Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Is Social Interaction Limited in Home School?

The big point a lot of people will raise with me when I tell them that I Home School the boys is:

 “I would really worry about the Social side of it”
I totally get that and if I am completely honest it was something that really worried me!

William is equally a social butterfly and a happy boy when left by himself; some of the problems that we had with him when he started school was the in class fighting. Yes, boys will be boys and with a majority of the class, at the time, being boys you can see why this would happen.
William quickly understood the social aspect within the “playground rules” but he couldn’t emotionally grasp the concept of verbally speaking his mind in situations. He would quite happily play and even have the odd ‘rough and tumble’ with others but when it went too far, as it sometimes can, he would either end up in tears or hurt someone badly to show them that he wasn’t happy with what had happened.
This all being taken into consideration there was a thought for me about socialisation:

“How would a child who is learning social awareness and boundaries carry on learning this when he is even more isolated within Home School?”
There ended up being lots of ‘what if’ and ‘could we do this’ moments; within the initial planning and organisation of wanting to home school it became apparent that there was lots available. These options I thought I would cover:

Now I know not everyone is religious and I completely understand that but for me, and subsequently the Boys, it was a big social interaction. There are a few children their age within church and the Kids group as well as other children of similar ages. They spend about 40 minutes interacting with them and this has led to some friendships being made that are built upon from outside the church setting.
Most local Libraries offer a range of clubs. Having our Library being 15 minutes away it was ideal to go see what they offer. There currently is two afternoon (After School) clubs available within the days that I have the boys.
Mondays there is a storytelling club where children meet, hear a story and then choose books to read themselves or together.
Tuesdays they have a great Lego club, again, like church, there are children of similar ages there.
Connecting with your local Library is always beneficial for any parent.
Within the Club banner though William and James go to a couple of sport clubs a term with their Mum; their mum connected through the local Sports centre and found out several clubs that were on. Since September they have Joined Football, Judo, Martial Arts and a ‘Free style’ Trampoline club. (There is also an Ice Skating lesson on a Wednesday morning when I have them)
Through these clubs both Boys have made some good friendships which have either reinforced their enjoyment of the club or have continued in home social activities.

Home School Meet ups
If you look hard enough you will see that there is a massive Home School Community, for example, there are 5 different Home School groups run within this county alone. Each group organise educational trips out to different venues, fun alternative meet ups like bike riding and skate parks and finally just the standard weekly meet up where the children get to run around have fun and us parents get to sit, enjoy a cuppa and have a chat.


Family and Friends
This is different for everybody I know but we all have some friends or family with children of similar age; we might have formed good friendships with people from toddler groups etc or just have family members with children of similar ages, I am sure that we are not 100% alone as parents.
So here’s the best breakdown of our Social Calendar:

Monday                               Storytelling and Reading Club
Tuesday                               Home School Free meet up 12pm – 2pm, Lego Club 4pm – 6pm
Wednesday                        Ice Skating
Thursday                             Sport; Trampoline and Martial Arts
Friday                                   Home School Educational Trip, Meet up or More Sport clubs
Saturday                              Family and Friends
Sunday                                 Church and Family

(There is actually a different home ed activity set up for every day by the HomeEd meet up group)
As you can see there are still lots of ways that we fit socialisation in to the boys lives. Within it they have the opportunity to enjoy and grow friendships and be around other children who are of similar age or background with Schooling.
There are lots of other ways that they can socialise too and now that we are about to enter term 3 I look back at the beginning and wonder why I was as worried as I was.
If you have any questions then please ask.


  1. I imagine you get asked that question a lot :) it would be the first thing I'd be thinking of, but second is about separation, and I have a question for you.

    My daughter hates (or hated) being separated from us (it was after a year where we lost my sister, her husband and my step-dad so understandable) but going to school has helped her to learn that she doesn't need to be in mum and dads pocket all the time as we will return, how do you as a homeschooler deal with that element?

    1. Thanks Ashley! That's a great question and without passing the buck here is it ok for me to right up a separate post on it? I don't think I could answer your question as well as I could in this little box. :)

    2. You are doing a fantastic job. I am informed about this topic, because many in S.A. are doing home schooling.Betsie Richter for PickaBest.

  2. You seem to have it well sussed and ensure they are getting positive interaction, my son is on his 3rd teacher this year and I have just found out he may have a 4th for the last couple of weeks of term. I am so concerned about this total lack of consistency. Something your children will always have

    1. That was one of the problems we had with William in year R too many teacher changes and it showed that I affected him badly. Home Schooling does provide a better balance that way.

  3. This is really interesting, it's definitely something I've thought about when we consider home schooling. My question actually is around longevity. Do you intend to continue home schooling for the duration of their schooling or are you leaving the decision up to them or intending for them to go into school at a particular age? I'd struggle at secondary school level as my own education, confidence and lack of teaching experience would hold me back.

    1. Thanks Natalie. I think that's it; it's definitely something that people often question.

      A great question from you; like Ashley though I think I'll put your question into a separate post. It's definitely needed to cover a couple of bits within your question.

  4. My wife and I constantly go back and forth over whether to do homeschool, public school, or private. I worry about the kids they meet being to homogeneous, but you're right, things like library activities are a way to get at least a little more interaction outside of a homeschool or even private school environment.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I agree that it's can potentially be a problem with who they interact with. I think that in any schooled environment these situations are great for any child.

  5. I am loving ur posts about homeschooling.. really interesting.. thank you for sharing.

  6. I am loving ur posts about homeschooling.. really interesting.. thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you! Am glad you are. I'm hoping to catch up and link them all through together as there are some missing. Bit pleased you're enjoying all the ones you've found

  7. great post! my thoughts about socializing is 'what other advantage does socializing for year in a room full of 8 year olds have other than preparing them to spend a year socializing with a room full of 9 year olds?'

    The more socializing they have with adults the more productive. What chance does a 13 year old have in a school environment to be able to learn while surrounded by 4-6 year olds too? Well holy crap, all of a sudden they are teachers.

    Choose Your Own Adventure

    “We went to a homeschool meetup with the 11 year old. It was just him and a bunch of little kids, homeschool meetups are not for us!”


    “This week at homeschool? My 11 year old presented facts to kids and adults about three types of trees in the park, and had a great conversation about the effects of soil erosion and invasive species with a group of adults who were sitting around anyway watching their little kids play.

    option 2 is easy. and important. :)

    it all depends what you call socializing :D