Ways To Socialize Your Child While Homeschooling

Teaching Your Child Important Social Skills

How can homeschooling parents teach their children social skills?

Learning to get along with other people, working as part of a team or group, and just knowing what our culture and society expect of a worthwhile contributing young adult is important.

How can responsible homeschooling parents make sure their child(ren) is/are learning these important fundamental social skills?

There are many places where a child can learn social skills.

Just as all humans start learning about their world the moment they arrive on this planet and in this world, so all situations bring experience that teaches us in some respect, how to relate to other people.

There are many opportunities for children to learn how to interact with other children, how to get along with other children, and how to work with other children, as well as people of all ages.

Activities That Teach Social Skills and Team Work

Girls and boys interacting socially and learning to work together for a common goal.
Girls and boys interacting socially and learning to work together for a common goal. | Source
Elementary school age boys playing soccer together.
Elementary school age boys playing soccer together. | Source
Boy Scouts working together to build and race soap box cars.
Boy Scouts working together to build and race soap box cars. | Source
Young girls in a dance class learning social skills, including how to cooperate and get along.
Young girls in a dance class learning social skills, including how to cooperate and get along. | Source
Children of different ages practicing for a theater play they will present to the community.
Children of different ages practicing for a theater play they will present to the community. | Source

Great Places Where Your Child(ren) Can Learn Important Social Skills

· Enroll your child in a club like the Girl or Boy Scouts of America.

· Get your child(ren) involved with Girls and Boys Clubs where they are available.

· Enroll your child in a community sports team for children of a similar age.

· Enroll your child in 4-H.

· Enroll your child in dance lessons or classes that will include recital.

· Enroll your child in a theatre group that includes just children, or both children and adults. Performing in plays helps build self-confidence and teaches children to work with other people to accomplish a common goal. Also, everyone needs to be able to get along with people of all ages and to work with people of all ages, not just their own age. One of the objections I have to public and private schools is that children are segregated so much of the time with people of their own age. Children in public and private school rarely if ever get an opportunity to get to know people of different ages. Learning to get along with people of many different ages is a skill they will need so long as they live.

· Enroll your child in music lessons that include recitals. Or if there is a children’s chorus or similar kind of singing group in your community, get your child(ren)involved in it. Music is part of a well-rounded education, and some experts even say that early music lessons (beginning before the age of 6) will help children do better in math.

· Enroll your child in a library group for children. Most libraries have story times for very young children as well as library clubs for other age groups. Contact your local library to see what they have to offer.

· Look around your community and see if there is a group that specializes in something your child is especially interested in like bird watching for children, or a science group. It need not be any of the things I’ve listed here, but look for groups that do whatever it is your child is interested in.

· Form a playgroup for your very young children that includes neighborhood children or children of your friends.

· Enroll your young children in a Daycare Facility for just a couple of hours a day, or just a couple of times a week, allowing you time to run errands and shop while your children are engaged with other children their age.

· Check to see if there is a group within your church that gives children the opportunity to socialize with each other.

· Look around your community for after school programs. Your child need not be enrolled in a public or private school to be involved in community after school programs.

· Check with your local school district. Some public or private schools will allow homeschooled children to participate in just some of their classes or extra curricular activities instead of being enrolled as full-time students. This is not common, but it is the case in some places, so if that is something that would interest you, check it out in your community.

Public School May Not Be The Best Place For Your Child To Learn Social Skills

Public and private school are not the only venues where children can learn social skills.

Many parents would agree, I think, that many of the social skills children pick up in a formal school situation may not be all that useful or desirable.

One of the advantages of home schooling your child(ren) is that you have more control over the people they spend their time with and the sort of behaviors your children are learning.

Home schooling allows parents a lot more control over the influences in their children’s lives and the behaviors other people are modeling for their children.

There are many great opportunities for children to learn and grow socially besides formal public or private schools. I recommend taking advantage of those opportunities whether you home school or not.

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Comments 52 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Colorfulone, thank you for reading/commenting on this article and for sharing your thoughts. When I was homeschooling it seemed the one thing that concerned everyone outside our immediate family the most was how would we socialize our daughter. This article is the answer. :)


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 7 months ago from Minnesota

As a former home schooler I enjoyed all your suggestion. If I was just starting out down that same road, this hub would be helpful to read. This is very useful information to share. - Kudos!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 14 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for commenting and sharing this article! People can often find a home school association in their areas and that can be a help too, if there aren't many activities available due to a small population.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 14 months ago from Houston, Texas

I am seeing more ads for activities specifically designed for kids who are being home schooled these days. Parents would not have a problem finding opportunities particularly in large cities. In small rural areas it might be more of a problem but as the old saying goes..."where there is a will, there is a way". Sharing this good article again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

Agree that there are some people who really shouldn't home school their children. As with any 'school,' home schooling isn't perfect and and isn't the ideal for everyone. All schools have problems they must work out often depending on the students and teachers.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns, DeborahDian. Often people are so intent on seeing to it their children do not learn certain things that they fail to prepare them by teaching them about other important things.

Personally, I think it serves a person well to be informed about various beliefs on many subjects if only to better understand people who think or believe differently. One needn't incorporate the beliefs and values of other people into their own lives just because they know about them, but it may help everyone to get along if they have a better understanding of each other.

I didn't home school my daughter for religious reasons as many people do with their children. I thought I could do a better job than the school systems here and I have never regretted it. My daughter is far better informed and is still choosing to read and learn about new things on her own now.

Keeping up with what's going on and learning about things and people who are different more to find the commonality than the difference helps everyone to get along better.


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 20 months ago from Orange County, California

These are great tips for parents who home school their children. It seems to me that parents either do a fabulous job with it, like you obviously have done, or they barely do the minimum to really prepare their children to become contributing member of society. Since many people are choosing to home school their children, I hope a lot of them will read your articles so that they fall into the category of those who are doing a fabulous job.

Great article. Voted UP and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue, and much appreciation always for the angels. I truly hope angels are watching over you and your loved ones every minute of the day wherever you or they go.

The concern/complaint that I heard over and over again most often about homeschooling, and especially when I home schooled my own daughter was, "but what about socialization?" People were then convinced 20-30 years ago, that children could only learn social skills in a formal school setting. They also believed learning could only take place during public school days/hours.

Look what many children learn about social interaction in school? Must I go into detail?

I think these concerns point to a rigidity in the minds of some people and a lack of ability to think or be creative. If children could only learn these skills in public schools how did we get to where we are today? Many of our parents didn't even go to school of any kind. They had to help on the farm. Do adults become socially stagnant when they leave school? Do people who utilize distance learning or online lessons become socially stunted without the social influence of the classroom?

I'll get off my soapbox, but I really think anyone who imagines people can only learn social skills and rules in a formal school lack imagination at best. Thank you again for your thoughts!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida

You are so right, Aufait There are so many opportunities for kids to interact with others. Over they years while I was teaching quite a few home schooled children came to school at some point. And the ones who did the best in getting along with others were the ones who had been enrolled in activities such as the ones you mentioned.

Concern about socialization should not be a reason to keep a family from making the decision to home school.

Angels are once again winging their way to you this morning ps


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Peachpurple, thank you for stopping by. An even controllable temper is important if one is going to work with people, especially children.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i have never thought of home schooling, because i don't much much good temper either


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for commenting on this important issue. I think it's important to realize, as stated in this article, that public school (and private schools) aren't the only place children learn how to get along and work together, etc. In fact, it was my public school experience, and my husband's, that much of what was learned in public school (sexism, racism, agism, and more isms, etc.) had to be unlearned when we got to the university. Now my husband and I didn't buy into all those isms in the first place and were both victims of it in some ways, but many of our classmates did buy into them. That's just the beginning.

Another hubber who has written very well on socialization of home schooled children is LCDWriter. I recommend her articles on this subject. Thanks again for taking the time to come by!


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 23 months ago from Orange County, California

Socialization is an important issue for children who are home schooled. They need the experience of being around their peers, negotiating with them, learning how to evaluate whether or not they like being around certain people, building friendships, and all the other skills they get from being with other children.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for Google+ing this article and for sharing. I am still on the fence about Google+. They bug me to officially join sometimes and I can't decide. Sounds like you like Google+ and knowing what you think would make a difference to a lot of us who hold your opinion in high regard, so maybe you should write a hub about your experience and how beneficial you believe it to be . . .


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I am using G+ more and more. Sending this good hub of yours that direction and will once again share.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Rebeccamealey, thank you for stopping by. Yes there are lots of ways for children to learn social skills and how to get along and work with others.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for tweeting and sharing this article! There are so many good ways to help one's children learn social skills besides public or private school.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Very helpful ideas for those who choose to home school. Also great after-school activities for those who attend school!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is such good information to know for people who are considering home schooling their children. Giving this a tweet and will once again share.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

I hope you get to meet some home schooled children. Keep in mind, that just like public school, home school isn't perfect either and a lot depends on what is taught and by whom and how informed the teachers/parents are.

There are parents who home school in order to keep their children ignorant about 'worldly' things, and there are home school parents like myself who want their children as well informed about everything as possible, and parents of all sorts somewhere in between those two goals.

Being informed is not a sin nor does it mean agreeing or incorporating everything one learns about into one's life. I believe that knowing, and as much as possible, understanding other people's lifestyles and values/beliefs can go a long way in removing the fear people have of the unknown and therefore preventing wars and other atrocities brought onto people who are different. Learning and being informed can be helpful in promoting tolerance as well. It is usually ignorance that fuels hate crimes and war and ugly deeds generally.

Thank you Glenda, for stopping by. Haven't heard from you in a while and hope you and your family had a great Christmas!


Glenda Jacks 2 years ago

I have never known any children who were home schooled but this is very good information for parents of home school kids.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Moonlake, thank you for commenting, voting on, and sharing this article! Some school districts choose to work with homeschooling parents instead of opposing them and then everyone wins. There are lots of home school associations all over the country that also bring home school families together for sports, theater, music, etc., so there's no reason for home school children to be left behind in music, art, sports, etc., or social skills.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Our chiropractor home schooled her kids but I know they were also in school sports. Interesting hub voted up and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping in and reading/commenting on this article, Glenda! I tend to be thorough as an instructor. My daughter is my working qualification. Thank you for your high praise!


Glenda 3 years ago

You are an amazing writer. I don't have school age children, and I don't think I would be a good teacher, but all the suggestions you made here is great. You must have been a wonderful teacher.

I really enjoyed you writings.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for tweeting this hub! Yes, this is one of the issues that people raised with me again and again when my husband and I decided we were going to homeschool our daughter.

My daughter is involved with charitable organizations and is always doing something. She does the same kind of work I do to pay the bills and she has a pet/baby/house sitting business on the side, active in her church, etc. It would be sad if public or private schools were the only places children could learn social skills. I really think these other places are better.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Coming back to tweet this hub and give it a boost. Parents or potential parents need to know this information!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for pinning this hub!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

This will be another one of your informative hubs to pin.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you rajan jolly for reading and commenting on this hub! And for voting it up, etc., too.

Yes, I have heard that home schooling in other countries is not so easy because it is often forbidden or against the law. Some of our states make it more difficult than others, but Alaska and Texas are the most home school friendly states in this country.

My husband and I chose to home school our daughter because we thought we could do a better job (and I believe we did), and because our public schools are sadly failing our children in learning, and what our children do learn they might often be better off not knowing -- bad behaviors, etc.

In fact it is possible here not only to home school high school, but even college! Yes, that's what distance learning amounts to.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Children do start out learning their first lessons at home. It is certainly interesting to read that you as well as some others have done it successfully at home. However, there are limited opportunities in some countries to go through it right up to the end.

Voted up and useful.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W, for reading and commenting on this hub, and for the votes and sharing too! Yes, there are lots of home school associations all across this country. There really is no reason parents can't find lots of opportunities for their children to learn social skills outside of 'formal' school.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Natashalh, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! There are many places where children can learn social skills and how to get along with other people of all ages.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii

I was home schooled for over two years. I got a great education because my dad was an educator by profession, but my social skills definitely suffered. I think socialization is just as important in life as book knowledge and you have some great tips on how to help out home schoolers.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

You have given parents great information regarding how to socialize children who are home schooled. All of these suggestions are great. From what I have heard, there are groups of parents who home school who get to know one another and other outings like trips to museums or parks, historical sites, etc. are often arranged. The sky is the limit...and like you say...they will not be picking up the bad habits or behavior often seen in public schools. Good hub. Up, useful and sharing!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Angel Mehsinjer for reading and commenting on this hub. Congratulations on the new member of your family. I'm so glad I home schooled my daughter. I think if you decide to go with home school you'll be very happy you did. Social opportunities are plentiful and better outside of school than in it, I think. So good to hear your baby loves books too! My still does and she's now 24. ;)


Angel Mehsinjer profile image

Angel Mehsinjer 3 years ago from United States

This articles has really gotten me thinking of all the different ways I can provide social opportunities for my children that are better in many cases than school. My husband and I have just had our first child a few weeks ago and we are giving very serious thought to home education for her. I know I have read some of your other articles on this issue and they are very compelling for home schooling.

Appreciate all the ideas you have listed here for socializing children. It's really got me to thinking of ways I can provide opportunities for my child to be with other children and adults and learn to get along and accept differences.

I really like your article on Giving Your Baby a Headstart, too, and I'm already incorporating as many of those ideas into our new routine as I can.

My baby is only a few weeks old and already she loves books! I'm so glad I took your advice and introduced a book to her because it's something she looks forward to now and she's still so tiny! I love that she loves books! I will be getting her more of those.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you again Dr. Rhea, for your spot on comments. Most towns of any size here in the states do have home school associations. I agree that when parents are able to do so, home school is the best way to go.

Working for our local school district I can say that I am thankful everyday that I home schooled my own daughter. What so many parents have to go through here with red tape and hassles is unbelievable.

My daughter has the added advantage, unlike nearly 24% of highschool grads around the country, that she can read, write, and she can operate a pencil and paper when doing math if need be not to mention doing what I call headmath!


Dr Rhea 4 years ago

Au fait, I think homeschooling is a priviledge for my grandchildren. They do so much better being at home. They are both very active social beings and, of course I am proud of them. I, also, attended public school and I cannot say that it was an entirely positive experience. I do not feel children miss out on anything being in homeschool, if their studies are scheduled approximately.

It is true, not everyone is able to participate in homeschool for one reason or another. That is ok. What is important is that children receive an education that prepares them for life's experiences. One needs to remember there are alternatives to the traditional public school. Parents need to search out what is best for their child(ren). In some communities there are homeschool assoications or groups, where all involved schedule regular social times for support for the children and the parents. This is something I would like to see more communities be involved in. There are times when homeschooling is much safer than a public or private school.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you again Dr. Rhea for commenting and telling us about your situation. I don't understand why people think seating 30 or more children in a room together and forcing them to be quiet and not interact is teaching them social skills. I am a product of public school as is my former husband and neither of us picked up any special skills by being in that environment.

I think as the public schools continue to go downhill, more and more people will choose home school. Many more children are home schooled now than when I started home schooling my own daughter over 22 years ago. It solves so many problems and avoids so much hassle it's unbelievable, but at the same time I realize not everyone is able to do it.


Dr Rhea 4 years ago

I agree 100% with you. Thanks for the info.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Dr. Rhea, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. I agree that being able to design a lesson plan and method of teaching that suits the student is one of the main advantages of home schooling. Where people get the idea that public/private schools are the only or best places for children to learn social skills is something that baffles my mind. Personally, I think it's the worst place to learn social skills. There are a gazillion places outside of school where children can learn social skills and they learn them the natural way. The way things work in real life, not in a regimented controlled environment/institution that is nothing at all like their lives will be like once they leave.

Thanks again for you input!


Dr Rhea 4 years ago

Thanks for the list of suggestions for social opportunities. I homeschool my grandchildren and I believe social skills are a very important part of learning. Often homeschool is associated will little socialization and this does not have to be the case. Social skills learning just has to be part of your planning. My grandchildren are homeschooled because one has cancer and the other is severe ADHD. I am disabled from a career and practice in psychology. Homeschooling for my grandson (ADHD) has made a tremendous difference in his learning. He is a very social little guy, but would get upset in the public school system. He is learning to live with and understand his ADHD. He is learning to establish friendships and learning more appropriate social behaviors and ways to handle stress, as well as all academic subjects. This one of the advantages of homeschool - being able to design and plan a program that is specialized for the individual child and their needs.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Aunt Jimi for reading and commenting on my hub. I do think children learn to get along with people of all different ages better when they learn social rules and expectations outside the school setting where they are separated according to age/grade these days and seldom see anyone who is a different age except their teachers.


Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 4 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

This hub gives a lot of good ways for children to learn social skills besides in school. I agree that children learn social skills better when they mix with people of all ages. I home schooled my daughter too, and I think it's the best way to go for anyone who is able to manage it.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Geo, for taking the time to read and comment on my hub.


georges 5 years ago

your article make good points socializing is very important.nice hub.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 years ago from North Texas Author

Parents should naturally want their children to become acquainted with, and develop friendships with many different kinds of people, including people of different races and ethnicities. Neither race nor ethnicity determine the quality of someone's character. Closely supervising the time children spend in activities outside the home and limiting unsupervised time with other people who you may not yet know well, will go a long way in preventing undesirable activities like tobacco and drug use, risky sexual behavior, and a menu of other questionable behaviors. How does anyone choose the people who will be their closest friends? Hopefully by the character and behavior people exhibit -- not according to race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic level. These same factors can be employed when deciding who will make a good friend for one's children. By engaging your children in a variety of activities outside the home, they should meet a good many different children, many of whom will meet a parent's requirements as well as the child's need for someone with similar interests, etc. Thank you again Dave, for taking the time to read and comment on my article. Your comments are much appreciated.


Dave Carr 5 years ago

Another fine example. How do you determine which members of society your child mixes with? There is no mention of segregating with other races for instance in this country it is deemed to be discriminatory to exclude other races and in some cases it is against the law. Do you have these issues in the US or are we alone in this? One of the rulings that came out of Brussels.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for you comment jonnywindows.


jonnywindows 5 years ago

Your article makes a very good point- socializing being Very important. Over the years i have heard of kids being schooled at home who were leading quite narrow lives due to an Overbearing parent/tutor who controlled the kids every move.

Your article gives some good ideas on places to socialize and have fun ,so that they can find a circle of friends and interests


Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you again DavyJones02 for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. In fact I home schooled my own daughter from start to finish. She spent 2 weeks in a public school as a teenager, and 2 weeks in a private school at age 11 so that she could better understand what most other children go through every day, but otherwise she has been home schooled all the way. She passed her GED with flying colors and took the test for it cold turkey, none of those preparation courses. Thanks again, I really appreciate your input!


DavyJones02 profile image

DavyJones02 5 years ago from Netherlands

Nice hub as well! I have a question since I am not from America and home schooling is quite rare here, at least I never heard of anyone that was home schooled. until which age will children be home schooled, I assume not all the way through high school? Not many parents have the skills to teach all that to their kids I would think let alone the time to do it.

I do really understand home schooling better however, thanks for that, although I would not consider it myself, I have had a great time at school and hope my kids will someday have too.

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