The process of homeschooling can be overwhelming and require extra attention and time from both parents and children. Educational and personal development is sacrificed in order to pursue homeschooling and homeschoolers often get exposed to disapproval from the society as well.
The question, “Do homeschoolers feel lonely?” is a valid concern that needs to be studied in order to better understand and help this group of students.
Impact of Social Isolation for Homeschoolers
Homeschoolers have reduced interactions with their peers and this influences the child’s ability to develop emotionally and socially. According to research, schools are important because they teach students the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to be successful. It has been found that the social aspect of schools is crucial in helping students learn how to coexist, adjust, think of themselves, and react to different environments and different people.
In other words, social interaction is essential in the development and growth of a child. On the other hand, homeschoolers tend to be isolated from other students and therefore, not able to participate in activities or face experiences that would help their social and emotional growth.
They are deprived of chances to build relationships and gain experiences that could help them mentally and socially. Furthermore, a certain study found that those who were homeschooled comprised 8% of those identified with the condition of social anxiety. This percentage was higher than those attending a regular school and therefore, it is worth investigating whether homeschooling is causing any negative psychological effects.
Existing Resources for Homeschoolers
Homeschooled children do not usually have access to the same resources and academic opportunities as children in regular schools. Parents may not be able to provide the same level of quality instruction.
Despite the lack of attention in schools, the fact that homeschooling allows the child to learn at their own pace and pursue their own interests can be beneficial. In addition, many existing resources can help support the homeschoolers learning journey. Homeschooling organizations, online or in-person tutoring, classes or workshops by experienced teachers, and local programs are possible solutions that can help homeschoolers.
For example, organizations such as the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) provide advice and resources to homeschoolers. In addition, there are many online and in-person classes that can help homeschoolers with different topics.
Homeschooling During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many parents to consider homeschooling due to the virus-related closures of schools. The sudden shift to homeschooling is going to have an impact on homeschoolers’ ability to interact with other students, making them more prone to loneliness and isolation. Due to the risk of the virus, it is also an added challenge for parents and children to find effective ways to stay connected with their peers and maintain social interactions.
While homeschooling has the advantage of allowing people more control of their learning environment and educational development, it can also be a source of isolation and loneliness if not enough effort is put into making sure kids are able to connect with their peers. Parental guidance and support is needed to create a healthy home learning environment and foster social development for homeschoolers.
Parents should also make use of existing resources that provide support for homeschooling and help plan lessons, find activities and socialization opportunities for their children.
The Impact of Online Activities on Homeschoolers
In order to boost social interaction for homeschoolers, many parents have been taking advantage of online platforms to keep their children engaged. Some parents are using online classes, while others are using social media platforms, online gaming, and virtual camps.
The online activities are generally beneficial in terms of helping homeschoolers have more contact with their peers, but the impact of too much time spent on the internet is also worth noting. It is not uncommon to see children addicted to online activities, which can lead to anxiety, irritability, and in extreme cases, mental health problems. Parents are responsible to ensure healthy online habits and have a balanced approach to online activities.
Bringing the Community Together for Support
In order to help homeschoolers in the best possible way, it is important for parents, teachers, and school administrators to collaborate, communicate, and support each other. Bringing the whole community together and share their experiences, skills, resources, and opportunities is a great and effective way to help homeschoolers cope with the challenges of isolation.
Additionally, parents can use various platforms, such as social media, and opportunity websites to connect with other homeschoolers and teams, join local and global chats, and find activities and classes for their children. This will encourage the development of relationships with peers and this improved access to services will make the homeschooling process much easier. Taking part in online and large activities can offer homeschoolers with safe, positive experiences and this will help them gain more confidence.
Creating a Home Learning Environment and Routine
Homeschooled children need to be able to adjust their learning schedule and approach. According to research, it is beneficial for parents to create and provide a structured home learning environment for their children.
This can include certain rituals, and activities designed to establish a home learning schedule and routine. This helps homeschooled children to overcome the feeling of loneliness and instead focus on creating a productive and organized learning environment. By making sure that the child’s work area is organized and with the availability of supplies, homeschoolers will have a healthier learning environment.
This will ensure that they are prepared and in the right mindset, not just for homeschooling, but also creating a healthy balance between school and home life.
Addressing Mental Wellbeing and Counseling Needs of Homeschoolers
Homeschoolers’ mental health is something that needs to be specially taken into consideration since they may be more prone to feelings of isolation. It is important for parents to be aware of how homeschooling can impact their child’s mental health, and to establish an open communication and trust between parents, teachers, educators, and counselors so that children can be properly assessed and supported if necessary. Counseling and mental health services for homeschoolers should be widely available, whether it’s in the form of online therapy, counseling, phone sessions, or in-person.
Educators and parents should take a proactive approach in finding ways to connect homeschoolers with mental health professionals if the student shows any signs of emotional distress.
Given the growing number of homeschoolers, it is important to make sure that they receive adequate support to help them cope with loneliness and be as successful as possible. Educators, parents, and homeschoolers should be open to existing resources, online activities, and initiatives that can help homeschoolers be less isolated and have better social interactions. Parents should also learn to find the right balance between work and leisure and allow their children to take the time they need to adapt to their learning environment.
With the right guidance and support, homeschoolers can adjust easier to their new way of learning and may even find a more healthy and rewarding learning journey.