Homeschooling vs regular schooling can be quite a difficult decision for a parent to make. There are many different ‘types’ of schools as well as many different methods of homeschooling.
I, personally, plan to homeschool my children, although my son will be attending pre-school for one morning per week when he turns three. I don’t believe that homeschooling affects the social skills of children (in fact, I believe quite the opposite!) but I do feel that it’s important for them to learn to ‘hold their own’, without the backup of mother.
The first thing people worry about when thinking about homeschooling their kids is usually the issue of socialisation. However, this worry is usually unfounded. A school setting isn’t actually a very effective means of teaching a child social skills; after all, when they are finally released into the big wide world, they will enter a whole new dimension where they are expected to socialise with people of all different ages, whereas in school they are generally kept in age-groups. School (in my opinion), not only teaches children their ABC’s, but it also teaches them compliance, competitiveness, submission to authority figures, and to think in a certain way. It doesn’t teach them about being social in the real world.
So, if you choose to homeschool, how can you make sure your children still get to reap the benefits of structured time away from mum and away from the home, whilst still learning in an environment which nurtures their differences?
What a lot of parents choose to do is set up a homeschooling group with other homeschooling families in the area. This way, the parents can take turns to look after the children, and one or two of the parents can have a day off. This can be a good opportunity to have some child-free downtime, spend some time with the younger children, get some housework done, or even go to work. To add to this, your child will still be learning in a loving, nurturing environment, but will have the opportunity to learn without your backup and spend time with other children. You will need to check out the laws in your area with regards to homeschooling and childcare.
There are loads of fab, nature-based camps around in which your child can learn valuable skills such as shelter-building, fire-making, cooking and other survival skills. The groups will often be mixed-age, and run in a woodland setting. It’s a wonderful way for them to meet other kids, have a blast and learn real life skills that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
If your kiddo loves football, why not see if they want to try out for the local team? This way, they’ll get to know some of the kids they may not have met otherwise as well as doing something fun that is beneficial for their health.
You may find that there is quite a large group of homeschooling families in your area. If so, there may be a homeschooling social group that meets weekly, bi weekly or monthly. These will often have a large mix of different age groups so will do activities to ensure the older ones don’t get bored. If there isn’t a homeschooling group in your area, why not start one?
What do your homeschooled kids do for fun? How do you make sure they get enough time with other kids?