Homeschooling veterans...tell me your experiences! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-20-2014, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I have one son who will be 4 in April. I work full time, and he is taken care of by my mother in law, who is really amazing. I'm considering homeschooling, but where I live it's not a common thing to do. I am involved with a local homeschooling group, and I have lots of activities in my area I can incorporate into my son's day so he gets to be around other kids his age. My only reservation about homeschooling is the worry that he will not have any close friends. I met my two closest friends in elementary school, and we are still extremely close after 24 years. I'm afraid that homeschooling won't help him develop these kinds of relationships. Other than that, I know I can involve him in other things like sports, music, art, etc. where he will meet other kids and socialize.

If you have older children who are/were homeschooled, what kind of friendships have they cultivated?

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#2 of 9 Old 01-20-2014, 09:44 AM
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And yet, after a an entire childhood spent in school, I never developed those close, lasting friendships!  


My girls are close enough in age that they have become great friends.  They fight-- a lot-- but they are also very close.  Besides homeschooling, we also do girl scouts which has helped develop some solid friendships, and after many years in gymnastics, they know many girls quite well.  We do have a large homeschooling crowd in the nearby city, but those families seem as difficult to peg down as schooling families are.  


I can't say that we've developed deep, bosom-buddy-attached-to-the-hip friendships yet.  Those can take a bit longer sometimes.  It's hard to predict, though, in what direction friendships are going develop, in school or out.  Meantime, they have strong bonds with each other and their family that I never had with mine.


ETA:  My girls are 7 and 9. 

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#3 of 9 Old 01-20-2014, 12:52 PM
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My older three (15, 17 and 19) are quite introverted and fairly close in age, so they had each other and didn't need or want much in the way of out-of-family friendships when they were younger. They all developed one or two close friendships by age 9 or so through our homeschooling or music contacts. They all ended up attending school by age 14 or so, mostly for the academic structure rather than to fulfill social needs, though for my 15yo a desire for more social exposure played a role in her choice. Neither of my older daughters made any close friends at public school, just casual stuff. Their important friendships have continued to be exclusively through common interests rather than school. Ds did make a couple of pretty good friends at school, but has maintained his non-school friendships as well. 


I have a 10-year-old who is very social and continues to be mostly homeschooled (for the past year she's been attending school 2-3 hours a week). She has a number of friends, forms casual friendships easily and everyone likes her, but she has no one with whom she's really close. Her socializing needs are easily met, but she still wishes she had a really close friend. But she's kind of an unusual kid and this is a very small community, so she just hasn't found a kindred spirit here.



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#4 of 9 Old 01-21-2014, 06:20 PM
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We are not homeschooling veterans--only in our third year now.  My daughter, 8, is very extroverted.  She attended preschool and made some great friends there and then struggled for a year or so before we made some close homeschooling friends.   Now that we have been doing this for a little while, I find that we are less dependent on outside friends, although they are still very important to us, and closer as a family.  I have a 6 year old boy and a four year old boy and both are quite content to hang out with the family and don't need much more.  She does however and we have found it for her.  We don't see them everyday but we see a lot of them and the time they spend together is probably less structured than it would be in school.  I hope this is helpful.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-22-2014, 02:38 PM
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My kids have been able to make lots of good friends from the home learning community, especially my 8 year old. It does take more from me, I have to arrange playdates with kids she connects with since they don't just see each other at school, but the relationships usually become family friendships and are pretty nice :)  They play with kids from the neighbourhood, or we meet at homeschool activities, 4H, dance... all the other stuff we do.

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#6 of 9 Old 01-23-2014, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!!! I noticed a lot of you mentioned siblings, and I guess that's where I get concerned because as if now, my son is an only child. Any future siblings are going to be pretty far apart in age.

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#7 of 9 Old 01-23-2014, 04:19 PM
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This is also something I struggle with my DS and DD are 4 years apart. I would feel that homeschooling activities would always have some change of who is attending rather then getting together with the same famillies. So you know a lot of people, but don't get in that really close friendship. I'm also wondering if there would be opportunities for the kids to just be with their friends without parents or structure. I feel like when we now attand a class it's fun to run into and play friends, but their is no time for something more indept.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-27-2014, 09:37 AM
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DS13 is an only child.  He make friends on swim team, art club, out in the neighborhood, at the library etc. 

He stayed with his inhome daycre until he was 10, the I started letting him stay home alone and by 11 we didnt need the sitter at 12 we moved so we could walk to swim team.  At 13 he is fully independent,walks to the club, can get to the library, etc.

Lots of friends,  


Another thing we did when he was younger was after class ask the 'friend' if they wanted to go to a playland or lunch or soemthing.  Most did.

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Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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#9 of 9 Old 02-07-2014, 05:43 AM
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I was homeschooled from 1st grade on up. A lot of my close friends were children of moms my mother made friends with in LLL (yeah, we were friends for a long time!) I also made friends at the TONS of activities I was able to do, like dance, Girl Scouts, and various activities/groups at church. Getting to participate in homeschool groups was great too. I don't have a lot of close friends now but that's just my personality. I'm still friends with some of my LLL and church friends, and I met my husband at my college job.

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