How to Keep Your Homeschooled Students Social with These Social Activities Ideas
Homeschooling has many benefits for students, but one downside is that kids miss out socialising with other kids on a daily basis. This lack of social contact is a concern for parents.
Fortunately, there are many ways to ensure kids develop strong interpersonal skills. Studies have found that homeschooled students who engage regularly in social activities score higher for psychological and emotional health than traditionally schooled children.
These activities will ensure your child gets plenty of opportunities to mix with others.
Join a Homeschool Group
The first point of contact for both parents and kids should be a local homeschool group. These groups can provide invaluable support and connections as well as teaching tips.
Homeschool groups have regular meet-ups and activities so students can get to know each other. They encourage the whole family to get involved and make new friends. If you live in a remote area, most groups have a Facebook page to help members stay in touch.
Schedule Regular Play Dates
One of the best ways to socialise homeschooled kids is to ensure they have plenty of quality time in person with children their age. This might include former classmates, neighbourhood children and other homeschooled students.
There are plenty of fun activities you can arrange, depending on your child’s interests. Unstructured time at home with friends also helps children develop strong relationships.
Join a Sporting Team
Sports teams provide wonderful opportunities for kids to meet others their age and stay fit at the same time. Playing sport also teaches teamwork and cooperation, making it an ideal opportunity for homeschooled students to develop these skills.
Most sports have local junior teams and they welcome new members. Other popular recreational activities where kids can meet others include skateboarding, dance, gymnastics and swimming.
Volunteer in the Community
Volunteering allows kids to contribute to the community and make new friends. If your child loves the outdoors, keep your eyes open for local clean-up days and conservation activities. Children can also look after animals at a shelter, visit the elderly or help prepare food hampers.
Volunteering allows kids to meet people of different ages and backgrounds in a safe and structured environment. This broadens their horizons and helps them feel comfortable in different social situations.
Get Involved in Theatre
Local theatre groups are always looking for new members to get involved in amateur productions. This is a fun way for kids to meet people and develop confidence.
If your child doesn’t want to perform, they can contribute behind the scenes by helping make sets and costumes, assisting with props, and acting as an usher.
Look for Online Groups
Interacting regularly with others online doesn’t replace human contact, but it can help homeschooled students feel connected. Developing an online presence will become more important as kids get older, so it’s vital they learn these social skills too.
Homeschool groups often provide safe forums for students to chat. You can also sign up for book clubs and interactive lessons. Gaming is another way students can connect, but it’s important to monitor who they’re talking to.
Children’s needs vary when it comes to social contact. The best way to work out if your child is developing interpersonal skills and feeling connected is to talk openly with them.