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. It's because homeschooled kids often aren’t around the same group of kids on a regular basis. 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?

Work on Maintaining 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 aren’t seeing each other every day. Help your child make sure that those relationships are still being nurtured.

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.

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 homeschooled friends. 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 with common 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 you can do on a regular basis so that your child has the opportunity 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 the first several years that we homeschooled, I attended a weekly women’s Bible study. All the moms brought their preschoolers and homeschooled children. The kids played, bonded, and forged friendships while the moms chatted.

My younger two children took a homeschool music class for several years. The brothers and sisters of the kids in the class would hang out in another room. My oldest child, who wasn’t taking the class, still keeps in contact with some of the friends she made hanging out during music class each week.

Make Use of Technology

My teen boy regularly plays X-box Live online with his friends, chatting as they play. My teen girl Skypes her best friend every day. They often watching TV "togehter," paint, draw, or edit videos for YouTube while they Skype.. My daughter's friend's little sister plays Minecraft with her best friend via Skype.

I often think of how much my best friend and I would have enjoyed such technology. Certainly there are dangers associated with social media and online technology. However, used carefully and with parental supervision, it can be a fantastic way for 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 by being 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, Feb. 27, 2017, Bales, Kris. (2017, February 27). How to Help Your Homeschooled Kid Find Friends. Retrieved from Bales, Kris. "How to Help Your Homeschooled Kid Find Friends." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 23, 2017).