How much socialization do your kids get? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 38 Old 08-21-2012, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We live in a place where we lack a community of homeschoolers therefore there are limitations to how much I can plan get togethers for my kiddos.  They are still young, oldest in 1st grade.  They are great buddies but I can not help but feel that they are missing out on interacting with oodles of other kids their age.  I worry this may affect them negatively.   

 

Those of you who live in a bit of isolation, can you share your experiences?  Also, the rest of you, can you please share how much time your kids get with children outside of your family?  It would be nice to get a sense of what everyone is doing to address this issue.  

 

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#2 of 38 Old 08-21-2012, 10:57 PM
 
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While we have a ton of HS here actual groups are rare.. I recently found one but the 31 will be our first meeting with them.. IF (praying) its works out we will meet with them every other Friday and my 9 year old will also take a PE course at these times...

 

 She takes Gymnastics weekly so sees friends then She is enrolled in Sunday school as well.. She is has neighborhood friends she sees in the evening and weekends..

We do Wii nights craft days and movie nights at our liabary where she gets in interact with other kids her age

She will soon start 4H club

 

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#3 of 38 Old 08-22-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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I found a coop group- but I can't commit to getting us all there this year.  My other kids are just too little right now.  We live on a farm with no close neighbors.   We go to church on Sundays and during the school year we go to church on Wednesdays as well.  The kids go with me for all the errands we run so I feel they get plenty of socialization.  How do I put this nicely?.....  I don't really want my kids around most kids....  There.  I said it.  With getting together with other kids once or twice a week they are doing fine.  But best of all- they can relate and talk with anyone- not just kids :)

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#4 of 38 Old 08-22-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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Dd pretty much goes everywhere I do so she has seen and been a part of a lot of social interactions with all ages. We teach her how to behave in different situations.

 

My dd has pretty low social needs. She is more introverted and would hate to be out and about interacting with a bunch of kids her age all the time. It would make her feel drained and cranky. Every couple of weeks we do get together with friends who have kids. Dd gets along fine with others so I don't see having less peer contact as affecting her negatively.

 

I think the right level of peer contact will depend on your children's personalities and if they seem happy and well adjusted with the level they are getting.


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#5 of 38 Old 08-22-2012, 10:13 AM
 
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We just joined a homeschool group that will meet 2-3 times per week. It was REALLY hard to find so maybe you do have some in your area. Or you could always start your own. I doesn't have to be anything formal, maybe just meeting a local playground. 

The other thing you can look into is extracurriculars. Dance, soccer etc. That should be plenty for them.

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#6 of 38 Old 08-22-2012, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for responding, Mamas.  Reading your answers, it does not sound like my kids are doing too badly.  We are going to try to get together with a couple of friends with kids at least two times a week.  The kids also take marshal arts and drawing outside of the house.  It sounds like this might just be enough?  That said, none of the kids are exactly my kiddos ages.  Some younger, others older.  This is probably a benefit though.  

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#7 of 38 Old 08-25-2012, 06:18 AM
 
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We do "time with kids" at least once a week and up to four times a week. We do more generic socializing with adults a few times a week. It seems like what I can handle. :)


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#8 of 38 Old 08-25-2012, 07:00 AM
 
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right now we are doing a moms group every other week and "little church" on sundays. Aside from that I meet with a good friend at least once a week for dinner and another friends every other week for dinner, I also may babysit my good friends son, so my DD plays with him.


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#9 of 38 Old 08-25-2012, 08:23 AM
 
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rightkindofme, I like the "time with kids" instead of "socialization" which has so much baggage in the HSing community.

 

This month we've been pretty busy, this summer as well, since we moved into a new house, rented the old one-- a lot of work!  Now a friend is just down the road, but even then we don't see him as often as we like.  We just wrapped up fair, and the girls enjoyed getting a chance to know the 4-H kids in their club, even though we've seen them all year.  Until now they've mostly just hidden behind their parents.  Gymnastics is starting up, but unless we bring one of them home with us, the chances to get to know someone beyond names are very slim.  

 

My oldest, now 7.5 is finally eager to play with kids her age, but she had such a difficult time with kids when she was little that we pretty much abandoned those relationships and are having to start over from scratch.  She had a chance to get to know one of the girls again at a beach party in June.  So, this year, we spend a bit more time looking for kids 6-9yo.

 

The girls love babies and get a kick out of "babysitting".  Today we head to my sister's house and will probably see my baby grandnephew there, whose getting close to 1yo.  Family time (outside of the immediate family) comes once a month or so.

 

So..... I don't think even once a week rightnowthisminute for kid-time.  I can't count gymnastics much.  We will be inviting kids home to visit here and there, but we live quite a ways away, and I'm not sure how easy it will be to sustain friendships.  We will be at the beach this week, and last year they had loads of fun meeting and playing with new kids.

 

I would definitely like more kid-time.


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#10 of 38 Old 08-25-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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For right now we do a homeschool park day once weekly, swimming class once weekly, a bi-weekly 4-H and Earth Champs group, and we try to do playdates fairly often. In the fall we'll be adding a Mechanical Engineering class, and a Gymnastics class to that list.


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#11 of 38 Old 08-25-2012, 04:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowaorganic View Post

I found a coop group- but I can't commit to getting us all there this year.  My other kids are just too little right now.  We live on a farm with no close neighbors.   We go to church on Sundays and during the school year we go to church on Wednesdays as well.  The kids go with me for all the errands we run so I feel they get plenty of socialization.  How do I put this nicely?.....  I don't really want my kids around most kids....  There.  I said it.  With getting together with other kids once or twice a week they are doing fine.  But best of all- they can relate and talk with anyone- not just kids :)

 

 

(bolding mine)

 

Agreed and agreed. I think society puts wayyyyyyy too much emphasis on peer relationships, specifically exact age-matched friendships. If you're an active member of the world, your child is being "socialized".


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#12 of 38 Old 08-26-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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Let's see...dd will have a dance class this fall (which ds will tag along for and play with the other little siblings).  Both kids will do storytime (separately, dd goes alone, but again ds plays with the other siblings, dd will tag along for ds') We have a homeschool co-op that meets every Friday, which we go to most of the time.  We do a playdate with friends every few weeks.  This is in addition to going to the park or out amongst society for other outings, plus grocery shopping, etc., family get togethers including cousins similar ages...they get plenty!  Honestly, our scheduled activities are a bit much for ME (major introvert here), but hte kids enjoy it most of the time.  When we are feeling too overwhelmed, we just skip something and have a home day where we play at home or in the yard.  We all need this and try to make sure we get 1-2 days a week where this happens :) 

 

I agree that socialization with exact peer groups is overrated, especially for younger kids.  My dd is 5.5 and is asking for more time with friends, but I think that is just a reaction to a very quiet summer-once she gets back to dance class and storytime, I think she will be fine. 


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#13 of 38 Old 08-28-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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I struggle with not having it be too much! They are each in programs, including Sunday School, homeschool coop, drama for the older one, and all their extracurricular stuff... 17 hours a week each! Then again, it's only half the hours that a public school kid here spends away from home/with other kids. And the public school kids are just in school that whole time; it's not counting any extracurriculars or Sunday School they do.

 

We still have Saturdays and one weekday where we can have a completely at-home day. It also allows me to work 15-20 hours a week, which helps financially. I guess this will be a pretty good balance for us.


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#14 of 38 Old 08-31-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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My girls are in 1st and 3rd grade. We attend a HS charter school. It is optional to attend any workshops or classes held at the school, but we usually attend a few days per week (9-11) science or writing workshops. They also play sports (soccer in fall, softball in spring), are in a children's choir, attend children's church one night per week, and regular church on Sundays. They also hang out with cousins and friends regularly. We live about 30 minutes away from most of their friends and cousins, but we make it a point to get together pretty regularly. We definitely aren't lacking for socialization!


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#15 of 38 Old 08-31-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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http://www.parentingscience.com/preschool-stress.html

I think the part about peer socialization applies to all ages, not just preschoolers.
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#16 of 38 Old 08-31-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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well, my kids are friends with kids in PS. we are part of a homeschool group & we love it, but their closest friends are in public school. we tend to be busy during the day with our own schedule, so playdates take place outside of normal school hours. we do a monthly field trip with our HS group, and we are about to participate in a weekly spanish co-op as well.  my kids participate heavily in our church group activities, community sports, clubs, etc. so they meet a lot of people that way too. my daughter recently had to be talked to about her "socialization", as her social schedule was getting to be too much. we had to create some boundaries to guard our own family time.


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#17 of 38 Old 08-31-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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MY kiddo is older.  He will be 12 next week.  He is on swimteam which practices 3-4 nights a week and he goes to the library 2-3x a week.  We didn't sign up for theater 1x a week this semester because we just got back into town. (maybe 2nd half of fall term we will).  We also have a pool right out side the apt door he can go to.  I will probably run a tween/teen group 1x a month again.  So I would say kiddo is around other 'kids' 3-5x a week.  

Thats not too bad since most of those activities are 'drop and run' type things where I don't need to stay !


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#18 of 38 Old 08-31-2012, 07:36 PM
 
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Way too much, ha!

 

If you're struggling to find groups try Meetup and Yahoo. I've found all my homeschooling groups on there, and I was so surprised by the plethora of things we could do. Classes, parent-run homeschool activities, field trips..the list goes on. I try to narrow it down to a few things per week (or per "season) so right now DD will be going to a homeschool "freeschool" on Monday from 10-2 with a few others her age, and than she has horseback riding. In between that we see friends and family of all ages so plenty of social time for her. 


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#19 of 38 Old 09-02-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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Way too much, ha!

 

 

Lol, this feels like us at times too!

 

DS does swim lessons with established friends (one older, one younger), scouts (kids his age), homeschool activities through a local group (last year was k-12, this year so far we are the only ones who have shown up, not more than 1 time a week), spending an afternoon with a retired teacher when I work (so time with adult(s)), as well as socializing through errands and additional activities (shopping, nursing home visits, going to work with mom or dad, library trips, field trips, etc).  He also enjoys when we do activities as a family with other families.  These activities allow me to allow him to grow in a way that feels appropriate to his needs and spirit.  He also has to tag along on activities for his older sister who is not homeschooled.

 

I always think our societal view of socializing kids is off (a couple of the pp touched on this).  In reality my kid is someone who relates to people of a variety of ages, talents, abilities and interests who have pretty decent morals and values that mesh with my family's. 

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#20 of 38 Old 09-03-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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Not that much actually..

We have church on Sundays, story time at the library on Tuesdays and that is it.. Most of the extracurriculars are either to expensive (I can't afford 100.00 per month per child for 1 30 minute dance class per week and that's the cheapest) or the games are on Sunday.. They do play with children whenever they get a chance (we go to the park regularly and they get a lot of outside time).. They go everywhere with me, my oldest even goes to all my prenatal appointments. They interact with people of all different ages on a regular basis.. To me thats more important than age similar interaction because, honestly, when was the last time you interacted with a ton of people the same age/educational level as you?


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#21 of 38 Old 09-05-2012, 06:18 PM
 
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I think you're schedule sounds good. This is an issue I struggle with too, having an only child and a neighborhood where signs of life are non-existent. Thanks to careful effort, my daughter has at least 12 hours with children every week through youth athletics (soccer for the fall), extracurricular activities (hula dance & Hawaiian culture class, messy art class, classes at the nature park), enrichment day with our homeschool group, and play dates with friends. Several trips to the park are on our agenda every week to allow for more play time too. 

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#22 of 38 Old 09-06-2012, 07:23 AM
 
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Sounds like you are doing great. I commend you! I grew up homeschooled in a rural area, and isolation was a pretty big problem for me during several years.

 

Oddly enough, I think introverts have a tougher time of it than extroverts. I am an introvert, and the activities I did each week (ballet class and church) were group oriented. The monthly homeschool group meetings, were also group oriented, and usually focused around games or other activities. Introverts need one-on-one time, and good conversations with others, which I wasn't finding.

 

I loved to have a guest my age (sometimes she brought her siblings to play with my siblings) come over to hang out with me. My parents were good about this, but I didn't have many friends, so it wasn't something that happened often enough.

 

So just be aware if your kid is socializing in the way he or she needs to, I guess. :)

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#23 of 38 Old 09-08-2012, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like you are doing great. I commend you! I grew up homeschooled in a rural area, and isolation was a pretty big problem for me during several years.

 

Oddly enough, I think introverts have a tougher time of it than extroverts. I am an introvert, and the activities I did each week (ballet class and church) were group oriented. The monthly homeschool group meetings, were also group oriented, and usually focused around games or other activities. Introverts need one-on-one time, and good conversations with others, which I wasn't finding.

 

I loved to have a guest my age (sometimes she brought her siblings to play with my siblings) come over to hang out with me. My parents were good about this, but I didn't have many friends, so it wasn't something that happened often enough.

 

So just be aware if your kid is socializing in the way he or she needs to, I guess. :)

 

Thanks for sharing your experience.   My kids LOVE to have kids over.  So I have kids around their age over to our house a few times a week.  They also like taking classes out of the house a few times a week, BUT I noticed it is not at all a social thing for them.  They don't know any of the kids in their classes or try to.  As soon as the classes are over, kids just run out with their parents so there is no time to be social.  So, as of now, we have kids come over 2-3 times a week and they have activities 2-3 times a week.  I am still working on arranging other playdates during the week. 

 

Having playdates at my house wrecks the place but it seems to work the best as the parents seem to like it instead of the other way around.  So, we will continue to do this.  

 

The thing is, while I was not homeschooled myself, my summer and winter breaks were spent with sparse contact with other kids.  I remember feeling lonely from a young age and could not wait for school to open back up so that I could be with my friends.  I really don't want to leave my kids wanting in this way.  

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#24 of 38 Old 09-09-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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Ah. Yeah it's far from a homeschooler problem. Loneliness can affect us in so many different situations. :(

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#25 of 38 Old 12-02-2012, 05:15 AM
 
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My oldest daughter(age 11) has 1-2 activities a week with outside kids without our family.

My second daughter (age 7 1/2) has 1 activity a week with outside kids without our family.

 

We generally do 1-2 other things a week with outside kids as a family. Playgroups, art group, etc.

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#26 of 38 Old 12-03-2012, 06:27 AM
 
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I guess I have different ideas about socialization.  Is taking a class or organized sport with other children considered socialization?  If so, then my kids get about 8 to 12 hours a week of classes and sports, more in spring & summer.

 

Or is free play socialization?  Then, my kids get about 8 to 16 hours a week.

 

Both, then would be 16 to 30 hours a week. 

 

Personally, I don't think that being in class together is socialization.  I don't know how many times I've heard teachers in public school say "you're not here to socialize" to kids in their class.  So, for public schooled kids, a school day might consist of an hour or two of my definition socialization, between lunch, recess and chatting on lines or between classes.

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#27 of 38 Old 12-04-2012, 06:51 PM
 
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We have friends over 1-2 times a week. The 9 & 6 year old do karate, 9 year old does fencing. They go to the childcare at the gym 4-5 times a week for 2 hours at a time.
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#28 of 38 Old 12-04-2012, 10:09 PM
 
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Every other week we get together with our homeschool group.  This provides larger group activities and one-on-one/small group play.

 

We get together with friends 1-2 times a week.

 

Then there is random play time with other children we meet at the park or the library.


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#29 of 38 Old 12-05-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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Every other week, we get together with several other homeschool families. We have occasional one-on-one outings with a couple of those families.

 

On the alternating week, ds2 attends a homeschool chess club (with a different group of kids). This is followed by an art class, which dd1 usually attends, with or without ds2 (if ds2 doesn't do art, he hangs around playing with other siblings of the art students, just as dd1 does during chess club).

 

During the week, they both attend Tae Kwon Do classes, which allow a bit of chatting and such. They're also in a circus class right now, but there are only two other students. (DD2 is in a parent and tot circus class that runs in the same space, at the same time - the older kids love watching the little ones do their thing.)

 

DD1 also goes to ballet, where she met one of her best friends. The friend no longer goes to that class (dd1 does ballet recreationally, and her friend has moved into more serious classes), but they still hang out.

 

DS2 also wants to join the boys and girls club again. It's an after school program, located at a local public school. He was attending around one day a week last year, and really enjoyed it.

 

They both have neighbourhood friends, as well, although dd1 has been luckier in that department than ds2.


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#30 of 38 Old 12-09-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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My son takes a weekly homeschoolers Italian class.  Plus, he gets together with friends 1-3 times a week.  It's not enough for him, though.  He really wants more friends.

He's an only child so it gets pretty lonely for him at home.

We recently found out that our school district has finally agreed to send my son out of district.  This means he'll be able to attend a specialized school. Not sure when he'll start, though.  It could be this winter or it may not be until September.


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