View Full Version : Weekly Poll: Who do your homeschooled kids play/hang out with?

04-07-2010, 10:19 PM
Goodness knows that homeschooling has become mainstream enough that it isn't difficult to "socialize" with other homeschoolers these days. But what if you are a secular homeschooler? Do your homeschooled children find it difficult to create a peer group? Who do they play with or hang out with most?

04-07-2010, 10:34 PM
I chose "a mixture of public school and homeschooled children" because my other kids are public school students and obviously he socialized A LOT with his siblings and also we go to the playground after school is out so he can play with other boys his age. We also try to do weekly and monthly playdates with my secular group's kids and he attends a weekly PE class for homeschoolers where most kids aren't secular.

04-07-2010, 10:37 PM
Well, here my son plays with a mix of children. I am the *only* secular homeschooler on base. The rest are Christian. Only one of those Christian families has been willing to become our friends (in fact, we have weekly Thursday playdates, so we're out of here after lunch to meet up with them).

The other children he plays with are fairly random - whomever is at the playground, mostly public school children.

But as far as friends, my son's friends would be the 5 children in the Christian homeschooling family we hang out with regularly, and one of the PS girls from his Tae Kwon Do class.


04-07-2010, 10:58 PM
Since my kids started their education in the public school system, they already had a core group of friends before we started home schooling. It takes a bit of effort to make sure they get to see them, but we make the effort to do it and it seems to work well.

04-07-2010, 11:16 PM
My son does have some PS friends, but most are other secular homeschoolers. We're really lucky to have a large number of secular hsers in the area. This wasn't always the case, though. Before we moved back to Oregon (3 years ago) 99% of his friends were in public school. We didn't know ANY secular homeschoolers where we used to live, and most of the Christian ones we met were fundies. We tried to be friends with some, but it always devolved into me being cornered as to why I wasn't showing my son "the one true way". Cody also got cornered a few times by other kids because he didn't belong to their faith, and was told he was going to go to hell. It tended to make get togethers a little uncomfortable!

04-07-2010, 11:42 PM
My sons' closest friends are the other members of our various secular homeschooling groups -- the playgroup they have been in since age three, the co-op they started this year, and their Destination ImagiNation team. They do have classes and activities with schooled kids -- T-ball, art class, and some other stuff -- but their best friends are from our homeschooling networks.

04-08-2010, 12:33 AM
I guess we do more of a mix--HS kids both Christian and Secular, and a handful of younger non-school aged relatives.

04-08-2010, 08:44 AM
There are no children in our neighborhood (lots of retired people). So I have a playgroup that I host with a friend. There is a mix of homeschoolers who come from ultra-conservative Christian to more secular.

04-08-2010, 11:57 AM
Mine play with either the friends they've made from school, or the kids in the neighborhood. We're fortunate to have a slew of kids in our urban neighborhood, so it's usually just a matter of going outside now that the weather's getting nice. It's always fun to see people who've been hibernating for the last five months or so!

Once we begin homeschooling next fall, though, I'm going to make a concerted effort to have eldest keep in touch with his friends from school. I also hope that once we get more engaged in the homeschooling process we'll meet more friends that way, too...I suspect it'll be nice to have people to whom he won't have to explain why he's not in "school".

04-08-2010, 01:52 PM
I put "Other" because my daughter plays with a mix of kids but we are having a difficult time finding friends for her. Her two best friends are her twin 7-year old aunts who go to public school. The spend some time over here, every Friday and some weekends. We joined a homeschool group, but we really can't make it to things that often with my lack of transportation. Also despite going to the playground we never really meet kids her age around.

04-08-2010, 02:29 PM
My boys play with each other number one lol (a benefit of having lots of siblings) and they play with our neighbors, all public school kids. Otherwise it's gatherings with cousins (plenty of those, too lol.)

04-08-2010, 02:47 PM
DS has 4 main friends, 2 hs'ed and 2 ps'ed. But he "hangs out" mostly with hs'ed kids because most of his classes are with hs'ed kids, one p.e class and a 1/2 day co-op class. I would guess most of the kids are religious, it doesn't really come up. The co-op isn't, of his friends, the 2 ps-ers are practicing Catholics and the hs-ers are not religious; neither makes religion an issue in friendship.

04-08-2010, 05:02 PM
The 3 Ms socialize mostly with public-school kids since there are no other hs kids in the area. When the hs swimming lessons start next week (in hour away) then they'll see some of the kids they met last fall, but most of the time they get together with their cousins and the kids at gymnastics who are all ps kids. Being out on the farm, they don't get to hang out with other kids as much as they should so while the boys do get along pretty well, I'm sure they get tired of each other, too.

04-08-2010, 10:59 PM
My kids play with home school kids at our inclusive park days - which include athiests, pagans, moderate and extreme christains. My kids play with our neighbors, which include catholics, jews, and a dear freind of mine who prays on everything she does but respects our differences. Once again . . . its not a huge deal to me. I find its a BIGGER deal on line, because people dont try to be 'polite' on line. Here in Richmond, people are very polite, and dont talk about such things much. There are extremely christain organizations, but i avoid them. The founder of the local inclusive yahoo group, which is a great connection for events, had a freind found a local group for athiest home schoolers, but she didnt want anyone who ISNT in the athiest group to know she's an athiest. So I know its an issue for other people around here . . . but its just not for me. Ok, but that could be because i'm an antisocail home-body, idk.

04-09-2010, 09:43 AM
We're very lucky to be part of an inclusive homeschool group here. There are Christian homeschoolers of all types (fundamental, Catholic, Greek Orthodox), Jewish families, atheist, and agnostic families involved. However, our religion, or lack of it, is NOT the basis for our group - it's wanting the best for our homeschooled children. I guess we implicitly agree to disagree about our religions so it doesn't come up as a problem.

So, I guess most of the time my kids hang out with other homeschoolers of all varieties, but also have public schooled friends as well, from groups they're in such as 4-H and sports.

04-09-2010, 01:16 PM
Logan's friends are mostly friends of ours children. I've tried connecting with parents in his class at his school right now and since everybody treats it as a daycare, nobody wants to talk to meet with each other. The parents I have managed to connect with through the room representative stuff all have older kids so no dice there really.

Now that we'll have more time for activities, I hope through sports and such that he'll get to meet some new kids and get some more friends.

04-10-2010, 06:31 PM
My kids have no HS friends who are not christian but they have one or two friends from the days they attended pre school - at this point in time I just encourage them to do lots of extra curricular activity just to gain more breadth in their social circles. They absolutely feel the pressure of their h/s christian friends and unfortunately their granny and grandpa are major christians and don't miss an opportunity to put 'god' in their lives. Despite this I do have a very good relationship with them and the other homeschool mums.

04-12-2010, 06:15 AM
We currently have zero friends because we moved to a new state but where we lived before my daughter's friends were a mix of homeschool and public school kids. None were conservative Christian although I had a friend that is Episcopalian but religion was never an issue for us or the kids at all. So far in this new area we have moved to I have had a difficult time meeting non-Christian homeschoolers. I don't mind what someone's religion is but I can see that the kids seem to care because they kept asking my daughter about church, God, etc which really threw her for a loop. She didn't have the right answers for them apparently and none were willing to be friends outside the classes she was in. Very frustrating. One kept inviting her to their church but when we said no a couple times then she kind of shied away completely. So, we keep trying.

04-13-2010, 06:29 PM
None. Well, I exaggerate a bit, but my kids have an extremely difficult time finding friends thay click with. We don't mesh with most groups we've tried, we're not good at socializing in larger groups at park days...
We have one or two ps kids we're closer too, but it's hard to get around to seeing them. One of the reasons we are waffling on homeschooling or going to a charter school next year is the lack of socializing we have right now.
Even when we attend classes, my son seems to have a hard time becoming friendly with the rest of the kids. (not like I don't understand- I'm a lot like that myself!)

05-06-2010, 08:42 AM
Most of our kids' time with other children is playing with the neighbor kids in our front yard area. I have had some difficulty in finding time to participate in activities with other homeschoolers, but I am hoping to change that.

05-06-2010, 09:42 AM
My kids mostly play with each other. They are close in age and are still very young so we're not even technically school age. They will be doing a homeschool gymnastics class in the Fall and my son will be doing our town's rec soccer program. So, gymnastics will be with homeschoolers - although around here I'm mostly seeing secular or at least inclusive homeschoolers - NJ is not known for its fundamentalists ;) - while the soccer will be primarily with public school kids.

My oldest has a friend at dance who is currently homeschooled and a very close friend at school who was homeschooled until her freshman year last year. Other than that, she socializes (probably too much) with public school kids.

11-11-2010, 07:03 PM
In case you're interested, Dottie- they do have a GIANT homeschool soccer in Edison in the Fall and the spring. the teacher, Spencer, is amazing, fun, and child-friendly. Also, it tends to be a BIG social day- most people bring lunch and spend the afternoon there if the weather cooperates.
www.roversoccer.com this is the his website, although I'm not sure they post the homeschool classes on there.

My kids mostly play with each other. They are close in age and are still very young so we're not even technically school age. They will be doing a homeschool gymnastics class in the Fall and my son will be doing our town's rec soccer program. So, gymnastics will be with homeschoolers - although around here I'm mostly seeing secular or at least inclusive homeschoolers - NJ is not known for its fundamentalists ;) - while the soccer will be primarily with public school kids.

My oldest has a friend at dance who is currently homeschooled and a very close friend at school who was homeschooled until her freshman year last year. Other than that, she socializes (probably too much) with public school kids.

11-12-2010, 12:50 AM
How funny - I just blogged about this same issue :)

We're fortunate; my closest friends are secular-ish and 2 of the three homeschool. I do have several friends who are religious as well, but the bulk of our socialization is with other secular homeschoolers.

11-12-2010, 09:46 AM
We live in a very small community where people stick to themselves. In 2 years we still don't know our neighbors--I wouldn't even recognize them and it's clear they prefer it that way. We don't have any kids in our immediate neighborhood, and even a bit farther out no one plays in the yards or in the streets so kids are never outside. My son has 2 friends that he sees pretty regularly, both boys he met in K and whose families are supportive (if baffled) by our homeschooling. He's active in sports but it's not a place to meet kids; socializing just doesn't happen around here.

11-12-2010, 11:51 AM
Again, I'm right with hockeymom. We live in a very small community that is (and I really do hate to say this because I was born here!)full of cliquey people/groups and child bullies. We have the neighbors from HELL on one side (we have 7 surveillance cams up outside because of these people-unbelievable) and there are no children on this block. There are two little girls up around the block, but they are a little too young for "real" playdates with dd(mine is just shy of 8--these two nice little girls are only almost 3 and almost 4). DD has played with them but just for short little times since they are so much younger. I did just meet a very nice lady with two kids--She is Pentacostal. She has a dd who is 3 years younger than my dd and a son who is 1 year older. So the girl is really not on the same "wavelength" as my daughter and we aren't religious. But they are so nice and we have been seeing them about once every 10-14 days. I really worry what having no friends is doing to my daughter, so I do what I can to seek out other Moms & their children. I'm still hearing new details about things that happened @ the school that dd had not told me about yet. My ad will be coming out in 1 week--I'm trying to start a hs support group.

11-12-2010, 12:41 PM
I feel really lucky to be in the community we are in after having read some of the responses. We have a nice group of secular homeschool friends we hang out with and we stick pretty much to our own. Although, I have the same issues with my actual neighbors that many of you do. We are creating a community within a community, I guess.

I do have some friends that I met through MDC years ago and my kids hang out with their kids sometimes but as the kids have gone off to school, they've pretty much lost interest in hanging out with my boys. It is harder on my 9 -year-old because there aren't many kids his age in the group but we have a gaggle of 5-6 year olds.

11-12-2010, 01:08 PM
My son's closest friends are the boys across the street (both public school kids). He also goes to tennis 3/4 days a week and plays on a junior tennis team (all of those kids are in public/private school). He considers them friends though we really don't get together with them outside of tennis (but he does seem them often). We are new to homeschooling so although I have sent emails out to 2 secular groups I found online, I have yet to hear back. I imagine that most of the homeschoolers in this area are Christian.
He participates in 2 different orchestra groups with kids of varying ages from all over (probably mostly public schooled, I am sure some homeschoolers, and some private school kids). We carpool with a family, so we have gotten to know them well, but again, he doesn't get together with any of the orchestra kids outside of practice. When he doesn't go to tennis he goes to boxing with me. Although there are just a few kids, he has gotten to be buddies over the years with a lot of the adults 22-60...He looks up to a lot of them. I think it is great for kids to have adults to interact with to!
And as others have mentioned...he has a sister, who he spends a lot of time with.

Stella M
11-12-2010, 05:08 PM
Difficult time - but as a result of mostly having christian kids to hang out with - not a problem so much when they are little but more as they get older and all their friends and their families are socialising at church/youth group, and we aren't. Their best friends are secular but go to school so we don't see them as much as the kids would like.

My eldest daughter has trouble finding friends who share her interests, as she is not into fashion/music/youth group, like most of her homeschooled peers. It is hard to find another unique girl who likes to read, do art and history, sew etc as her main interests. She needs to travel back in time to find her peer group, I think!

My two eldest are good friends, and eldest plays with youngest to keep him company sometimes.

11-16-2011, 08:44 AM
My daughters most frequently do independent activities and play with each other. If they play with other kids, they are schooled kids.