Whether you have just started your journey in homeschooling, or you are in it as a temporary situation due to the pandemic and because schools close their doors and resort to distance education, it is possible in the two previous situations that the first question that you or ask yourself is related to socialization, which is: How will it be Your children are healthy and well social if they are learning at home rather than in a school environment?
This is a common concern. Most of us spent our childhood in a traditional educational process, studying in schools surrounded by teachers and other children daily, and during this process social interaction is an essential part of our educational experience. But rest assured, homeschooling is usually not done exclusively at home, and as a parent, you will have to make more effort to positively socialize your children, just follow the following lines to learn how to do this.
It is important first to understand what is meant by the term “socialization”. Socialization refers to social interaction, but it also refers to the understanding and learning to deal with social norms and behavioral rules in society. Most scholars view peer interaction, which generally occurs in school, to be a critical component of this type of socialization.
However, many of those who embrace the idea of homeschooling argue that the socialization children receive at school is unnatural and harmful, and that students who receive their education at home are often more self-confident than school children. The reasons behind this are that the structure in homeschooling is completely different and more equipped for real life, and that home schooled children do not often fall victim to bullying. As a result, these children grow to be confident and self-confident adults as well, and get on better with people in general.
Supporters of homeschooling argue that socialization always begins at home. A child who is not old enough to enter school is socialized in a family way. Children will learn from their families and those around them how to behave and interact in social settings, how to cooperate, how to solve problems, and how to behave. In general simply. As for the traditional school education model, things are completely different. There is very little freedom granted to the children present, so the children learn that they must follow instructions, and that they should ask permission before moving or speaking, and standing in line, and this in the view of supporters of homeschooling is not socialization as much as it is adjustment and stereotyping. (1)
Research tells us that home schooled children can be well and fairly social, both in terms of learning the social norms of society and in terms of social interaction. Many children who study at home have large social networks and active social calendars, and these children have teachers who come for them at home, in addition to the possibility of taking part in field trips, going on dates to play with their peers, and participating in ballet or gymnastics classes, team sports, and lessons Music, and other activities.
But what those opposed to homeschooling argue is that the level of social interaction these activities provide may not be appropriate for all children’s personal and social development. Simply, families and children who study at home differ from each other, and what is appropriate for a family that homeschools may be inappropriate or unlikely for another family, for example, a child who studies at home and thrives socially and participates in many activities does not reflect the child’s experience He studies at home, lives in a secluded place and has few social outlets, and not all parents have the ability or psychological readiness to involve their children in different and varied activities and follow them up.
The matter is completely different from case to case, children who may be subjected to bullying in school may find homeschooling a very positive social experience, but on the other hand, children who are educated at home by their parents who carefully control their lives and social activities may find homeschooling a hindrance. socially. Likewise, even with the same number of social activities and outlets, an introverted child may find homeschooling an ideal social experience while an extroverted child may feel lonely and stunted. (2)
It is true that social interactions with trusted adults, such as parents, other family members and teachers, can be beneficial for children, but it is also extremely important for children to play with other children, and it is not just a matter of having playmates, as good socialization teaches your child how to interact. With conflicts with others and their resolution, how to do basic things like sharing, collaborating, respecting another child’s personal space, and generally having respect and compassion.
Most home teachers will tell you that the thing to keep in mind about homeschooling is that a small portion of it is what happens in the home. Most children can finish their lessons or academic work within a few hours, and they still have several hours available every day to do other activities, and most of these activities involve interactions with others, (3) and some of the things you can do:
- Subscribe to parenting groups who house tutor their kids:
These groups are one of the best ways to connect with other homeschooling families, and so that your children can play and learn with the children of these families. This will enable you to learn about the experiences of others, benefit from its negatives and learn from its positives, and it will also give you the opportunity to learn about new ideas and places of activities and sports that you can take your child to. (4)
- Participate in the sport your child prefers:
If you have an athletic child, joining a sports team is a great way to make friends with peers of his age. Sports includes many important skills that you want your child to learn, such as teamwork, communication, managing emotions, and resolving problems and conflicts.
- Identify your child’s hobby or talent and involve him in activities related to it:
Depending on what interests your child, you can search for activities related to that interest that enable him to meet like-minded children and teens. For example, art, dance, music or drawing lessons can help your child meet others who have similar interests to him, and who can engage and develop each other in these interests. (5)
Volunteer with your child to serve in an orphanage, homeless shelter or a kitchen to feed the poor. Older children can volunteer in adult literacy classes, help younger children who are struggling in school, or participate in charitable exhibitions where the proceeds of the sale go to charity. (6)
- Enroll your child for classes:
Even without enrolling your child in a full-day school program, there are many academic-oriented classes you can find, whether it’s a science class or lab experiments class, a tech, computers and robotics class, or a language class. Also, many nonprofit and environmental centers, museums, and even local libraries offer educational classes for children of all ages. These classes are great ways for your child to get used to a classroom-like environment and interact with others.
- Go for walks periodically:
Children who are educated at home need sunlight and movement like any child. Take your child to visit the nearest park frequently, and also go with him to the zoo and botanical gardens, of course there are other children in these places, which may help your child to interact and make friends quickly.
- Participation in summer camps and camps:
Outdoor summer camps can be a good experience for home schooling kids. There are many types of summer camps according to different areas of interest, you will find traditional summer camps, sports camps, and music camps. Let your child know your budget for summer camp, and how far you would like to be allowed to travel, and let them choose which camp they want to attend. Summer camp is an opportunity to get away from the atmosphere of home and even from parents’ control and grip, and it is also an opportunity to make new friends and make lasting memories. (7)
- Be prepared to spend more time and effort:
Weekly classes or clubs may not meet your child’s need for social interaction. Children who go to school see other children every day, but ensuring that home schooled children have enough time with their friends will take more effort. Encourage your child to make friends with other children in your area and welcome these children next door to your home. Arrange times for your child to meet up with friends who live elsewhere, whether in a park, museum, or each other’s homes. Give them time to develop relationships that are independent of you, to build friendships outside of supervised activities, and remember that your child’s social well-being is as important as their academic well-being.
If your child tells you he is feeling lonely or needs more time with friends, listen. Also, when planning the activities in which he will be involved in the beginning of the year, listen to his desires and know his preferences. Ask your child what interests him, and what he needs and is looking for in relation to friends and time with friends. Every child is different, some are more introverted and others are more open-minded, so you should not assume that you automatically know what your child needs, your child may also need help making new friendships. Be sure to talk to him about what the friend looks like in their opinion, and help him learn how to make new friendships.
- Promote independence:
As your child gets older, he should have more input into his activities and more time away from direct parental supervision. The teenage years are especially a period of transition for children, as they grow up and move toward greater independence. This might mean letting your child hang out with their friends in the mall by themselves, or taking your child to the movies to watch a show with their friends. A part-time job may give your teenager the opportunity to gain independence and develop skills while meeting new people at work or making new friends. Listen to your son and their needs as they transition from childhood to adulthood. (8)
- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Socialization
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- 10 Ways to Socialize Your Homeschooler
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- How To Keep Kids Socialized While Homeschooling
- How Can I Socialize My Homeschooled Child?