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Not according to my friend Dora! Here is her story. The reason I am telling it is because I was curious how home schooling effects their three kids.

She sensed my scepticism and destroyed the myth that home schooled children are poorly socialised. I believe her insights will be useful for you too!

Dora’s kids 8, 11 and 15 have been home schooled their entire lives. In her view, depending on your resources, home schooling can be a great option.

In different countries and states where home schooling is allowed, you can get a lot of support. A lot of people worry about their kids’ social life, but here is what her experience shows.

There are various ways of socialisation and besides, kids find it so easy to meet and play with other kids.

Everything happens naturally and the kids can choose who they want to play with and will definitely not miss having to stay 8 hours a day in a classroom with a bunch of bullies.

Here are her suggestions:

Use Meetup and Yahoo Groups to find other home schooling families in the area. 

The families bond, have activities together weekly, and have play dates. This also allows the parents who are great in a subject to share that expertise and teach all the kids in a classroom style manner.

Plus, the kids get friends who are living a similar life, going on field trips, and having the traditional sleepovers, etc. that kids in school get. 

Participating in local youth sports is another great way to make friend, interests like; baseball, football, soccer, martial arts, dance, etc. When I was a kid, you signed up at school.

Each activity gives the kids a team of new friends to bond with over a shared activity. These friends then fall into the normal routines of play dates, birthday parties, etc.

Scouting – until kids get tired of it, they can join in troops doing all the scouting activities, and make new friends.

Churches are perfect for the socialisation of children with a lot of Sunday activities and church camps. Not only you can be sure that your kid is going to be treated well by other kids, but you can have peace of mind that they will engage in some pro-social and positive activities.

Workshops - Dora’s eldest son took a robotics class at a local university in their “summer camp” program (for kids). He met other kids who like what he likes. 

The Neighbourhood, they meet, play, and do all the normal things.

Family and personal friends - kids know their cousins, and the children of their parent’s friends. As long as you get together often, the kids will get to play.

Long term travel – When you home school your kids, you can also do so on the move.

Long term travelling with your children will create thousands of memories.

You will share numerous unforgettable moments and all because you didn’t have to take into consideration their school schedule.

More and more people are taking up life on the road. Latest stats reveal that nearly 1 million Australians are full-time RV-ers. According to an infographic by professional removalists from Melbourne, couples travel 45% of the time with their kids and 66% of these couples have 1 or 2 kids whom they home school.

Bottom line is socialising is easy. It’s reflexive to think that “Not going to school means not being socialised.” but the truth is kids can have more than a classroom of peers to interact with, and a schedule full of fun like any other kid. The education side of it is the harder challenge.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • An informative and interesting read, thanks.

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  • Living in Mozambique for 15 years, I saw my sister homeschooling her children and 1 of my friends is homeschooling as well. So I’ve see from nearby how well it can work and I certainly don’t think that homeschooling deprives socially !

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  • It would take hard work and commitment to successfully home school your kids. Not only will you be responsible for their education but also their socialisation skills. You really need to be on top of it all for best results

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  • I met a family of seven beautiful children at a Ice-skating rink when I took my pre-schoolers to learn to skate one day. I put them in their skates and popped them on the ice. I was going to follow them buy they just took off slowly. So I just watched them. A couple of girls about 7 and 9 said hello to me as they passed. Then they started to talk with my kids. They then took my kids by the hand and showed them some moves. The older brother and sisters aged 14-17 came over and asked if the kids were mine and struck up a conversation. These were very social, intelligent children. I asked where was their Mum she was sitting reading to their smallest child and at the end of the session I spoke to her. She told me this was part of their sports day and they were then off to swimming and piano in the afternoon. The kids all teach one an other. They all have outside interests when they coached junior sports like tennis and soccer and netball teams. The two older kids were enrolled at community college learning languages and accounting. This family were very close and well adjusted. I met with them for a good year at the ice rink where my kids formed a lovely friendship with this lovely family.

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  • The demise f Sunday School attendance saw the rise ands rise of re schools. Sunday school os far less expensive and does the job well. You may not get a curriculum and written report but if you have good parenting strategies in place at home, you won’t need one. None of my three went to pre school, and i have one with three degrees, one with a PhD and one award winner in his field.

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  • I think socializing is different to education.
    I know of a family that home school and the reason why is because they didnt want their children mixing with people that dont follow their strict religion. Sadly the children are not very social at all and dont even mix very well with their other family members :(

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  • Interesting article with some great ideas. I am planning on homeschooling my daughter and socialising was my main concern. I had some similar ideas about getting her out there but got some ideas I hadn’t thought of. Thanks :)

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  • I considered home schooling for a while and wish I had looked further into it, but I do think for my two school aged children school has been a better choice so far. There is a home schooling family at playgroup I take my 1 yr old to, I couldn’t really say how well they are doing, the kids seems okay socially, but a bit sheltered, they come from a very religious background. There is also a high school / college aged helper for the playgroup who has also been home schooled, she is very smart, is quite driven in her education and is contemplating what she would like to do, she has strengths in maths, she is doing harder stuff than I ever did in pre-tertiary in college and is considering accounting. Talking with her has made me start thinking about it again, but although I find the idea interesting and can see some advantages to it, I don’t think I would be suited as a home schooler, I am too introverted and would be a poor model for socialising them.

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  • There is an amazing element of control over their social engagements though. That in itself can mean they are not properly socialised for the real world. But I agree some families find a good balance.

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  • I think homes schooling can be fine so long as the kids are exposed to children their own ages in some capacity, so social activities like sports and dance can really help. I think kids do need interaction with their peers which home schooling alone would not allow for.

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  • Our children are more socialised than some school children. They learn at their age level, but also higher grades, because they want to. We don’t just sit at home and do book work, we teach and learn in any way that works.

    2 of our boys want to join the Australian Defence Force (Army, the other Air Force), they will be joining cadets in 2yrs, because they want to learn more about what ‘could’ be involved in the ADF.

    Our daughter is 9, and she is already making her own clothing because she wants to do a fashion course through tafe (to get her diploma) & move on to a degree at university.

    These children have their goals (some kids don’t know what they want to do in life until after year 10), and we are teaching/learning and working towards those goals. If they shall change their mind, in regards to their life goals, then that is fine too, because they are learning their maths, science & tech, english, history, physical & health education, arts (Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Dance).. All at their ‘school level’ but also as I said before, above their school levels…

    They also have dancing, karate, library, shopping, excursions, meet ups, play dates, parties, sleepovers, etc. Just like a lot of other children.

    We do have a child in school, he is 16 this year and goes to a special needs school. He prefers to be in school because that is what he is used to. I am happy with that too, but when we go out outings with him, he is also involved in our learning, he loves that too.

    Each to their own really. Some people are for it, others hate the idea. I don’t really care about what other people think… I am only concerned about how well my children are going!

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  • a very interesting read, something i to have been curious about

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  • But one thing you do miss out on when not educating students through school is the camaraderie of going through the same process and working with group of people their own age and level of learning towards goals. Group work etc.

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  • I know a lot of homeschooling families and I have seen it both work amazingly well and not so well. The biggest thing is how the parents do it. My son’s best friend is home schooled and I see no difference in him that my son who goes to mainstream school

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  • I don’t agree with home schooling unless there is a good reason or the can’t cope in a mainstream school

    Reply

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