When thinking about socialization for homeschoolers, many people don't realize that public school children are really the students who are at a disadvantage. They are stuck in school all day while homeschoolers are free to explore the real world. Homeschoolers will learn to be responsible for their own education and not be like their public school counterparts who have everything done for them. Homeschoolers also have the advantage of learning house management skills and work experience and real life skills needed later in life. Here are some ideas for opportunities for socialization for homeschoolers:
Volunteer Opportunities - Homeschoolers have more opportunities to volunteer at local businesses or ministries. Whether they volunteer on their own or with a group, they can look around their community and find places that need their help. Some visit nursing homes, help build Habitat for Humanity homes, help with local soup kitchens or food pantries, help Salvation Army volunteers pick up items or organize items in their stores, along with a whole host of other ministries that need extra help.
Homeschool Group Field Trips - Since homeschooling is becoming so popular, just about every county in the United States has a homeschool group available. These groups can often get discounts to local museums or attractions because they have a greater number of students. There are also more ideas available for field trips because there are other moms and dads who want their children to see and experience the activities in the area.
Local Sports Teams - Almost every community I have ever come in contact with has some type of summer baseball/softball leagues. There are often many opportunities for traveling basketball, soccer, volleyball, and baseball teams. Many sports open their elementary and junior high sports programs to anyone in the community. Homeschool groups often band together and form soccer or basketball leagues where homeschool students can compete against other homeschool students.
Church Activities - Besides volunteering to help people, many churches also have youth groups, children's groups, and choir and singing groups. These are all open to homeschoolers and can have a positive influence in their lives.
Many different studies have shown that homeschoolers tend to have a better self esteem and adapt better socially than public school students. Sometimes there is negative socialization in the schools which is actually a disadvantage for socialization that the homeschool students can avoid. Every state in the United States has some form of state and local homeschool organization that make it even easier for students to find socialization opportunities. Many of these organizations have websites where parents can get lists of activities and attractions in their area or state where they can find even more socialization for homeschoolers.
If parents are choosing not to homeschool their children because of their view that their children will be unsocialized, then they are not really looking at the big picture.
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