At one point or another during your homeschool journey, you have been approached and possibly questioned by someone regarding the “S” word. That word that we all cringe to hear because we know what the public’s image is in comparison to the truth. Sometimes it is a relative that uses this word while other times it is the nosy cashier at the local grocery store. The word that makes us feel like we have to defend our choices. Yes, that word…. SOCIALIZATION.
The truth of the matter is that we know our children are engaging with other humans on a more regular, real life basis than if they were squished into a classroom, six hours a day with 25 students their own age. With that said, at times we have all doubted if we are giving our child enough interesting, engaging and new social experiences.
With this said, to kick off 2018, here are eight ideas for you to incorporate during the new year!
- Have friends over– Like I said, homeschooling and socialization looks different for everyone. One thing you can do to incorporate socialization into your homeschooling day is to invite friends over to learn together. It might be a simple one-day art lesson or a more involved history lesson. It doesn’t matter. The more the merrier whenever you’re learning. Am I right? Get a system in place and invite your friends over whenever your family needs to do so.
- Go on a field trip– If everyone is feeling a bit of cabin fever due to homeschooling, schedule a field trip. There are always tons of free field trip options. It’s just a matter of where you want to do. Make sure you invite friends along, so you can make this a perfect opportunity to socialize and get involved with other homeschooling families.
- Have a friendly competition– If your homeschoolers and those around you are looking for a little social fun, put together a friendly competition. The competition can be anything from an obstacle course to a 5K…. from a pinewood derby race to a science experiment day. Whatever you decide, make it fun and memorable. Celebrate the fact you can do this as part of school!
- Hold your own Master Chef, Jr. – Cooking is a great way to get your homeschoolers excited about being social. Invite a few friends over and have a cook off. Cooking is an awesome opportunity to get to know someone else but to also learn. Don’t just pick something easy to cook, though, challenge your kids a little.
- Volunteer to read, perform or play a game with elders at a nursing home/assisted living facility – Older individuals become rejuvenated when the younger folks come in, visit and engage with them. Call your local nursing home or assisted living and offer a small musical performance, reading with or playing games with some of their residents. It will be a great experience for your family as well as for the residents.
- Help a neighbor out– Socialization can look may different ways. One way you can incorporate socialization into your homeschool curriculum is by helping a neighbor out. Get your kids excited about helping others.
- Arrange a FaceTime pen pal– If your family isn’t able to get out and do outside activities much, try to find a pen pal that is interested in doing FaceTime. It’s kind of like an old-fashioned pen pal, but more modern.
- Hang out with the family– When it comes to socialization, there are no written rules when it comes down to it. You get to create the rules because you’re the one homeschooling. Hanging out with your family is a perfectly acceptable way to get more socialization. Try a family game night or just spend time talking and laughing with one another.
Eva Goldstein-Meola, is not only co-founder of Open Tent Academy, but an instructor as well as a former homeschooling mother. She has lived in New Jersey, Florida, Western Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and now resides just outside of Jerusalem. Eva holds a Master’s Degree as a Consulting Teacher of Reading and Writing, IEW certification and a Bachelor’s Degree as an Elementary Teacher. She has also been involved in education since 1986 as a Private Tutor, Teacher, Reading Specialist, Homeschooling Mother, Homeschooling Teacher and Business Owner of an Online Education Consortium. In addition to teaching, Eva enjoys cooking, baking, playing Settlers of Catan, traveling with her husband Jonathan, Broadway Musicals and reading. Eva teaches a variety of literature and IEW writing courses for Open Tent Academy.
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