Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular every day. As an increasing number of families opt for this choice, the home-schooled children need to find ways to make friends. Unfortunately, being home-schooled means they are not exposed to other students in a traditional school setting.
The lack of familiarity makes it difficult for them to meet new people or create meaningful relationships. Although it can be daunting, there are ways to make friends as a homeschooler if you know where to look.
Taking advantage of homeschooling networks, platforms, camps, and activities are avenues that often lead to finding like-minded individuals with whom to form meaningful bonds.
Form Connections Through Homeschool Networks
One outright way to make friends with people who are part of the homeschooling community is to find them through networks. Homeschooling networks exist all around the world in the form of cooperatives, virtual communities, and physical homeschool academies. Joining a network can help to connect you with people who are in the same homeschooling situation as you, and provide a great starting point for making additional friends.
Cooperatives are often organized through leadership within homeschooling circles, and they serve to connect a group of homeschoolers while they complete the same courses. By joining a cooperative, the students are able to create bonds and friendships with other families who have the same goals, concerns, and ideas regarding homeschooling.
It is often beneficial to join a co-op in order to help make learning more enjoyable by studying with a group, as well as building a support system within the homeschooling location. If your area does not have many options for cooperatives, there are virtual homeschooling networks which exist to help foster relationships between homeschoolers.
These communities often have forums, blogs, or websites for connecting with other homeschoolers nearby. Some sites even provide resources to help connect homeschoolers with activities, camps, and other social events for children in similar situations. Finally, physical homeschool academies can be found in many areas and are open to both homeschoolers and public school students.
These academies offer great opportunities to both expand educational regimes and make friends with people who share your interests. Typical activities offered at these academies include the study of traditional lessons, along with theatre, art, martial arts, debate, robotics, and speech.
Computer Platforms that Connect Homeschoolers
Along with interactive networks, online computer platforms have been created to bring homeschoolers together. Platforms such as “FriendED” offer students and parents the opportunity to connect with other homeschoolers who have similar interests.
Through FriendED, parents or students can find or create a group to join and even interact with other members through chat rooms and forums. Platforms such as FriendED allow homeschoolers to collaborate, ask questions of other members, and ultimately make friends with people who share the same experiences and perspectives about homeschooling. Parents who want to start their own group may also find it helpful to search for existing groups first, as many of these groups offer the same experiences and resources.
Attend Camps and Participate in Activities
Another way to make friends as a homeschooler is to attend camps and participate in activities with other homeschoolers. There are camps for all different ages, levels of education, and interests, so homeschoolers will be able to attend camps tailored to their needs.
The majority of these camps are designed to foster relationships between students who are in the same educational situation and are usually led by experienced homeschooling leaders. Many of these camps also offer the opportunity to take part in activities such as sports, music lessons, language classes, or art and science projects. Homeschoolers can also participate in social activities with other homeschoolers.
Most cities have activities available specifically for homeschoolers, such as field trips, movie nights, or group outings. By attending these activities, your children will be able to form connections with other homeschoolers, which can be key to making lasting friendships.
Befriending the Neighbors
Another viable option for homeschoolers is befriending the neighbors. Your neighbors may not be homeschoolers themselves, but they may have children who are similar in age and who may be open to new friendships.
By reaching out and introducing yourself, you will be able to start conversations about homeschooling and form connections with other families with children. You can also look for ways to help out with your neighbors’ activities, such as joining their sports teams, offering to tutor their children, or even taking part in their scouting or girl scout activities. This is an effective way to build relationships with neighbors, make friends, and show your commitment to the community.
Volunteering and Employing Networking
Volunteering opportunities are also a great way for homeschoolers to make friends. Volunteering for local organizations such as charities, non-profits, or community events can be helpful for meeting people in the community who share similar interests and beliefs. By volunteering together, homeschoolers can not only make connections with people from different backgrounds, but also make invaluable contributions to their local community.
In addition, homeschoolers can make connections with small business owners, who may be able to offer summer or part-time employment opportunities. Doing part-time work or internships can help homeschoolers build their resumes, gain new skills, and gain valuable experience in the workplace.
The connections they make with other employees, however, may also help them make friends and build relationships with people who have similar interests.
Stay Connected Through Social Media
Last but not least, connecting with other homeschool students through social media can be a useful tool for making friends. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow individuals to connect with others from around the world and share ideas, thoughts, and experiences.
Through this method, homeschoolers can find like-minded people who have similar interests in education and hobbies. By following hashtags that relate to homeschooling and engaging with individuals who use them, homeschoolers can join in conversations, start up groups, and ultimately create meaningful bonds with people who are in the same situation as them. ConclusionMaking friends can be tough for anyone, and especially for homeschoolers who have less of an opportunity to meet people in a social setting.
Luckily, homeschoolers are not alone and have many available resources and avenues to turn to in order to make meaningful connections. By taking advantage of homeschool networks and computer platforms, attending camps and participating in activities, befriending the neighbors, volunteering, and staying connected through social media, homeschoolers can easily build and maintain relationships with people who understand their unique situations.