There are a lot of benefits to homeschooling your children but you need to be prepared for a challenge. Before you get started, you need to plan your curriculum for the year and that’s a lot tougher than people realize.
If you’re struggling to get organized, check out this free list of homeschooling resources to help you out. Unfortunately, planning your lessons isn’t the only challenge that you will have to face. A lot of parents worry about the social development of their child when they are homeschooling because they don’t come into contact with as many children as they would if they were in a traditional school. However, you don’t need to worry because there is no reason why your child can’t have an active social life even though you homeschool. These are some of the best ways to help your homeschooled child build social skills.
Like most developmental skills, socializing is a lot easier for children if they start at a young age. That’s why it’s a good idea to put your child into a daycare facility when they are young, even if you plan to homeschool them later on. This gives them the opportunity to meet other children and interact with them in a new environment, which helps them to develop their social skills.
Playdates are another simple way to help your child socialize from a young age. Reach out to other parents in the area with children of a similar age and see whether they want to set up a playdate. It gives your child a chance to socialize and you might even meet some new friends in the process. As the kids get older, they won’t need you to organize these social events for them because they will already know the other local kids and they will take the initiative themselves.
Social media gets a lot of criticism but even though there are a lot of negatives, it does have its benefits. Your children can use it to supplement their offline socializing and connect with other kids. Just make sure that you monitor their use to make sure that they are being safe online. You can also use social media to find homeschool networks and set up study groups. Having a support network of other homeschool parents is a huge benefit for you, especially if you are new to homeschooling, and it helps all of the kids to develop their social skills as well.
Extra Curricular Activities
Encouraging your kids to join clubs is a great way to help their social skills. Sports teams, for example, are great for kids because they teach teamwork skills, help them to stay active, and broaden their social circle at the same time. If they are not interested in sports, consider their other hobbies and interests and look for some local clubs.
Social skills are so important and you need to make sure that your child develops them from a young age, which can be a challenge when you are homeschooling. However, if you follow these steps, there is no reason why your child can’t have an active social life.
photo credit: Hai Nguyen Tien