When we started homeschooling, the most common question I got was:”But what about friends?”
Let me make this clear: most homeschoolers are NOT unsocialized.
Yes, it takes a bit more effort from the parent’s side to help them meet up with others, do extra-murals, get ‘out ther’. But isn’t that kind of the whole reason WHY you started homeschooling in the first place? To be more involved in your child’s life?
The thing I’ve found regarding my daughter’s friends since we’ve started homeschooling, is this: She has less, but better quality, friends.
What I mean by this is that she doesn’t have as many so-called friends to play with on a regular basis, but she also doesn’t have as much drama as she used to. No ‘you can’t be my friend’ every second day, accompanied by snot and tears. Oh no… Now she has friends she likes being around, and that actually make time to be around her. She has friends that have a lot more in common with her, and that share her values and beliefs. She has friends she truly care about her, and whom she truly cares about in return. She’s built deep, long-lasting friendships instead of superficial ‘friendships’ that won’t survive the first storm life throws at them. They’re a close-knit group, which gives them security. They also ‘grow up’ with the same group of friends, hopefully leading to lifelong friendships!
She’s made friends overseas (her best friend is moving to the Netherlands and she has a few penpals in the US) which has broadened her horizons considerably. She now has a much wider frame of reference, and that has positively impacted the way she perceives the world. This also opens up new opportunities for her in the future. She plans on travelling the world. What a better way to do that than by visiting all your friends!
One of the things I like most is the fact that I have more control over whom she associates with. I get to know her friends’ parents (making new friends myself in the process!). I find the families share many of our values, there is less peer pressure and independent thoughts are encouraged and the kids get along well. We also get to pick up and address issues earlier and have more of an idea of what the kids talk about/do.
Situations vary, but this has been our personal experience.
Yes, my daughter has less friends.
She also has lifelong friends.
And for that I’m grateful!