- Category Advice Column, Brainline, Child, Education, Parenting, Tween & Teen
Socialising is often a big concern for prospective home schoolers as well as the family of home schoolers. However, these students often get to socialize with a greater variety of age groups when compared to learners who attend mainstream schools.
Seeing that Brainline’s theme for February is “Friendship” – we would like to share some ideas on how to encourage our students to socialize and form meaningful friendships:
- Although it is always great to make new friends, maintaining existing friendships is also important. Make time to visit with friends from previous schools or other circles.
- Most home-schooling families focus on extracurricular activities such as art, scouts, gymnastics, music lessons, horseback riding and sports, which allow students an opportunity to make friends with similar interests.
- Visit kid friendly places during hours that mainstream children attend school. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other home-school families and most likely kids with similar ages.
- Reach out to the online home-schooling community – there are some groups who organize fantastic events aimed at home schoolers.
- Or why not host a home-schooling social event? Organise an event at a museum or at a play area where the children truly have an opportunity to socialize with one another. For our older students’ ideas like a book club, art show attending a play etc., are excellent options.
If the idea of socializing with others makes your heart beat faster, or makes you feel stressed or panicked, here is some good news, you are not alone! Do not fear that you might say something silly or that others think you are weird.
Instead of letting these fears prevent you from meeting others, challenge your fears. Ask yourself how many times you have actually said something silly? What evidence is there that people think you are weird?
Should the anxiety get the better of you there are tips to make the experience better:
- If you are meeting up with a new group of friends, ask if you can take another friend along.
- Upon arriving at the venue, find a place where you feel comfortable, perhaps not being the centre of attention and moving to a corner will relieve some stress.
- Most importantly, allow time to warmup and get used to the group.
Brainline has provided structured home education on a distance education model to thousands of learners since 1990. For more information visit www.brainline.com
Credit to Brainline student: Alyssa Coetzee