One of the biggest myths about homeschooled kids is that they’re unsocialized. On the contrary, most of them are adept at interacting with a wide rage of ages and a diverse group of people. Many homeschool parents joke that their biggest problem is not being home often enough to do school.
Homeschooled kids aren’t unsocialized, but because they aren’t in a group setting every day, their parents may have to be more intentional about arranging group activities.
1. Start a book club.
Start a homeschool book club for the kids in your homeschool circle. Our group has enjoyed a few different book club options. We had an American Girls club in which the girls would read the four books in each series over the course of a few months. They met every other week to discuss the book and enjoy a related craft or activity. At the conclusion of the series, each family would prepare a related dish and get together for a meal and play time.
We had a book-and-a-movie club for the boys, choosing books that had been adapted into a movie. The boys would read the books, meet to discuss them and enjoy an activity. At the conclusion of each book, they’d have a movie day to watch the screen version.
We have also hosted mixed-gender clubs with the group voting on the books they’d like to read. This club included a mix of classics, modern classics, and current popular books.
2. Host a park day.
When my kids were elementary age and younger, we regularly participated in a park day. These were simple affairs with families arranging a time to meet at one of several local playgrounds. The kids enjoyed that all-important socialization – and their parents did, too!
3. Plan a game night.
Bring your favorite board or card games, set up some tables, and order some pizza. Instant fun!
4. Start a social club.
My kids have been part of several social clubs whose sole purpose was allowing teens and tweens to simply get together and hang out. Sometimes there are games and activities planned.
Other times, the kids just hang out and chat. These events are for middle and high school students, so there are always snacks.
5. Plan a movie night.
Get a group of kids together to enjoy a movie at the theater or host a DVD movie night. Pizza and popcorn are staples of these events.
6. Host a dance.
Hosting a dance requires a larger group, but one of our area support groups regularly hosts one for back-to-school and New Year’s, as well as a prom in the spring. See? Now your well-meaning relatives don’t have to stress over your teen missing prom, which, evidently, is a mandatory rite of passage in the minds of many.
7. Schedule a field day.
In the spring or fall when the weather is nice, let the kids in your group socialize and burn off some energy at the same time with a field day. Try some tug-of-war, potato sack races, or a three-legged race.
8. Start a just-for-fun club.
Start a club based on your kids’ interests. Some ideas include:
- Duct tape creations
- Handicrafts (knitting, sewing, crochet, or cross-stich)
- Baking or cooking
Chances are, if your child is interested in something, he or she has some buddies who are, too.
9. Join an enrichment co-op.
Enrichment co-ops can be a great place to forge friendship and interact with other homeschooled kids without the pressure of academics. These co-ops might include art or drama classes, foreign languages, nature study, music classes, or life skills classes (such as sewing, home ec, auto mechanics, or wood shop).
10. Start a P.E. class.
A regularly schedule homeschool P.E. class is another excellent option for low-key fun and burning off excess energy. Check with local churches, rec centers, or public use facilities to see if you can arrange a regular meeting place and have fun!
You may be one of those parents who needs more days at home, rather than more opportunities for socializing. If not, try one of two of these ideas to get your homeschooled friends together on a more regular basis.