Homeschooling an only child isn’t easy. I’ve shared many advantages
of homeschooling an only child. However, the most common question I hear is, “… but what about socialization?” Today I’m sharing with you several ideas that meet any socialization concerns you (or others) may have.
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Stop stressing over it.
When we first started homeschooling, my parents continually asked me what I was going to do about keeping him social. I laughed. He’s a social kid by nature. He loves playing and has never had a problem meeting new kids.
So, why worry about a problem that he doesn’t really seem to have — or at least one that most people perceive as a problem with homeschooling?
Socializing is a part of life.
My son is with me wherever I go. When I’m at the grocery, he’s talking to the cashier while I check out. He inquires about the location of books at the library. He orders lunch for himself at a restaurant. He asks historians questions about exhibits at the museum. He plays with friends at the park, or makes new friends at the Lego store. He works with teammates on the field. He’s happy and inquisitive around others; socializing is experienced naturally while living life.
Teach your child to respect.
The one downfall of having an only child is that he does not learn how to share or cooperate with siblings. Instead, I’ve found that I must teach him to respect himself as well as others and their things. If he respects himself, he will have self-confidence. By learning to respect others and their things, he values others and their feelings. Isn’t this our true intentions of socialization in the first place?
It’s common for only children to develop a sense of wanting to be around others. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to send them to school to fulfill that need. Instead, we’ve learned to have a best friend, especially one that we can get together with on a regular basis meets that need. We often get together with neighborhood kids, cousins, and another homeschooling family that also has an only child.
Ideas for involvement:
1. Join extracurricular activities, which can include mental and physical activities such as:
- scouting program
- sports teams
- local library summer reading program and group activities
- Art, music, theatre programs
- local 4-H programs
- nature clubs or homeschool groups
2. Set up playdates. Be intentional about getting together with other kids of various ages. This could include:
- kids in the neighborhood
- cousins that live close by
- other children on the playground or at the local splash pad
- meet church friends for a craft-and-share time
3. Volunteer. There’s no better way to teach children how to have a servant’s heart than though volunteering. Here are a few ideas:
What other ideas do you have for socializing your only child? I’d love to hear them!
Are you homeschooling an only or thinking about homeschooling an only? See these other great resources for homeschooling an only child.