It’s probably one of the phrases that homeschoolers hear the most, especially when others are asking about their homeschooling journey. Actually, if you’re new to homeschooling or thinking about homeschooling, it may be one of your questions: How will I get my homeschooler regular interaction with other kids? Or, maybe you just need some new ideas because your homeschool child has no friends?
To be honest, this was one of my concerns before I started homeschooling (and before I completely understood the homeschooling process and still listened to what people who didn’t understand homeschooling were saying). My daughter is a little social butterfly. She never meets a stranger and rarely feels out of place in a group. Since she is an only child at home, I was worried (in the beginning) that I wouldn’t be able to meet her socialization needs. Now, I’m so tired from running her around that I wish she had less socialization.
Finding Friends for Homeschoolers
There are plenty of ways that you can connect your homeschoolers with other kids, but it does take planning and persistence. Here are some ideas on how to find friends for your homeschooled child. But, remember, you are looking for quality relationships and not just quantity.
1. Find a local homeschool meet-up group on Facebook.
(Search: homeschool group [your city]). If you don’t find a group for your city or area, expand your search to your state. If you find a great group, it might be worth the drive to meet up a couple of times each month. And, if one group doesn’t work out (we’ve all been there, trust me), don’t be afraid to join several of them and try it out again. (Remember, persistence!)
2. Go to the park.
Many kids will naturally gravitate toward each other when playing at the park (especially on the playground equipment). Take your kids to the park regularly and if you see they are having fun with a particular child, approach the parent and exchange information. (Or, make another meet-up date on the spot!)
ALSO CHECK OUT : REAL DEAL WITH SOCIALIZING HOMESCHOOLERS
3. Join the YMCA (or a gym).
Most YMCAs or gyms now how children’s rooms and even cheap and free children’s events. Try out a couple of different days to workout and see which days have the largest children’s room turnout. After a couple of weeks, you can get a good feel for the families that come on specific days.
4. Join homeschool classes.
Many areas now offer a variety of homeschool classes (some are even free or really cheap). Search the web for classes and then join some! They can be academic or physical (sports).
5. Volunteer or help with a community project.
Volunteering is a great way to meet other families with big hearts. Commit to a place that also allows children to volunteer, that way your child can come along and also potentially meet other kids.
6. Go to the library.
No matter what time of day we go to the library, there are always kids there. (And we have a small local library.) My daughter almost always finds kids to play with while she’s at the library.
7. Join a church, temple, mosque (etc.).
Places of worship are great places for your kids to meet other kids. And, they will be in the same class, at the same time each week, which will allow them to develop relationships.
8. Frequent the children’s museum.
Regularly visit the children’s museum (or a local museum in your area). Remember, exposure is key! Don’t forget to trade information with the parents of the kids your child connects with during the trips!
9. Join a co-op.
If a co-op is available in your area, consider joining one (especially if it’s for social events or field trips). You can easily form your regular homeschool tribe through co-ops.
10. Host a book club.
If you can’t find a group, then start one! An easy one is to start a kids’ homeschool book club that can meet at the local library. You can post about your event on Facebook and Nextdoor. And, if you’re kid is interested in something else like Pokemon, then host a Pokemon club instead!
11. Go to public school events.
Check out the local high school football, basketball, volleyball, and softball games. If you go regularly, you’ll get to know some of the parents and your child will probably migrate to the kids who are attending.
12. Join a troop.
Join American Heritage Girls, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or a similar troop. The great thing about troops is that you generally keep the same core of people from year to year, so there are opportunities to build longterm friendships.
13. Ask your friends.
Let your friends and family members know what you’re up to. You don’t have to say, “My homeschool kid has no friends.” Instead, phrase it like, “We’re looking to expand our homeschool social circle. Do you have any families that would be good connections?”