Since updated the blog’s new look, this is the very first official Two Cents Tuesday … when I basically thrown my two cents in about something homeschooling/education related!
Today I’m sharing some tips on how to fit social time into your homeschool day (both for parents and kids).
Our family is still in the early stages of homeschooling, so I have yet to hear a non-friend-or-family-member ask me how my kids will make friends while we homeschool. I know that day will come, though.
Honestly, some days it seems we have so much “socializing” on the calendar that I feel like we need to scale back and take a few days to stay at home by ourselves. Even in a tiny community, I have found countless opportunities for my children to play and learn with others. So if you feel alone in your homeschool journey, or aren’t sure where or how to start on adding social learning into your homeschool day, try some of these options!
Mommy & Me Playgroups
Our (very small!) community has two large Mommy and Me Playgroups, and we have visited both. The one we frequent the most is extremely well attended. The leaders do things like organized book and craft days, picnic days, field trips, and even extensive fund raising activities. My daughter enjoys the play dates where she can ride bikes and drink juice boxes with her friends at a local park the most. Check social media for Facebook groups you can join, or ask a few local moms if there’s a playgroup you can join. Feeling brave? Start your own! All you need is one other family to get it up and running!
Library Storytime / Craft Days
The library is SUCH a rich and fabulous resource for homeschoolers. In so many ways. But you can utilize your local library for socializing just as much as you can for research! We attended story time all year long, signed up for summer reading, read to therapy dogs, gone to craft days, and even listened to special speakers at our local library. Some of my daughter’s good friends have been made strictly through story time! Check your local library’s website (or step on up to the front desk!) to inquire about your library’s children’s resources and activities.
If you’re not a church-goer, feel free to skip this one. If you are, even occasionally, look in the church bulletin or ask a friend about children’s ministries that might have fun events like VBS or Wednesday night youth services. Check for Sunday school times, children’s choir or drama clubs, or even Bible Memory verse learning clubs! My daughter loves Sunday School and children’s choir at church – right now that’s all she is old enough for – but some of her (and my!) best friends in our hometown worship with us at church.
Local Recreation Commission
Is your child interested in T-ball? Gymnastics? Swimming? Check with your local rec commission for upcoming sports rosters your kids can join! Are you an athlete yourself? Volunteering to coach could score you even more friends and acquaintances – both on and off the homeschooling field!
Homeschool Days or Learning Days at Local Attractions
Is there a fabulous children’s museum nearby? A theatre? What about an arts center? Look online for coming events at attractions near you. Many places like this cater to homeschooling families, schools and teachers. Jot down the activities that interest your family and head out to meet some new people and learn together!
First ask around to see if there are any homeschool coops that may be right for you. I encourage you to do your homework and figure out which one might work best, considering group fees/dues, age ranges, and scheduling. I did tons of research on local homeschooling coops when we first decided to homeschool. To put it bluntly, our chances of finding one around here (within an hour’s distance) were slim to none! So I helped create one in my own community! It’s still small, but we’re growing and continuing to meet – for kids activities and just for parent-get-togethers. It’s been wonderful getting to know families I never would have met otherwise!
Hang Out with Your Friends Who Have Kids
Even though this is probably something you’re already doing, I’d encourage homeschooling mamas to do more of it, and to bring the kids sometimes! I love grabbing coffee with one or two of my good friends and watching all our kids play together at the playground while we just gab for a while. Homeschooling moms need socialization, too! 🙂
So there’s my two cents on adding a bit of social time into your homeschool day. If you’re looking for more ways to get involved in your community, come back next week for my two cents on community volunteering!
*Disclaimer: As aforementioned, these posts are simply the opinions of one homeschool mama. No expert here, just someone hoping to help and inspire others while throwing my two cents in! 🙂 *