Social skills for kids may be one of the biggest questions people have about homeschooled children.
And, it’s definitely one of the phrases that homeschooling parents 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:
Or, maybe you just need some new ideas because your homeschool child has no friends or you want to expand their social circle.
What about homeschooling and socialization?
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.
However, if you’re looking for ideas on how to improve social skills for kids during homeschooling, don’t worry! It’s easier than you think. Check out this list of ideas we put together.
Finding Friends for Homeschoolers | 13 Ways to Improve Social Skills for Kids
There are plenty of ways that you can connect your homeschoolers to others and help improve social skills for 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, so don’t overwhelm your child (or yourself) trying to fit in a million different extra curricular activities.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #1: Find a local homeschool meet-up group on Facebook.
Head over to Facebook and 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.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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 park playground meet-up date on the spot!)
ALSO CHECK OUT : REAL DEAL WITH SOCIALIZING HOMESCHOOLERS
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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 and your child may connect to some friends that way.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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! You’ll probably find a mix of academic or physical (like exercise and sports).
Gravitate toward those that are of most interest to your child so they can meet other kids who have the same interests.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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 who are also volunteering.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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. We’ve exchanged numbers or emails with a couple of them so she can get to know the kids better!
Social Skills for Kids Tip #7: Join a church, temple, synagogue, 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.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #8: Frequent the children’s museum (and other museums).
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!
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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 (or the library may even let you hang a flyer on the bulletin board).
Or, if your kid is interested in something else like Pokemon, then host a Pokemon club instead!
Social Skills for Kids Tip #11: Go to public school events.
Check out the local school carnivals, plays, or football, basketball, volleyball, and softball games.
If you go regularly, you’ll get to know some of the parents and your child will probably naturally migrate to the kids who are attending.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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 long-term friendships.
Social Skills for Kids Tip #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?”
Your friends and family will almost always have a “I think you will really like meeting . . .” suggestion.