Finding Social Opportunities for Your Homeschooled Child
Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D.
Parents who have made the decision to homeschool their children oftentimes find themselves defending this choice. Unfortunately, there are those who feel that children who are homeschooled are not subjected to the same level of social interaction as children who attend public schools.
This is not the case. There are many social opportunities for the homeschooled child. These planned events are positive social experiences, as opposed to much of the negative social interaction that occurs in the public school setting on a daily basis.
One of the best and easiest ways to provide this type of social opportunity is to join a local homeschool group. These groups are very popular and located nationwide. In addition to providing a support network to homeschooling families, these groups sponsor all types of educational field trips and gatherings.
There are many homeschool-related websites, which maintain a database of local groups. A quick search of these databases will almost always result in finding a homeschooling group in your area.
Another wonderful way to provide children with the opportunity to socialize is to utilize the extra-curricular activities offered by your local school district. Schools must allow children who learn at home the option to participate in activities such as band, sports and drama. Take the time to contact the school district, in which you reside, for further information on the specific extra-curricular programs, available to your child.
Allowing homeschooled children to do volunteer work in the community is another excellent way to ensure socialization. Of course, this is usually not an option for very young children. But, occasionally organizations such as the Humane Society will let younger children volunteer, as long as their parents are in tow.
Consult your phone directory or favorite search engine for many additional not for profit organizations, which offer volunteer programs.
If you are fortunate enough to run your own business, involve your children. This will allow them to socially interact with your customers and give them a head start in the business world at the same time.
Also, check your local YMCA or your city’s park and recreation department for their class offerings. These classes often include things like swimming, dance, cooking and crafts of all kinds.
As you can see, there are many social opportunities for children who are homeschooled. If you take the time to do a bit of research, you may be surprised at what you’ll find.