Oh that ominous topic…SOCIALIZATION. This is a big concern for both students and parents alike. After all, if you’re homeschooled, that must mean you stay at home 24/7, so how on Earth would you have opportunities to make friends?
Well, no need to fear – making friends as a homeschooler really isn’t a big deal. It’s not hard or awkward.
1. Homeschool co-ops. Homeschool co-ops are a great way to make friends with other students your age. Not only that, but you can help each other with your classes – with inevitably creates some very hilarious memories. I have formed strong friendships with students through several co-ops.
2. Sports. In many, if not all states, homeschoolers can participate in their local high school sports team. Nearly all of my friends were on one of our high school’s sports teams – whether tennis, basketball, football, track – and competed against other high schools during the season. Not only is it a great way to make friends, but it’s a fabulous exercise program!
3. Drama/Theater. We also participated in our local youth theater for many years. Once again, since this is not limited to homeschoolers, we were able to break out of the homeschool stigma and become acquainted with a variety of students from all kinds of different backgrounds. Many of us have formed long-lasting friendships with people we wouldn’t have met outside of theater.
4. Dual Enrollment. Dual enrollment is a fantastic way to mix with other students – your age and older! Nearly all the homeschoolers I know have dual enrolled at their local community college, and they’ve loved it. They’ve formed lasting friendships and have had many new experiences along the way. At community colleges, students of completely different backgrounds and cultures mix for the goal of higher education. It’s a beautiful thing.
5. Choir. Perhaps your voice is your instrument. There are several options for student choirs. They could include the high school choir class, or they could be completely separate organizations; there are many youth choir organizations throughout the states. A quick Google search could probably show you what you’re looking for.
See, homeschoolers don’t just have to stay home! This is just the tip of the iceberg – whatever you’re interested in, I’m sure there are groups available for it. Cooking, dance, ballet, carpentry, calligraphy, band, 4-H, cake decorating, writing, computer repair, karate, community service, whatever. A quick Google search should help you narrow your choices.
Of course, you have to be proactive in making these friendships. You need to search out people, be friendly, be yourself, and make connections. Yes, that means you have to come out of your shell a little – but that’s the only way a homeschooler can make friends.
For more information on making friends in high school, check out our archive of articles on homeschoolers and socialization. I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to Ask A Homeschooler!