VSC HomeTop - May
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Site Admin Arrived Topsy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,883
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Finding friends as a homeschooler

    Kris Bales (weird unsocialized homeschoolers) updated one of her older articles about finding friends as a homeschooler and I thought it was worth kicking off a discussion about: https://www.weirdunsocializedhomesch...-find-friends/ (note: Kris isn't a secular homeschooler and she mentions going to church as one of the suggestions, but the rest are neutral)

    I've talked about some of our own struggles in this area many times here on SHS, including this piece: http://www.secularhomeschool.com/con...p-isnt-option/

    But, I'd love to revisit with those of you who might have some personal insights on how YOUR kids have located friends.
    Topsy
    Loyal minion, er...ADMIN of SecularHomeschool.com


  2. Ratings Request Leaderboard
  3. #2

    Default

    Warning: This might not be what you want to hear.

    My kids did not have trouble finding friends when they were younger. However, once they hit age 12 or 13, many of the local homeschoolers (1) either went to public or private school or (2) those that were left were too religious.

    They had a couple of acquaintances through middle school and high school, but no one who was a really close friend. We struggled with that.

    On the bright side, they have found very close friends at college. But unless there is a very vibrant secular group of older homeschool kids, I think it's a problem.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (19), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  4. #3

    Default

    Inmom, do you think its that younger kids simply play with whomever they are presented with as playmates? And its not until middle school age that they start asserting their own independence and personality that who they classify as "friend" becomes more selective?
    Ive noticed this year, DS11 is becoming a bit more selective about who he plays with. The neighbors I lost patience for about a year ago are starting to grate on him as well. Hes still overly forgiving (my opinion) of one or two of his classmates from the charter, though. There is a lot of peer pressure / culture there, though, to get along and not have "rivalry".

    I struggle with knowing how much I should be responsible for my boys' social lives. Theyre dependent on me to take them places and present them with social opportunities. I am not out there beating the bushes looking for friends for myself, and I hate the feeling of desperation that I need to find friends for them. Finding personal peace about it is difficult.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  5. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Inmom, do you think its that younger kids simply play with whomever they are presented with as playmates? And its not until middle school age that they start asserting their own independence and personality that who they classify as "friend" becomes more selective?
    You are probably onto something there. Nobody in the "potential" friend pool really meshed with my kids. Maybe part of it has to do with hsers being very individualistic? Very focused interests that others might not share? I found that once my kids went to colleges with the HUGE pool of potential friends (on the order of 10s of thousands), they were able to find like-minded friends with similar interests. I must also state that not one of these new friends were homeschooled. Their bonds have more to do with interest than source of education.

    I also struggled with guilt about my kids' friend situation. I always offered to have someone over or to drive them somewhere, but they rarely took me up on it. However, I did not force any friendships on them either.

    It's a tough juggling act as they head into and through adolescence.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (19), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  6. #5
    Senior Member Evolved RTB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Friends were easy in the younger years. The pool of young homeschoolers is large. We had more time to do all the events, because we spent less time doing academics.

    As the kids are getting older, finding friends is getting more complicated. Number one reason, people start dropping out of homeschooling as kids get older. I agree Alexsmom, I think kids become more selective in their friendships. Their personalities develop a little more and just like the rest of us, they want to hang out with people who share similar interests. Also, at this age I'm beginning to notice a widening gap in maturity level between PS kids and HS kids (sorry PS kids) - I don't think that is helping either.

    I also struggle with guilt, the same question - how responsible am I for their friendships. I feel like my kids should have a dozen friends. Because school mindset perpetuates that belief, because it is the one HS thing I truly worry about screwing up (they end up feeling like I kept them isolated or that they did not have enough friends). I worry most for my daughter, who is a bit more social then the rest of us. When I step back a bit, I see so many parallels between the way we as adults build friendships and the way homeschoolers build friendships. Acquaintances and context based friendships (like a class or sports teams) are fairly easy, true friendships are hard to find (even for adults).

    Things that work now. . . And each year feels different as far as friendship needs for each kid. We have a small group we meet up with once a week (3 families), I would say this group of kids are friends. We have a larger group of families (10-12 families) that we meet up with twice a month, these kids are long term acquaintances. DD (more social) is in a variety of activities - soccer, tumbling, parkour and swim team in the summer. She is currently taking a pottery class and involved in Girl Scouts. She has a very close friend (finally), who is a bit older than her (12) and also homeschooled (I think the shared experience of HS is what bonds them most at this point, but that is ok). They talk on the phone pretty much daily and play Minecraft. DS is in parkour and does swim team in the summer. A huge part of DS's social life is through Xbox Gold. He plays with the same group of kids regularly as well as new kids. His close friends live in CO, which is hard. But since they moved, we've managed to get them together about 3x a year for week long visits.

    I try not to think too much into the future, because then I worry. I hold on to the idea that if we can just make it through the middle school years, they can start volunteer jobs (around 13-14) and then real jobs later. This hopefully will plug them into a social life for high school, as there are not many homeschool activities for that age that are secular.
    Last edited by RTB; 02-15-2017 at 12:33 PM. Reason: thoughts
    Rebecca
    DS 11, DD 9
    Year 5

  7. #6

    Default

    I want to also state for those who have younger kids and are now starting to panic, if I could do it all over again, I WOULD STILL HOMESCHOOL MY KIDS.

    Yes, finding friends is an issue. But being able to tailor the best education to fit them, having them be able to have meaningful part-time jobs/internships in high school, being able to take dual credit classes while in high school to give college courses a try, and having time to just BE with them while in middle and high school was totally worth it.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (19), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  8. #7
    Senior Member Evolved RTB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    Yes, finding friends is an issue. But being able to tailor the best education to fit them, having them be able to have meaningful part-time jobs/internships in high school, being able to take dual credit classes while in high school to give college courses a try, and having time to just BE with them while in middle and high school was totally worth it.
    Yes this is what I'm holding out for!

    Also fwiw to anyone worried about friendships - both of mine went to PS (one for 6 mos, one for 2 years) and I did not care for half of the kids they called their 'friends'. I'd rather them have fewer friends than pseudo-friends, or friends who are a bad influence.
    Rebecca
    DS 11, DD 9
    Year 5

  9. #8
    Site Admin Arrived Topsy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,883
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    We had much the same issue with finding friends in the upper grades. Especially until there was an inclusive group that we finally "meshed" with a bit. I had that same feeling of responsibility...must, must, must get my children to places where other tweens/teens are or I'm a bad mother.

    Maybe it was the homeschooling, maybe it was just MY specific kids, but both of them have always "clicked" with adults more than with peers their own age. Granted, my youngest is on the spectrum and "clicking" is never natural, but just dropping them into a group of similarly-aged humans never guaranteed any kind of connection on their part. But throw them into a group of adults and I would constantly get comments like "your kid is so easy to talk to." Go figure.
    Topsy
    Loyal minion, er...ADMIN of SecularHomeschool.com


  10. #9

    Default

    I have to remind myself continuously that "I can bring the horse to the water....". You know how it goes
    My kids are young, but they have never been in the 'just play with whoever is there' category. From the youngest ages, they have all been highly selective. I do not know whether it is because they have each other - three girls so close in age....or because DD8 is SN, or because we are all introverts. I do not know. They have always been in tons of activities, we have spent every summer at the same pool, went to the same playgrounds - no friends. I put myself out there into the local HS group for 2 years - one friend (mostly for DD7, and she does not even need to see her more that a few times a month). So, I am not going to feel guilty about them not having friends anymore. I do what I can, the rest is up to them.
    mom to 3 girls: DD9, DD7, DD5

  11. #10

    Default

    We're heading into those upper grades (7th here now). We are losing some kids to school, but so far not enough to make a big difference in our social landscape. Both the boys have friends at their activities, our co-op has been tight knit for years, and we generally have kept friendships pretty long term. Gaming has been a big boon around here lately - both D&D and Magic the Gathering seem good for friendships.

    I guess in a couple of years we'll know if we ended up facing the older homeschooled kids' friends problem, but I'm not too concerned right now.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Infographics
About us

SecularHomeschool.com was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. Secularhomeschool.com aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted.

Join us
Finding friends as a homeschooler