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Friday, July 08, 2011

Providing New Friendship Opportunities For Your Children

Tips on ways to provide friendship opportunities for children by A Slice of Homeschool #homeschool #parenting

As a homeschooler, I have learned how very busy homeschool families are. I find it funny at times when people bring up the very popular socialization question. Nowadays (at least in my area), the problem I have found is that there are too many socialization opportunities, but not enough opportunites for children to spend one-on-one time getting to know each other. And sometimes trying to set up "play dates" can be difficult due to everyone's varying schedules.

To help with this, here are a few things I have done to offer my children opportunities to build new friendships:

  • Start a theater group.  My son took some theater classes one year.  I was very disappointed to find out that there wasn't going to be play at the end of the year.  In response to this, I decided that the following year I would coordinate a Christmas play.  No, I have no theater experience, but I had the desire to see my son perform in a play.  This turned out to be a great opportunity for him.  We met new families and he made a new friend through this endeavor. 
  • Start a Lego Club.  My children love playing with Legos.  I was talking with another homeschool friend one day who told me about a Lego Club her son had joined.  I thought that was an excellent idea, so I started a bi-weekly Lego club.  We met at our local library every other Friday where I provided various challenges, themes, and free building time for the children.  There was a charge per child to help with the purchase of the Legos. 
  • Start a local homeschool support group.  Find out through any groups you currently belong to if there is an interest in joining a homeschool support group that is specific to your area.  Gather those names, then plan a meeting place and time.  Once you get together, talk about your ideas for the group and take it from there.  Our group gets together once a month and various members put together field trips for the children.  What I especially love about this is that once a month my children get to spend one-on-one time with their friends and have an opportunity to meet someone new throughout the year.
  • Look for opportunities within your church.  You can seek friendship opportunities for your children through your local church.  Lead a group or an event for the children in your child's age group.  For example, this summer I am hosting a bi-weekly "Game Night" at my house for the children who attend our church.  The other night only one child came, which was great because it gave my son and this boy an opportunity to get to know each other on a one-on-one basis.
These are just some examples of some of the things I have done.  I would love to hear about some of the things you have done.

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  1. Hi,
    I love how you mentioned that we as home schoolers sometimes have too many opportunitys to get together, but few one on one play dates etc.
    That is the one area I am always concerned about for my children. I always make a point to let them play with other kids in a group type setting, but seems more difficult to find ways to get together off time and just hang one on one :/
    I have thought about maybe advertising movie night or skate night and limiting it to a few kids like a group of 4 but IDK . Sometimes I think the fact that we homeschool especially using a secular currciulm ( Time4Learning ) that it may be a turn off for most of our fellow christian homeschooling families but that could just be me overthinking I am sure.....
    Anyways, Thanks for the blog and tips! :)

  2. As a fellow Christian homeschooler, I can tell you that your using Time4Learning would not be a deterrent to us. My son used Time4Learning in second grade. :-)


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