Does Homeschooling Affect Socialisation Skills?
Any time homeschooling is brought up, there’s always one question in particular that always creeps its way into the conversation: “What about socialisation?” For those who aren’t familiar with homeschooling, this is pretty much the be all-end all as to whether or not homeschooling can work. While most people asking the question have good intentions, their timing (when they ask the questions) is often so ironic! For instance, it’s not unusual to find yourself answering that question while you’re waiting for your daughter to finish her dance class or you’re at your son’s basketball game.
Why Are Social Activities for Homeschoolers So Important?
If you’re new to homeschooling, you may not have been asked this question yet but don’t worry, it’ll come! In fact, it will happen so often that you’ll start wondering why this is so important to people in the first place. Our best guess is that people are well-meaning and only want to be sure you’ve thought of homeschool socialisation ideas. One ironic twist is that negative school socialisation is the cause of a huge amount of mental health issues in children.
When it comes to homeschooling, there is an underlying assumption that you’ll stay home all the time and won’t have your children out in “the real world” enough. (Of course, since homeschoolers live in the real world every day, you can see how this question is irrelevant.)
How to Answer the Question
Before you can answer the question, it is important to always consider the source, it will help you gauge whether the question is coming from a place of genuine concern or from someone who wants to challenge you. If the question comes from true concern, you can reassure the person asking that your children will have plenty of opportunities for socialisation between dance lessons, basketball practice and games, your homeschooling co-op (if you’re a part of one), and more. This would also be a great time to point out that you’d prefer for your children to learn their social skills from people of all ages – not from other same-age children all day every day. That is a bit like the blind leading the blind!
In time, those same individuals questioning you will no doubt sing your praises when they see what lovely members of society your children have become!
Every day is a battle against what we “want to do” and what we don’t want to do. Often, we are our own worst enemy, we are tempted to listen to the lies and accusations that our mind hurls at us… but you don’t have to! Rise above sweet friend, and take that first step! Celebrate the daily small wins and realise that you are giving your child a priceless gift of sharing the excitement of learning together.
Our Favourite Social Activities for Homeschoolers
- Join a local homeschool group
- Take dance lessons
- Join gymnastics, soccer or a bmx club
- Participate in a basketball team
- Become part of a homeschool co-op
- Take music lessons
- Encourage high schoolers to dual-enroll in a local community college or even the men’s shed
- Many high schoolers have part time jobs
- Volunteer as a family – there are many opportunities
- Join a youth group
- Invite other homeschoolers to a weekly science or art afternoon
- And many more!