One of the biggest concerns many new home school families have is, “What about friendships?”
A common misconception about home educators is that their children are “unsocialized.”
If you choose to home educate, you’ll have to put up with comments like:
I wish I could home school, but my child is just too social.
I thought about home schooling, but my child really needs social interactions.
I value my child’s friendships too much to home school.
The truth is that home schooled children do have friends, but most home educating families believe that school should not be all about social interaction. At some point, education needs to be about education. Home schooled kids have the opportunity to learn without having to worry about whether or not the boy sitting next to them likes them, whether or not the mean girl is going to make fun of them that day, and whether or not they’re going to get invited to a dance.
Most home school families do participate in things like field trips, science experiments, and community service with other home school families; however, the emphasis in home education is on education. It’s not on friendship.
If you’re curious about how your home schooled child will make friends, keep a few things in mind:
Friends do not have to go to the same school as you.
Friends do not have to be the same age as you.
Friends do not have to live in the same place as you.
Home schooled kids can make friends at church, at local nursing homes, in your apartment building, in your home school group, in local clubs, at the YMCA, in their Girl Scout Troop, or at their dance classes.
Home schooled children can also make friends online through message boards, Facebook groups, and websites designed to help home schooled kids interact with one another.
The idea that home schooled kids don’t have friends is a myth and places limitations on what a “friend” is. Is a “friend” only someone that you attend school with? If not, then you won’t have a problem.