June 26, 2023
Homeschooling and Socialisation: Addressing Concerns and Finding Community
One of the most common concerns that parents face when considering homeschooling is how their children will socialise with their peers. Socialisation is an essential aspect of a child's development, and parents want to ensure that their children have ample opportunities to interact with others and build meaningful relationships. Meaningful friendships can be found by home educated children, you just need to know where to find them!
Importance of socialisation for a homeschooled child
The UK government recognises the importance of socialisation for homeschooled children, recommending that parents seek out local homeschooling groups and activities. Socialisation enables children to build strong relationships, develop communication skills and problem-solving abilities, and increase self-esteem and emotional resilience.
As well as these fundamental skills, socialisation activities can help homeschooled children to explore their interests and passions, broadening their horizons through exposure to diverse cultures and perspectives.
Parents considering homeschooling may worried about the impact choosing to homeschool could have on their child’s development.
In a survey conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research, over a quarter of parents cited socialisation as a concern when considering homeschooling for their child. A report by Ofsted also found that many homeschooled children in the UK lacked access to extracurricular activities and opportunities for socialisation outside of the home.
Parents also often have concerns that homeschooling could limit their child’s exposure to social situations with others of different ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures.
Despite these concerns, many homeschooled children have been shown to be well-adjusted, socially competent and able to function well in a variety of social situations. When considering home education for your family, it is just key as a parent to make an active effort to arrange activities and experiences that your child is engaged in.
Finding community when homeschooling
Homeschooling does not mean that children have to miss out on socialisation. There are several ways that homeschooled children can socialise with peers, such as:
Local homeschool groups
Homeschool groups are a great way for children to meet other home educated children in their area. These groups organise regular events and activities, such as field trips, classes, and workshops. This allows children to interact with others their age and develop meaningful relationships.
Attending homeschooling events can also provide opportunities to meet other homeschooling families and build relationships with others who have something in common with your child. Additionally, volunteering or participating in community service can help children to connect with their community and develop social skills.
Extracurricular activities are a fantastic way for homeschooled children to socialise with their peers and develop friendships outside of the classroom setting. These activities can include sports teams, music lessons, art workshops, dance classes, drama groups, and more.
Participating in extracurricular activities helps homeschooled children to develop social skills, participate in teamwork and build self-confidence. These activities offer a chance for children to interact with others who share similar interests and passions, which can lead to the formation of strong bonds and friendships.
Online schools allow homeschooled children to learn in a structured and supportive virtual environment, with access to expert teachers and a range of educational resources. They also provide children who are learning from home with a chance to connect with other students and build relationships through online discussion forums, video conferencing, and other digital tools.
Online schools also provide children with access to online extracurricular activities and clubs, such as virtual sports teams or debate clubs, which can help to build social skills and foster a sense of community. For example, at King’s InterHigh, we provide opportunities to meet your classmates in person, with regular trips, meet ups and summer camps all over the world.
Socialisation allows your child to feel more connected to their community and builds a sense of belonging. By prioritising socialisation, parents can help their homeschooled children develop important skills, find their own community, achieve academic success, and enjoy a fulfilling educational experience.
To read more about how our students at King’s InterHigh balance online learning with socialisation, click here.