Will My Child Be Socially Awkward?
In a homeschool household, all you hear growing up from adults and other kids is “Do you have a social life?” “Do you have any friends?” “Does this crowd make you uncomfortable?” Many families considering homeschooling fear their children will become “socially awkward”. Well, let me just break it to you now. They will be. Why? Because everyone is.
Whether they attend public school, private school, or homeschool, every child is different. Some are shy, some outspoken, some social butterflies, some reserved, some leaders, some followers. We as a human race are all different. If you are a leader involved in every club, every activity then someone will see you as awkward. If you are the quiet kid in the back of the room that only speaks to her closest friend, then someone will see you as awkward. But think about it, we all know both of these people. I can think of homeschoolers, private schoolers, and public schoolers that fit in these categories and every space in between.
Extracurriculars and Social Activities
With so many different personalities, how can you allow each student the level of social interaction they need? There are many options for your children’s social life even as homeschoolers. As for educational social groups, co-ops are a prominent tool for homeschool families to work together. Parents use their individual strengths in subjects, like science, for example, to teach other homeschool students whose parents may struggle in that area. We did our science labs for biology together with another homeschool family as that homeschool dad was a bit more zealous about our frog dissections than my parents. Our family often met with other homeschool families from our church for home ec classes such as bread baking and gardening, survival skills like fire building and fishing, Bible studies, and community service volunteering.
As parents, you can also explore your students’ individual interests through extracurricular activities. Sports were a big part of our family for years. My brothers and I played soccer in the local rec league as well as regularly with a group of other homeschoolers throughout the year. My sister and I were very involved in 4H which offered many opportunities for our different interests including sewing, crafts, cooking, dog training, wildlife and so much more. This program also incorporates leadership and citizenship training. In high school, 4H provided us both opportunities to interact with others our age at even national events including a trip to Washington DC. So, in short, there are so many social opportunities below are just a few examples:
- Church Groups
- Community Service
- Martial Arts
- Art Classes
- Music Lessons
- HAM Radio
- Dog Shows
- Community Theatre
- Civil Air Patrol
- Dual Enrollment
So, homeschool moms, have no fear. Your children can be just as well-rounded as kids that go to “real school” – if not more well-rounded. The opportunities are out there. So take a breath and enjoy the time because in just a few years you will be sending your children off to the homeschool prom. (Yes, it’s a real thing.)