A common concern some have about homeschooling is that by not sending your child off to a public/private school setting, they will not establish friendships and as a result will have social deficits.
Fortunately, this is very rarely the case. The majority of homeschool moms and dads put forth a lot of effort to place their children in settings that will allow them the opportunity to meet kids and establish relationships. Not only are we completely immersed in their education, but we’re also dedicated to their social well-being.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to witness Lili develop a friendship with a little girl from co-op. Lili began to talk about her new friend and with each passing week these two became inseparable. Sitting next to each other during Science and Art. They would carry their mats to yoga, making sure they had spots side-by-side during class.
Last week, our co-op ended (hopefully only for a couple of months) and Lili was very concerned that she would not see her friend for a very long time. I was determined to make sure that didn’t happen and upon talking to her friend’s mom was pleased to know that she was equally as determined. Their friendship was as important to us as it was to them, so we made plans for an afternoon of play the following week.
Today we headed out for our play date and as I pulled into the parking lot, Lili quickly spotted her friend. Both girls were so very excited and happy to see each other. Smiling, giggling and talking about how much fun they would have, they grabbed each other’s hand and ran off together to play.
As the day went on, I was able to watch Naomi as she began to build her own friendship with the 3-year-old sister. I will admit that it took some prodding. Younger kids aren’t always as quick to make friends. In addition, homeschool kids spend so much time with their siblings that younger siblings easily rely on the older for entertainment. However, as the afternoon went on, Naomi began to realize that she didn’t need to spend all her time with Lili. She happily played with her new friend, both of them having a great time together.
The side benefit to these new friendships is that I too am given the chance to develop my own friendship. As I watched the girls playing, I was able to have wonderful adult conversation. Two moms who have chosen to homeschool their children. Talking about our families and why we chose to homeschool. Sharing the ups and downs, discovering shared challenges and similar goals. Talked about the past, present and future, shared ideas and made plans for getting together again. A mutual respect and understanding for each other.
For us, homeschooling has provided a wonderful opportunity for friendship. Not just for my girls, but for me as well. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, I have a front row seat and the view is beautiful!