When people find out that we homeschool, the first question we are always asked is, “What about socialization?” It has always intrigued me that people aren’t as concerned about academics. Isn’t that what we would all assume our children are going to school for? Of course, we all know that both happen at school, and both can happen at home as well, and it isn’t as hard as you think!
The 2 definitions of socialization are the activity of mixing socially with others or the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. Both of these things can be done easily for homeschooling families.
Homeschooling families benefit from their children being around people of all ages, not just 20 kids born within 12 months of their child. When kids are around the same aged kids all day long, it’s easy to pick up behaviors from their peers. This can be good or bad. When we are with our kids during the day, we get to model the behaviors we want our children to have. We also find it is easier to nip bad behaviors quickly as we are the main influence during the day.
Not every child is an extrovert, so they may not need as much socialization as you think. Forcing a child into an activity rarely has a successful outcome. Instead, communicate with each child to see how they feel about the activities you have planned for them. We have found that one activity at a time per child is perfect for our family. I would be running around like a crazy person if they were in more. We have also found that kids overwhelmed by too many activities tend to be crabby, tired, and stressed out.
When all else fails, remember your purpose for homeschooling and your family goals. With that in mind, choosing activities for your kids becomes that much easier.
Click here for the next post which contains a list of suggestions to keep your family involved in a variety of ways!