Can Homeschooling Cause Social Isolation?
The majority of children in Australia spend 12 years of their life in education, so this forms a huge part of their early life! Education introduces your children to new interests and helps them to develop valuable skills for life.
However, there is no one way to approach your child’s education. While a large number of Australian children are currently in mainstream education, more than 20,000 are homeschooled.
Homeschooling allows you to create a supportive environment and gives you time to address your child’s specific needs. It can also give you and your child important flexibility. However, some parents have concerns that homeschooling may lead to social isolation.
So will homeschooling your child create social issues for them? Read on to find out more.
Does Home Schooling Cause Social Isolation?
Sharing a classroom with other children daily can help your child develop valuable social skills, such as empathy. So what happens if your child is not in mainstream education?
Well, if a child is only taught from home daily, this could be very isolating, especially if they do not have siblings. They may also feel at odds with other children as they enter further educational institutions. The best part is that homeschoolers are never stuck at home.
There are plenty of things that you can do to support your child’s social skills while homeschooling. On top of this, there are some significant benefits of homeschooling for social and emotional wellbeing.
How Can Homeschooling Help Social Skills?
Homeschooling can help your child to focus more easily and this doesn’t just benefit them academically. Learning away from influences such as peer pressure and bullying behaviour can also improve a child’s confidence.
They will have an opportunity to develop their ideas in a supportive environment. This confidence can be a huge bonus for their social skills in later life. It will help them to form genuine, healthy relationships further down the line.
Of course, any child needs to have a healthy balance when it comes to socialisation. With that in mind, here are some tips that will help their social skills if you homeschool your kid.
Enrol Them in Extra-Curricular Clubs With Children Their Age
One of the top homeschooling tips to support social development is to make sure that your child spends plenty of time with children their age.
You should try to start this as early as possible. Extra-curricular clubs after school hours or during the weekends are a great way to do this.
Try to find clubs for activities that your child is interested in. This will immediately make them more enthusiastic about attending.
It is also great if you can find a club that is run independently from a school. That way your child will meet children from all sorts of different backgrounds, which can make them feel less isolated.
Introduce Them to Other Homeschooled Children
Speaking of meeting children from other backgrounds, try to find other homeschooling families who live near you.
This can help your child understand how normal homeschooling is. It also gives them a chance to speak to other children who understand their experiences.
Some organisations even run clubs in the summertime so homeschooled children can meet up easily!
Practice Role-Playing Activities
Role-playing is a great way to develop social skills, particularly in younger children. So set aside some time for this play during your day.
It can help to find scenarios or activities that your child is particularly interested in. This will help them engage with the activity.
Organise Learning Trips
When you are homeschooling a child it is important to create boundaries between their home and educational lives. Learning trips are a great way to do this and they give your child time to socialise.
This might be a simple trip to the local park to look at nature or a visit to the theatre or a museum.
Whatever you plan, try to find a space that other children will come to. If you can find a venue with a play space, this will give your child some valuable socialising time outside of their learning.
Have Open Discussions About Social Issues
Empathy is one of the most valuable social skills that your child will learn. As well as helping them care for others, it can also make them feel more connected to the world around them.
Having conversations about social issues or events going on in the world can really help. This encourages them to develop an empathetic understanding and engage in wider conversations.
Invite them to bring a topic to the table and discuss it, using additional points of view where you can. This gives them a chance to ask questions that they might have and to learn as they go.
Give Them Time Away From You
Your relationship with your child is a pivotal one in both of your lives and is a source of comfort for them. That said, it is also important that they get the opportunity to develop other relationships as well.
Introducing them to other children will help to do this so try to organise some playdates. As your child gets older, try to drop them off at clubs or playdates and give them some time away from you.
This gives you a little time off. More importantly, it shows your child that they are okay without you and that you will always come back to get them. So it benefits all of the relationships that they form.
Help to Prevent Social Isolation While You Homeschool Your Child
As you can see, when it comes to homeschooling it is important to be aware of the risks of social isolation for your child.
However, there are plenty of things that you can do to support their social skills throughout their education allowing them to develop superior social skills to those in mainstream school. As with anything regarding your child’s welfare, it is important to take their lead and find ways to socialise that suit them.
For more help and advice about supporting your child’s at-home learning, get in touch with Euka now. We’re happy to help.