If you have decided to educate your child from home, you might be looking for ideas on how to best socialize your homeschooler. There are many advantages to homeschooling today, such as being able to provide your child individual attention. But by it’s very nature, homeschooling lacks socialization. It won’t automatically provide interaction and relationships with the outside world that a brick and mortar school filled with students and teachers does. In a regular classroom, children meet their peers, do team work, and learn social manners and complications. There are several ways to have your child engage socially without having to lose out on all the benefits of homeschooling.
Locate Community Programs
There is seldom an absence of local sports clubs or other community programs in your city or town that specifically caters to children. Even if most of the children in your locality are going through traditional schooling, there will still be some form of activity taking place where all the children from the community get together. There are several community sports and recreation opportunities, usually through the parks and recreation departments located within your town. You may find options like basketball, swimming, cooking, painting, and other forms of activities that will enable your child to meet others and work with them in a common activity.
Look for Area Children’s Activities
Socialize your homeschooler by going to local aquariums, amusement parks, zoos, and more. These establishments usually have some form of club or classes for children. Libraries in your local community may also have a reading club or a periodic debating competition etc. Sometimes these activities are not only limited to children but allow for the whole family to take part in. Such options will not only be great opportunities for the homeschooled children to socialize, but it will also allow them to explore their individual talents and interests more fully. Having the chance to indulge into such activities, without them having to be part of their regular school curriculum also makes them more entertaining and fulfilling for the children.
Find Local Theaters
If your little one is more towards arts and acting talents instead of jumping over park rides, then you may find their socialization opportunities in your local theaters. This will be an excellent avenue for them to practice their non-academic learning side and may also harness their natural talents that allow them to express themselves more fully, personally as well as professionally later in life. Your children will work with theater actors which will also develop their competitiveness and they may also work along with other professionals, such as directors, makeup artists, or sound and light engineers, which will further develop their minds, interests, and skill sets.
If despite all the local socialization and sport possibilities, you feel that your child may lose out on the independent fun that regular schooling provides through trips and usual break times, then there is the option of summer camps. Sign up your child for an activity where children get together and visit a place distant from home or carry out some specific activity together, such as music or painting etc.
Part-time Employment or Internships
Finally, if your homeschooled kid is old enough to gather some official experience under his belt, get them to do volunteer work or sign up for part-time employment or get an internship. This will not only be a great way for them to learn about the professional dynamics and the world of jobs but also socialize and make friends with people who have similar career goals. Having experience on their educational report cards is another splendid advantage. Sometimes, certain places targeted to the younger age groups also take volunteers. This will teach your young one about community service and helping people, while at the same time allowing them to socialize with their age group as well as elders.
It All Starts from Home
After all is said and done, parents should never forego on their own communication with children as well as one-on-one time for academic as well as co-curricular activities. Furthermore, if any of the above mentioned options are not readily available in the locality, invite other children from within your community over. Alternatively, you can simply be the pioneer of developing such a sports group or reading club so that your child can get all the socialization exposure they need along with other benefits of homeschooling.