Homeschoolers Socialize Too!
They get together for proms, sports and many other activities.
Some critics of homeschooling argue that its students are too isolated, that they don’t get enough socialization. Not so, insist homeschooling proponents.
Through social media and Internet groups, homeschooled students can find and enjoy many of the extra-curricular activities that students who attend school enjoy, from sports teams to music lessons to proms.
Homeschooled students also participate in co-op classes and take courses at community colleges, giving them a classroom experience.
Children who are homeschooled forge friendships with other kids at extra-curricular activities and with other homeschooled children.
“There is a huge amount of socialization in a homeschooler’s life,” insists Mike Fox, a Smyrna, DE dad who, with wife Lisa, homeschools their 5-year-old daughter Arianna. “We meet up with families all the time, from the YMCA swim class to a recent family fun time at Xbos Family Fun center where around 60 or more homeschoolers and parents ate and played with other homeschoolers.”
Internet Groups and Social Media
Homeschoolers take advantage of online groups to network and share information and resources. Chester County Homeschoolers was started in 2001 and now boasts 600 members, predominantly from Chester County, PA. Members post activities, from tutoring and academic classes to social programs such as roller-skating, proms and summer camps.
“I am not sure if there is anything that homeschooled students can’t find,” says Becky Albrecht, a Chester County mother who homeschooled her seven children and founded Chester County Homeschoolers.
Social media provides an excellent tool to get information out to many people quickly. Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania homeschooling groups have Facebook pages that discuss topics ranging from political policy to an upcoming Folk Festival.
“With the Internet and social media, the dissemination of information has become easier, and even immediate,”
“The resources, tips, books, groups and physical locations provide more than ample amount of social, physical and external activities to give a smorgasbord of options,” says Fox.
Many homeschooled families take part in co-op classrooms one or two days each week, where a parent with a particular skill teaches a class to a group of students. “Last year I took biology because my friend’s dad is a doctor who knows a lot about it,” explains Kelly Di Stefano, a high school junior from Cinnaminson, NJ. “If your parent specializes in some knowledge area, they volunteer to teach a class so everyone’s kids can benefit from it.”
“The co-op gives kids the classroom setting where they learn how to sit and take notes in a lecture,” adds Kelly’s mother, Sheryl.
In addition, homeschooled high school seniors can enroll in community college classes that offer the classroom experience as well as a head start on college credits.
Terri Akman is a contributing writer to MetroKids, preschool teacher and mother of three.