FAQ About High School Homeschoolers and Socialization/
FAQ About High School Homeschoolers and Socialization
We all like to know how to properly communicate with other people, right? I mean, that’s kind of a big thing in life, whether in relationships, jobs, school, parties, etc. Nobody wants to be known as “the weirdo” because they can’t seem to relate to anyone they talk with. This is a huge concern for parents and students alike when it comes to homeschooling – especially in those important high school years. Sure, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal in elementary or even middle school, but high school? Some big things are happening then, and students certainly don’t want to miss out on a well-rounded social life! It seems as though, just because the student will do school at home, society wonders how they will ever learn how to socialize with other people.
(First off, just to save yourself a tongue-lashing, it would be best not to ask a homeschooling mom the big question. You know, the, “But what about socialization?” question. Or, if you decide to, prepare yourself for a bit of jaw-setting, glaring, eye-rolling, lecture-coming. To say the least, homeschool moms get a little tired of that question – mainly, because everyone asks it. It’s important, yes, but…you have been warned.)
So, if you have questions about how high school homeschoolers achieve their daily dose of socialization, keep reading. Yours just might be listed!
“So…how do you meet people?”
I kid you not; I have been asked this question. It’s pretty fun to answer actually. My reply sounds something close to, “Like everyone else – I’m just not surrounded by drama-filled teenagers for six hours a day every day.”
Okay, that’s not actually what I say – though I have considered it! Usually since they are serious, I smile and reply seriously. I tell them that I belong to a homeschool group where I have met most of my friends. The group has a meeting once a month for lots of homeschool-esque fun information, but also has several get-togethers during the month such as Bowling Day, Ice Skating Day, Hockey Day, Family Fun Nights, Movie Nights, Balls, and field trips.
Aside from the homeschool group, I also have church. However, just considering the question, “How do you meet people?” I have to chuckle. I mean, it’s not like I stay home all the time. I go shopping, to the movies, to the mall, downtown, Starbucks, nail salons, hair salons, restaurants, and…pretty much everywhere else. And, of course, that means I meet people – a lot of people. I don’t shy away from them, and usually, for example, if I have a pretty grouchy hairdresser, by the time my appointment is over I have her smiling. Honestly, knowing how to communicate with people really isn’t a big deal for any of the homeschoolers I know.
If you include online communication, I can definitely add work and social media. I’ve met hundreds of people that way, and have made some really close, genuine, friends over the internet!
Let me summarize where YOU, THE HOMESCHOOLER, can meet people:
Church/Book clubs/Music Lessons/Drama (yes, homeschoolers can participate in plays and acting. In fact, the youth theater in my city is mainly composed of homeschoolers)
Errands/Hanging out/Perusing the town/Shopping/Eating out
Check out this page to find a list of homeschool groups by state!
“What about all those big events at school like prom, homecoming, spirit week, and such?”
Being a homeschooler doesn’t mean you can’t participate in fun things like prom and homecoming! There are a few ways a homeschooler can be involved in these:
Many schools offer guest tickets to their proms, so if you’re dating someone in a traditional school, or you have a friend there willing to give you a ticket, of course you can go! Almost all of my homeschooled friends have gone to the prom and homecoming at a local high school with their public school friends.
Several local homeschool groups conduct their own prom. I know, there’s always that stereotype about the “homeschool prom.” (“Who will you go with, your brother?”) No worries, though! Just because you’re homeschooled doesn’t mean you can’t get a date with one of the other homeschoolers in the group. I did not go to ours, but I’ve heard of several being a huge success.
Not only local homeschool groups, but several statewide homeschool support groups offer proms. Now that is one looking into! I have personally been involved with all the homeschoolers in my state around my age and believe me when I say there is no awkwardness, just awesomeness. We’re homeschoolers, but we’re just like other people, folks! We’re kids and we like to have fun. And boy, will there be lots of fun at that prom!
Now, I also have to mention that attending the prom, homecoming, or spirit week is often far less important to the homeschooler than you would imagine. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about it. Like previously mentioned, several of my friends went to the prom and homecoming, but it really didn’t matter to me. I think when you’re in public school, and immersed in that environment, those events seems really important…but when you’re homeschooled, all the emphasis is placed on learning, so those ‘big events’ often don’t seem so ‘big’ anymore.
However, if you’re a homeschooler and you’re dying for some wild dancing, there are many options open for you – and you’ll have a blast for sure!
“How can I make sure I don’t become a hermit?”
Ahh, what doesn’t sound fun about sticking to your room from dawn to dusk, flipping pages in dusty books, dressed in a tye-dye T-shirt, yoga pants, and fuzzy socks, with no makeup and a messy ponytail?
So you might actually want a social life. I can understand. First off, involve yourself in your local homeschool group and check out what they’re offering – it often ranges from bowling days and calligraphy lessons, to karaoke and dance lessons – the opportunities abound! Make sure to sign up for a few of them.
Also, see what co-op classes they are offering. If you’re not familiar with that term, a co-op class is when a bunch of homeschooled kids meet anywhere from one to three times a week, and are taught a certain subject by one of the homeschool moms. Your parents have to buy the textbook, but you sit in class every week with the “teacher,” where you talk about the lesson, take quizzes/tests, joke, tease, and much more. You have homework to complete during the week, and receive a final grade at the end. I highly recommend taking some co-op classes. They are incredible. I seriously think I would have enjoyed Chemistry more if I had taken a class instead of doing it on my own.
Aside from your homeschool group, sign up for music lessons, join a community book club, volunteer at the soup kitchen, get an out-of-the-house job, do some community service, enroll in some (on-campus) classes at your community college, etc. There are tons of possibilities in your own home town for keeping you busy and out of hermitville.
So, in a nutshell:
Join activities with your local homeschool group.
Join co-op classes with your local homeschool group.
Take music lessons.
Join a book club.
Volunteer at the soup kitchen.
Get an out-of-the-house job.
(And one more) Audition for your city/town’s youth theater and participate in a play. (Or two. Or three. Or four, or five, or six, or to your heart’s content.)
“What if I am an only child, or the only student in my family homeschooling?”
First off, if you’re an only child, odds are you’ve grown up with finding ways to keep yourself entertained, and engaged with friends/the world. I doubt that being homeschooled would make things much different, but I guess you never know. I have a friend who was an only child and was homeschooled for almost his whole life. He was the most social person I have ever met.
What did he do?
-He regularly engaged in every activity our homeschool group was offering. If there was a hang-out day, sport-day, literature-day, workshop, boring-mandatory meeting, you could count on him being there. And he loved it! Pretty soon, all the rest of his friends started going to everything too, so he was seeing them practically every day.
-He joined FYT (Flagstaff Youth Theater), and acted in every single one of their plays for the remainder of his time in high school. He never missed out on a performance.
-He taught piano lessons, and collaborated with a couple other teenage-piano-teachers to host several piano recitals for their students.
-He took tennis lessons, played tennis constantly, and gave tennis lessons.
-His family continuously had their friends and families over for casual dinners, games, and fun (and vice versa).
-He took ballroom dancing, and participated in every dancing activity available (balls, parties, prom, homecoming, etc). He and his family even hosted their own dance parties.
-He and his friends created their own movie script, complete with musicals, and even started filming.
-He joined book clubs and movie clubs.
This friend is now a successful college sophomore, and having the time of his life. So, if you’re the only homeschooler, don’t fear – the answers are here! There are numerous activities you can involve yourself in to socialize.
I hope this helps with your questions regarding high school homeschoolers and socialization! If you still have questions, feel free to ask! We’re here to help.
Tialla Rising is a homeschool graduate and a published author. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her amazing husband, where she enjoys reading, Netflix, writing, and more! Visit her website at http://www.tiallarising.com.