Socialization in Homeschooling
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    jimmypalmer10 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Socialization in Homeschooling

    Hey everyone, UCF mother here. I've been very involved with researching unique aspects of socialization in homeschooling. Also, I have been considering putting my children into homeschooling for the next school year. They're really sweet kids but sometimes I worry about whether or not they'll get bored or not. What do you all think? What strategies do you have for your children to keep them in the loop with other students and groups? And lastly, what is the primary pain you face with keeping them socializing and entertained?

    I hope I can gain more insight. Thanks in advance!

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    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    We do lots and lots of field trips and play dates. He is also involved in soccer. This brings plenty of opportunities for socialization for my son. The primary pain I have about keeping my son socialized is having time to actually do school work. We are on the go all day every day. So actually sitting down and doing the work gets hard to work in.
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    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    They're really sweet kids but sometimes I worry about whether or not they'll get bored or not. What do you all think? What strategies do you have for your children to keep them in the loop with other students and groups? And lastly, what is the primary pain you face with keeping them socializing and entertained?

    The basic answer is that I expect my children to be independent individuals who do not need a herd or Julie from the Lido Deck to tell them their preferences or find them things to do. Why exactly do children need to be entertained? I have no desire to raise people who wake in the morning wondering how they are going entertained that day and who is going to prepare that entertainment for them. If by socializing you mean hanging out with a group of people who were born within 12 months of my child's birthdate, then I have no desire for my child to participate in that false construct that exists nowhere except grade school classrooms.

    If you are asking when my child is around other people, then I can tell you that we leave the house everyday. He is always around people, and he has no problem interacting with infants or the elderly. He is friendly to whoever is there, and he doesn't ask where the other 11-year-olds are.

    If you are asking specifically what activities my little man attends regularly, then I can tell you that for ease of discussion I will divide his planned activities into two categories, those involving music and those not involving music. One evening each week he practices with the orchestra from 5-7:30. This group includes children who are primarily 10 to 14, but there may be one or two who are still 9 and there may be some who are older. I know some of the kids homeschool, some are in public schools, and some are in private schools. I haven't taken a poll to find out specifics, because I just don't care. They have two short breaks where they chitchat- one after small group practice ends and one in the middle of large group. He also has private lessons for both violin and mandolin. We talk to people at the facilities, but not much. About once a month, we go to the dress rehearsals for the Nashville Symphony. They are free and there is usually a Q&A with the soloist. There is another homeschool family that usually attends with us, and others we know who are in regular attendance. Our symphony dress rehearsals are free, so if you live in a city or close to a city that has a symphony check with their education/ community outreach department and see what they offer. It may be an easy, free way to get in music appreciation.

    Outside of music, if you asking about specific activities, we have a couple that we do weekly. There is a small group of families with boys ages 4-13 that we get together with after lunch one day per week to do German appreciation. A couple of the mothers are German. We also go to a homeschool park day one afternoon per week. The families that we do German with all attend that as well. If it is below 55 or raining we usually meet at the food court of the mall with board games. On Saturdays, my son typically goes to the local Games Workshop and plays for several hours.

    In addition to our regular activities, we have a number of things that we do sporadically throughout the year. We go to the art museum when the exhibits roll over- about 3-4 times a year. We go to the science museum. Our science museum offers labs to homeschoolers. This year we did one in the fall and we are signed up for one this spring. We have a membership, so sometimes we just go for no particular reason. We went to a play at the Children's Theater in the fall. I try to go at least once each year. This year we went to A Wrinkle in Time. The homeschool group for that performance was nearly 100 people. It is the largest homeschool field trip that I have attended (outside of a field day or a rally day). In the fall we went to a forest and pond ecology homeschool field trip at a nature sanctuary. We went Shakespeare in the Park with another homeschool family. Sometimes things come up and we just go. Right now I am trying to decide if we want to go with the homeschool group to the zoo or with the group going to the new slavery and plantation exhibit at the history museum. We also have a friend who texted yesterday wanting to get together at the science museum.

    Oh, and in the fall my 11yo played volleyball. After all of this, instrument practice at home, and school work, my son doesn't often have time to require entertainment from a herd or Julie. He does, however, find time to play MMOs with his brother who is away at college even if, like last night, he just squeezes in one game before bed.

    The trouble with homeschooling isn't a lack of activities to do with other homeschoolers, but developing time-management skills that put you, the homeschooling parent, in control of fitting in everything you need to do to run a home, teach your kids, attend outings, take care of yourself, and everything else on your plate. Really and truly, with everything I need to accomplish in a week, finding people with whom to interact is so not anything that ever causes me worry.

    HTH-
    Mandy
    Last edited by Mandy in TN; 02-19-2014 at 04:55 PM.
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    ds Doodlebug 11yo
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    jimmypalmer10 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandy in TN View Post

    The trouble with homeschooling isn't a lack of activities to do with other homeschoolers, but developing time-management skills that put you, the homeschooling parent, in control of fitting in everything you need to do to run a home, teach your kids, attend outings, take care of yourself, and everything else on your plate. Really and truly, with everything I need to accomplish in a week, finding people with whom to interact is so not anything that ever causes me worry.

    HTH-
    Mandy
    I really appreciate the quality, honestly, and extensiveness of your answer. I resonate with a lot of your ideas and sentiments, especially about knowing the right people and places. Creating opportunity through interests is most important by keeping their minds happy and active. I guess that's what I meant by entertained, not just sitting in front of a computer all day.

    My son says he wants to be an astronaut, so we should be exploring self-motivated projects and places like NASA. Of course, by doing this he has a way of really figuring out what he wants to do, but I have no doubt that it'll be a great experience for the both of us. So far, I'm very open to this option for the next school year.

    But then there's the thought of trying to work from home while having plenty of time with my son. I think many parents struggle with this and that's why they are afraid to try homeschooling. It's a struggle to balance it all. Do you have any suggestions?

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    fairylover's Avatar
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    Are you near NASA? My son has wanted to be an astronaut since he was 2 years old. We have been to NASA several times. He would live there if he could. I am not so much into space but I have to say watching a space shuttle lift off made my heart stop. It was such an emotional experience for me. If he is interested in space. have you tried rocket building. There are usually rocket clubs all over the country. My son belongs to three different clubs. He has been building rockets with his dad since he was four. It's a great hobby for the two of them to share. Check out the National Association of Rocketry.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    monnalu is offline Member
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    It amazes me that people who do not do homeschooling or who are new to the process, worry about socialization for the children involved. In this day and age, I do not know of any child (well, maybe some really odd separatists or something) of caring parents who are not involved in Scouts, church or some other youth organization. They play with the neighborhood children and even if there are no "play dates" children find each other. Both of my grandchildren have been homeschooled, and socialization has NEVER been an issue. They are both active, as they have been since before homeschool, in community organizations and have many friends. Our concern was never whether they would have an active social life, but whether they would gain enough knowledge to function in the world if they continued in traditional school.

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    I totally agree. We have more of a problem finding time to "do school" than we do with social activities.
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    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    Blestec Studios is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by monnalu View Post
    It amazes me that people who do not do homeschooling or who are new to the process, worry about socialization for the children involved. In this day and age, I do not know of any child (well, maybe some really odd separatists or something) of caring parents who are not involved in Scouts, church or some other youth organization. They play with the neighborhood children and even if there are no "play dates" children find each other. Both of my grandchildren have been homeschooled, and socialization has NEVER been an issue. They are both active, as they have been since before homeschool, in community organizations and have many friends. Our concern was never whether they would have an active social life, but whether they would gain enough knowledge to function in the world if they continued in traditional school.
    Time and again homeschooling comes to my mind as an option for my children. As a parent with 2 grandchildren doing homeschooling, how much knowledge do you think they have compared to other children doing regular schooling..?? Have you ever felt that they are lacking something..?? just curious to know. Thanks.

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    fairylover's Avatar
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    I don't think you can say this child is ahead of the others because they homeschool. Or public school kids don't know as much as homeschooled kids. It just varies from one child to another. Some children know more in one area and others know different things. I think that sometimes public school can drive the desire to learn out of some kids. Homeschooled kids that I know seem to be naturally curious about everything. They haven't had this drive taken away from them so they can learn to pass a test.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    icesilvermist2 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I really appreciate this thread, I am concerned about this because people around me keep bringing it up as if I will ruin their lives without socialization. We have a church group and I am so sick of my children being bullied in school. I really wish to do the home school thing. Honestly you are so right Mandy! It boils down to you, as the parent to keep the children active. The more I think about socialization why would I want my kids to be around the children who curse at them and attempt to bully and slander them at school!! One child who came into the school mid-year stomped on my child's hand on the playground!! I later heard that she broke her new stepmother's foot a week or so earlier! I think the advantages of being around healthy, happy families and showing children how it "should" be instead of how it "can" be is a much better alternative!

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