Socializing the Homeschooled Child… and Mom

I know all the arguments and studies.  I know that children who are homeschooled aren’t less capable of social interaction than traditionally-schooled kids.

But so help me, I am an incredibly social creature.  I need people in my life.  Specifically, I crave interactions with friends.  My children do too.  Having lived in Korea for the past 2 years where the homeschooling community is nearly non-existent, I am so happy to be back in California where opportunities abound for social interaction.

It’s actually kind of embarrassing, but when I went to our first Park Day back in June, I burst into tears while talking to a few friends because it just felt so good to be a part of a homeschool community again.  I had just a met a couple of other moms and I’m sure they did the mental equivalent of taking slow but deliberate steps backwards.  (Back slooooooowly away from the crazy lady.)  Yes, I’m an emotional weirdo.  Does that surprise you?  You must be new here.

Here are the major ways in which we will move beyond the borders of our home in order to build friendships and ties to our community.

~1~

Park Days

Almost every Tuesday afternoon we head to a local park and the kids spend a few hours playing with other homeschooled kids.  I get to chat with friends and we all go home with our social cups filled to the brim.  A lot of the same families have been attending for years, so my children are really looking forward to reuniting with long-lost friends.  An aside: this particular park is perfect for this type of thing because A) it’s almost completely enclosed so I don’t have to worry too much about kids wandering off, B) it has a bunch of bushes and “hidden spaces” for the kids to create imaginary houses, castles, etc., and C) there are no swings!  Am I the only parent in the world who gets really tired of pushing their kids on on the swings?  I swear, they would just sit there all day letting me do the work if I let them.   Park Day is one of the things we were most looking forward to when we got back.  So, thank you Tournament Park, Home 4 Kids, and Nina our fantabulous organizer!

~2~

Co-ops

I mentioned last week that I am starting a co-op with a couple of like-minded moms.  We are covering science, ancient history, and  art.  We’ve had 2 partial meetings and it is a dreeeeeeeeeam.  The kids play and learn, the moms chat, we all eat and enjoy the balance of being social while still being together as a family.  Love.

SONY DSC

~3~

Classes

We are now officially enrolled in our charter school!  Yay!  Each semester I am able to use funds toward classes and supplies for Gianna and Aliya.  Since I have most of my supplies, we are going to get some good classes under our belts.  These are things the girls are really interested in but that our family budget wouldn’t otherwise be able to provide.  So far we have chosen gymnastics and art, and are currently looking for a piano teacher who will come to our home for lessons.

~4~

Church, of course!

We are planning to become involved in our parish this year.  Kevin and I used to teach Baptism classes before we moved abroad, and we’d like to become involved again, though I’m not sure in which ministry.  I will be preparing Gianna for her First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion at home, but we’ve also decided to allow her to participate with the CCD class as well.  We had a wonderful experience doing so in Korea, and I hope it leads us closer to our faith community here.

~5~

American Heritage Girls

Last but not least, we are signing up for American Heritage Girls, a Christian-based scouting group.  My girls have been asking to join Girl Scouts for awhile, but I have concerns about their affiliation with Planned Parenthood, so I’ve kept them out thus far.  Through a little research, I found AHG, and amazingly enough a new troop is being formed in our town!  What a blessing.  If you’d like to see if there’s a troop in your area, click here.  Or you can like their Facebook page.

This concludes my (seemingly interminable) homeschooling series.  I don’t know if anyone will have anything to link up for this one, but if so, you are welcome to.  Just clickety-click below.

If you’d like to read the other posts and their links, click on them below.

Philosophy: The big questions of why we do what we do, answered!

Curriculum: The nitty gritty details of what we use for each subject.

Organization and Scheduling: How we keep track of it all.

A Few of My Favorite Things: A list of the things I’m most excited about for the year.

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