One of the biggest concerns parents have about homeschooling their children is the potential consequences on their social development. Fortunately, educating at home doesn’t have to be an isolating experience. The most important thing when exploring these options is to give kids a chance to try different things and be around new people of their own age group regularly.
Finding other kids who are at the same level as your own isn’t always easy, especially in less populated areas. However, students don’t necessarily need to be at exactly the same place in every subject. These groups allow homeschool students to learn together, even if it’s just certain subjects for an hour or two each week. You can also look for online groups as a backup.
Sports and Athletics
Keeping kids active isn’t always easy when homeschooling if you don’t have a big yard or a park nearby. Encourage your at-home student to try at least one sports team or one athletics club each year of their education, with opportunity to switch if their interests change. There are all kinds of activities to consider, from fencing and martial arts to football and weight-lifting.
Spelling bees, knowledge bowls, and math league contests are just a few of the academic competitions that can fuel some excitement in your kid’s academic interests. Contests are a great way to get students to socialize with other children who are at a similar age and academic level.
It’s a lot easier to do a field trip with only a few students compared to a whole classroom. That’s why they should be a common feature of a homeschool education. If possible, check for planned events specifically for homeschool students so your child has peers to talk to. At the very least, field trips are a good opportunity for students to step outside of their comfort zone and grow.
There are a ton of groups, communities, and organizations that cater to homeschool students. Parents can find a ton of different social opportunities and events specifically designed to get at-home students together.
Don’t just do the bare minimum. It may take a little more effort and planning, but it’s hard to put a price tag on your child’s social development. Make sure your at-home student is in contact with people their own age and at least a few new people every week.