely agree with everything. Trust me, the fellowship is worth it! {And the church may just surprise you!}

#3- Organized Sports

My kids have participated in cheerleading, soccer, dance, gymnastics, and football in the past and developed several lasting friendships each time. Although we are taking a break from sports this year {because our schedule is already so crazy!}, you simply can’t beat them for getting kids around kids on regular basis.

#4- Random Acts of “Park” {+follow up play dates}

We try and make it a habit to come away from afternoons at the local park with a new play date scheduled at least once a month. Since I have the more intimidating number of children, we often end up asking people over for an afternoon of grilled chicken and football in our backyard. My word of advice? Don’t be shy! Most moms at the park are just as intimidated as you, and just as eager to make friends… so be bold and approach them for conversation! Kids can make friends all afternoon, but if you don’t get with another mom, they won’t be lasting friendships!

#5- Homeschool Groups

{Total confession time here} I haven’t joined a group since we brought our children back home from the public school!  {ACK!} However, homeschool groups and co-ops are probably the easiest places to make friends as homeschoolers. {I, personally, adore co-ops… especially the ones that rotate teachers; one week a month those of us who aren’t teaching can sneak off for coffee and ice cream for just Mom to Mom time twice a week? Yeah… awesome!} I did make a promise to the kids that we’d join again and so expect me to get cracking on this one soon!

Enjoying my 31 Days of Classical Homeschooling in a Large Family series? Don’t forget to subscribe in the sidebar so you don’t miss any updates!

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