How to Help Your Homeschooled Kid Find Friends

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It can be difficult for homeschooled kids to forge new friendships It's not because the unsocialized homeschooler stereotypes are true. Instead it's often because homeschooled kids don't have the opportunity to be around the same group of kids on a regular basis like their public- and private-schooled peers do.

Although homeschoolers aren't isoloated from other kids, some don't have enough consistent contact with the same group of friends to allow time for friendships to grow.

As homeschool parents, we may need to be more intentional in helping our children make new friends.

How can you help your homeschooler find friends?

Maintain Current Friendships

If you have a child who is transitioning from public school to homeschool, make an effort to maintain his current friendships (unless they are a contributing factor in your decision to homeschool). It can put a strain on friendships when the kids don't see each other every day. Give your child opportunities to continue to nurture those relationships.

The younger your child is, the more effort the investment in these friendships may require on your part. Make sure you have the parents’ contact information, so that you can arrange regular play dates. Invite the friend over for sleepovers or a movie night.

Consider hosting holiday parties or game nights on weekends or after school hours so your new homeschooler can spend time with his old public school friends and new homeschool friends at the same time.

Get Involved in the Homeschool Community

It is important to maintain friendships for kids moving from public school to homeschool, but it’s also important to help them begin to make friends with other homeschooled kids. Having friends who homeschool means your child has someone who understands her day-to-day life and a buddy for homeschool group outings and play dates!

Go to homeschool group events. Get to know the other parents so that it’s easier for your kids to stay in contact. This contact can be especially important for less-outgoing kids. They may find it difficult to connect in a large group setting and need some one-on-one time to get to know potential friends.

Try a homeschool co-op. Take part in activities that reflect your child’s interests to make it easier for him to get to know kids who share his interests. Consider activities such as a book club, LEGO club, or art class.

Participate in Activities on a Regular Basis

Although some kids have a new “best friend” every time they leave the playground, true friendships take time to foster. Find activities that occur on a regular basis so that your child get to see the same group of kids regularly. Consider activities such as:

  • Recreational league sports teams
  • Classes such as gymnastics, karate, art, or photography
  • Community theater
  • Scouting

Don’t overlook activities for adults (if it’s acceptable for children to attend) or activities in which your child's siblings are involved. For example a ladies' Bible study or weekly moms meeting gives kids a chance to socialize. While the moms chat, kids can play, bond, and forge friendships.

It's not uncommon for older or younger siblings to wait with their parent while one child attends a homeschool class or activity. The waiting siblings often forge friendships with the other kids waiting on their brother or sister. If it's appropriate to do so, bring along some activities that encourage quiet group play, such as playing cards, Lego blocks, or board games.

Make Use of Technology

Live, online games and forums can be a great way for older homeschooled kids to make friends who share their interests or keep in touch with existing friends.

Teens can chat with friends and meet new people while playing online video games. Many homeschooled kids use apps such as Skype or FaceTime to chat face-to-face with friends each day.

Certainly there are dangers associated with social media and online technology.

It's crucial that parents monitory their children's online activity. Parents should also teach their kids basic safety protocol, such as never giving out their address or engaging in private messaging with people they don't know in person.

Used carefully and with parental supervision, the Internet can be a fantastic tool for allowing homeschooled kids to connect with their friends more often than they might be able to do in person.

One of the best things about homeschool friendships is that they tend to ​break age barriers. They are based on mutual interests and complementary personalities. Help your homeschooled child find friends. Be intentional about providing opportunities for him to meet others through shared interests and experiences. 

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Bales, Kris. "How to Help Your Homeschooled Kid Find Friends." ThoughtCo, Dec. 27, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-to-help-your-homeschooled-kid-find-friends-3895644. Bales, Kris. (2017, December 27). How to Help Your Homeschooled Kid Find Friends. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-help-your-homeschooled-kid-find-friends-3895644 Bales, Kris. "How to Help Your Homeschooled Kid Find Friends." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-help-your-homeschooled-kid-find-friends-3895644 (accessed April 24, 2018).