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omishev
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This is probably going to seem like a really annoying question but how will my children have friends? Close friends. My daughter is 6 and has been to pre-K and K and has gotten used to having friends to play with every day, multiple times a day. I also have a 4yo boy and 2yo boy. If we were to homeschool we would still see friends at church and do gymnastics/karate/swimming with other kids but there isn't much time to actually play at any of those places and it's only once a week. I can't imagine having the time for playdates more than once a week. We regularly play with the kids in our neighborhood but they are all younger: three 3 yo girls, a 1 yo girl, 1 yo boy and baby boy. So... how does it work in your family? Do you go out of your way to set up playdates? 

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For my three kids that are IN a B and M school, I have found that they don't have much time for friends during the school day. In fact, my 15 year old daughter was just complaining to me that she doesn't have enough enough time with her friends at school. 

I homeschool my 8 and 6 year old boys. They play with each other really well. We don't schedule play dates with other kids. They see friends at church and they have cousins they see once a week or so. My older kids play sports, so they play with other kids when we have games and stuff. 

I am not worried about my 8 and 6 year old boys having "friends" right now. They have each other, their older siblings, their dad and I and various cousins. They are perfectly happy.

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We prioritize playtime.  Right now, ds has a group that meets at a local park weekly in the summer and does "p.e." together the rest of the year.  We leave open the hour or so after in-home classes/clubs (kids meet weekly in a home for a class rather than go to co-op) so that they have time to hang out.  Because of these two, we've found kids in our neighborhood that he can play with after everyone is done with school.  It's not much different than how I grew up - I had school friends (I went to school out of town) and neighborhood friends after school and on weekends.
...........School for a 6yo can be very flexible.  It can be lengthened or shortened as needed, and usually by lunch my kid was ready to get silly and run more.  If it was a home day, we'd incorporate that into hands on lessons.  But we could also use it to go out and meet up with people.

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Honestly, this was a factor in our decision to go B&M. 

We used to have same-age friends in our neighborhood, some of whom homeschooled, but they slowly moved away and now the kids are all much younger or older. I think it's great to have a pack of differently-aged kids to play with, but OTOH the maturity levels are so different that they can't connect that well, and after a while the older kids kind of shake off the younger kids and do their own thing, and the much-younger kids get called inside, then my kids are left in the street wondering where everyone went.

Yes, there are playdates, the park, church groups, museums, and other play areas. But my kids are just like my husband and me: slow to warm up. If they were going to have any peer relationships at all, they'd need to see the same kids every day. In our situation, the only way to accomplish that is with B&M.

Everyone is different though. I know several people who feel that just Sunday school, or just co-op, is plenty of time for forming friendships. That just wasn't going to work for the personalities in our family.

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My kids have friends mostly from our neighborhood, but also from our homeschool group.  We only see our homeschool friends every 2-3 weeks, but that hasn't limited their ability to be close friends.  We are in luck that our neighborhood is absolutely jam-packed with kids, and that includes our closest friends, who are also homeschoolers.  I realize not everyone is that lucky.  

What I really came in here to say is that my kids' closest companions and friends are their siblings.  This is very, very, very important to me- to foster close sibling relationships.  Now, OF COURSE my kids bicker and irritate each other, but they also play really well together, collaborate on all sorts of self-initiated projects and plans.... my bigger ones read to my litte ones of their own volition, and also piggy back them around, help them with things... I never require them to do any mom duties with the little kids, they just enjoy babying them, and the little ones enjoy being babied.  I would focus energy on fostering strong sibling bonds because it really pays off, long term.  This includes giving big kids time to do big kid things without little kids bothering, but it also includes lots of family stuff.  I love the book Siblings Without Rivalry if you need a starting place.  

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23 minutes ago, lavender's green said:

Honestly, this was a factor in our decision to go B&M. 

We used to have same-age friends in our neighborhood, some of whom homeschooled, but they slowly moved away and now the kids are all much younger or older. I think it's great to have a pack of differently-aged kids to play with, but OTOH the maturity levels are so different that they can't connect that well, and after a while the older kids kind of shake off the younger kids and do their own thing, and the much-younger kids get called inside, then my kids are left in the street wondering where everyone went.

Yes, there are playdates, the park, church groups, museums, and other play areas. But my kids are just like my husband and me: slow to warm up. If they were going to have any peer relationships at all, they'd need to see the same kids every day. In our situation, the only way to accomplish that is with B&M.

Everyone is different though. I know several people who feel that just Sunday school, or just co-op, is plenty of time for forming friendships. That just wasn't going to work for the personalities in our family.

It was also a factor for my oldest in the high school years.  Young children are easy, but as they get older social situations become more rare - and I do think older kids need to be able to bounce ideas around and argue and come to conclusions, something that is difficult with an only child at home.   I think teens depend more on the constant, small interactions they get with each other, too.  Right now ds19 is slowly getting to know his coworkers and doing stuff with them, but he comes home and does a video game with his friend 2000 miles away and they bond over shooting aliens.

I should have said in my OP that it's relatively easy in the early years to make play a priority, but every stage has a different need and should be addressed at that time. 

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Friends are important. When we started homeschooling there was a close friend for my son to play with in our own neighborhood—2 particularly compatible kids a few months apart in age, one boy one girl. As soon as they were done with schoolwork they could go play. When she moved away, it was very hard. DS (an only child) is now in brick and mortar school where he has more social opportunities—though still not nearly as good as having a best friend very close. 

Your boys could probably play together. And with other children in the neighborhood. 

For your dd, if it were me I would weigh her current friendships heavily as I decided whether homeschooling or staying in her current school would be better for her overall. 

If homeschooling would be better over all, then an effort to help her with friends, play dates, activities would need to be included. 

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I remember being very worried about my kids having friends when I pulled my daughter out of kindergarten and my son was pre K.  Sure they might meet some fellow homeschoolers, but would they have a best friend?

As it turns out, both my kids do indeed have friends, and best friends.  I put myself out there to join a local homeschool group even though I didn't want it be sociable myself.  The park days every other week along with once or twice a month field trips or parties turned out to be plenty of time for them to develop close friendships.

I know it feels hard to get every one out when you have younger kids but I would encourage you to get involved with your local homeschoolers, whoever they are, while your kids are young. If that is park days or rec days or field trips or coops or whatever it is- do that thing.  It is worth the investment later and things do get trickier for middle schoolers and teens not already established in a group.  Middle school is such a hard age to be the new person or the outsider. Find the friends now and prioritise some time for them now, especially while school doesn't take that long. I never regretted taking time in elementary school to cement those friendships.

As a bonus, you might make a friend or two yourself to share this homeschool journey.  ?

Edited by CaliforniaDreamin
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This is certainly something to think about.

When my girls were younger (2.5 years apart), they played together happily for many years. We also had outside friends - we attended church, park days with a support group, had friends over, attended various homeschool weekly events with friends (PE, co-op, etc), so it wasn't a problem.

But when the teen years hit, it does get harder. Teens need to spend a fair amount of time together to continue the relationship. I set up a teen group. I've taken some flak because I specify "TEENS ONLY" and encourage families with younger kids to make alternative arrangements for the youngers. I do think teens need some time with their peers - to discuss, to hang out, to do things with - and without their younger siblings (who sometimes they do seem to be the mamas of).

And I've worked at that - I have set up at least two teen events every month for years. I hosted a literature discussion group last year. I've held numerous teen parties (by invitation only) at my house. I hosted labs here (again by invitation only). I set up a community service club. I drive other teens to various events as well. I've done this because I think it is important.

Warning: Doing all this has paid off for my teens - one had a decent group of friends while the other has an excellent group of friends. But .. it does get tiring. I've done almost all the hosting. I've done almost all the driving. I'd do it all again in a heart beat - maybe even be more intentional about making sure we have events here in our home even more often. But ... where there are teens, there is drama. Or maybe we've just had some bad luck? 

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59 minutes ago, Bambam said:

This is certainly something to think about.

When my girls were younger (2.5 years apart), they played together happily for many years. We also had outside friends - we attended church, park days with a support group, had friends over, attended various homeschool weekly events with friends (PE, co-op, etc), so it wasn't a problem.

But when the teen years hit, it does get harder. Teens need to spend a fair amount of time together to continue the relationship. I set up a teen group. I've taken some flak because I specify "TEENS ONLY" and encourage families with younger kids to make alternative arrangements for the youngers. I do think teens need some time with their peers - to discuss, to hang out, to do things with - and without their younger siblings (who sometimes they do seem to be the mamas of).

And I've worked at that - I have set up at least two teen events every month for years. I hosted a literature discussion group last year. I've held numerous teen parties (by invitation only) at my house. I hosted labs here (again by invitation only). I set up a community service club. I drive other teens to various events as well. I've done this because I think it is important.

Warning: Doing all this has paid off for my teens - one had a decent group of friends while the other has an excellent group of friends. But .. it does get tiring. I've done almost all the hosting. I've done almost all the driving. I'd do it all again in a heart beat - maybe even be more intentional about making sure we have events here in our home even more often. But ... where there are teens, there is drama. Or maybe we've just had some bad luck? 

I’ve done a lot of this too and agree with all of the above. I wonder if the other moms in the group consider that “it must be tiring for bambam and fairfarmhand to host everything. Maybe I should take a turn.” 

Sometimes I struggle with my attitude but I know I’m filling a need not just in my family but in the broader homeschooling community.

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23 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I’ve done a lot of this too and agree with all of the above. I wonder if the other moms in the group consider that “it must be tiring for bambam and fairfarmhand to host everything. Maybe I should take a turn.” 

Sometimes I struggle with my attitude but I know I’m filling a need not just in my family but in the broader homeschooling community.

And keep up the good work, fairfarmhand - it is good for the kids! I'm doing this for the kids. The teens are not responsible for their parents. I'm hoping they grow up and remember how they enjoyed the teen gatherings and do the same for their teens. 

Edited by Bambam
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My kids are older now. They’ve turned out to be just like DH and I and are introverts.  They’re also best friends.  They don’t often see a need to hang out with other friends because they’re best friends.  They “play” together every day (at 13 and 16 that means video games and I don’t even know what...making stupid jokes?)

When they were little, I joined a mom’s group at church and met a ton of women who had kids my sons’ ages.  I was vigilent about making play dates for my sons.  I didn’t care if others didn’t reciprocate—I just invited, invited, invited. My kids are still friends with the same kids they met when they were babies.

Some of the kids are homeschooled, some are private schooled, some are cyberschooled, and some are public schooled.  They all go to the same church, which helps, but mostly it was being vigilent about inviting those kids over as much as I could. 

But...now that they’re older and teens and you’d think that friends would be the Most Important Thing to them right now, it’s not.  They have each other and often will turn down my suggestions to “have so-and-so over.”  They’re happy together without anyone else.  But if they weren’t and if they longed to be with their friends, I’d still be doing my best to find ways to get them together with their friends.

So, you just never know how the kids will turn out—introverted or extroverted.  But I did find as a homeschooling parent it was important to be On Top of inviting friends over and creating ways for my sons to be with friends.  

Edited by Garga
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My son is the most introverted person I have ever met.  He also has Aspergers so I'm sure that contributes as well.  He doesn't worry about friends but has a couple in real life, and a couple more he does online gaming with.  He is EXTREMELY slow to warm up to people, and even when someone is a friend he can usually only handle socializing for an hour or so before he just needs to shut-down.  

On the other hand, dd was asking to go to b&m school because she wanted friends that she saw on a regular basis.  She's a bit of an introvert too but needed that interaction.  Since I started teaching classes, she's made quite a few good friends.  Some are closer than others, but having these kids her age that she sees on a regular basis, along with a couple online friends, has gotten her over the desire to go to school.   (which would not go well with her anxiety).

Now that I have my own space where I'm teaching classes, I'm holding a tween/young teen hang-out for a couple hours each week.  We haven't started yet, so we'll see how it goes.

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6 hours ago, omishev said:

This is probably going to seem like a really annoying question but how will my children have friends? Close friends. My daughter is 6 and has been to pre-K and K and has gotten used to having friends to play with every day, multiple times a day. I also have a 4yo boy and 2yo boy. If we were to homeschool we would still see friends at church and do gymnastics/karate/swimming with other kids but there isn't much time to actually play at any of those places and it's only once a week. I can't imagine having the time for playdates more than once a week. We regularly play with the kids in our neighborhood but they are all younger: three 3 yo girls, a 1 yo girl, 1 yo boy and baby boy. So... how does it work in your family? Do you go out of your way to set up playdates? 

My firstborn was in a homeschool playgroup beginning at age 6 and that is where her solid friends were from for several years. (In fact, one of these girls is still her very close friend and she still talks to one or two of the others now and then.) We have been in a co-op all of the years I homeschooled and that was where the majority of my kids’ friends have come from (and mine, too, actually). 

It was more difficult with my second child because there just were not many boys his age at co-op at that time - it was just the way it was. A few of the boys his age were from families that had different ideals from us and the boys never really clicked, though they did some birthday parties and such sometimes. He really only had one very good friend from co-op and his mother is my good friend, too. But honestly, this was harder to provide; we also live secluded and not in a neighborhood. 

Third child was back to there being a lot of boys his age at co-op and he is friends with them, though he does not really have a best friend there. (He had one but they moved.) 

I do think this is one thing that is harder to provide in hsing. I am also introverted and do not especially like having extras here. It’s okay from time to time or for a party but I am not and have never been the kind of parent who wants gangs of kids coming and going all the time. (However, that is still true of me when I have school kids as well.) 

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My kids all made great friendships through the hs co-op we belonged to.  Ds will be in one of those friend's weddings next weekend.  All of them have at least 1 best friend from there.  This was a wonderful investment of time for us.  Most every other Friday everyone went to someone else's house.  We all did monthly field trips together.

Sometime we invited one or two families with similar ages for ornament making or cookie decorating, or poetry reading times.

There are also Scouts and sports teams to make friends at, tho the sports friends were seasonal in our case.  

You can also set up some things as ways for the hs community to get together.  We had a monthly sport day, and anyone could play.  Summer's one of us moms gave tennis lessons or ran baseball games. Winters two moms were goalies weekly for the teen boot or skate hockey games.  Youngers skated or went sliding.   Lots of things you can dream up.

And yes, some of my best friends are/were homeschool moms.  All our kids are done now.  :(

Edited by Tina
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Well, my kids best friends are homeschoolers from church. They have other friends at church too. We have an excellent youth program. They also have friends from long-term activties like scouts and enrichment classes that we have done for several years.  My Dd has friends from her tutorial, and my Ds is making friends with their younger brothers at family events. Our neighborhood doesn't have any kids my kids' age, but they have friends who are younger kids and friends who are adults. 

We live in an area with many, many homeschoolers, and groups, extra curricular activities, tutorials etc. abound. So there is a large group of homeschoolers that we know some, a medium sized group that we know fairly well, and a handful with whom we are close.  

 

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8 hours ago, omishev said:

This is probably going to seem like a really annoying question but how will my children have friends? Close friends. My daughter is 6 and has been to pre-K and K and has gotten used to having friends to play with every day, multiple times a day. I also have a 4yo boy and 2yo boy. If we were to homeschool we would still see friends at church and do gymnastics/karate/swimming with other kids but there isn't much time to actually play at any of those places and it's only once a week. I can't imagine having the time for playdates more than once a week. We regularly play with the kids in our neighborhood but they are all younger: three 3 yo girls, a 1 yo girl, 1 yo boy and baby boy. So... how does it work in your family? Do you go out of your way to set up playdates? 

 

If your daughter is happy in school, why are you considering homeschooling her? 

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9 hours ago, omishev said:

This is probably going to seem like a really annoying question but how will my children have friends? Close friends. My daughter is 6 and has been to pre-K and K and has gotten used to having friends to play with every day, multiple times a day. I also have a 4yo boy and 2yo boy. If we were to homeschool we would still see friends at church and do gymnastics/karate/swimming with other kids but there isn't much time to actually play at any of those places and it's only once a week. I can't imagine having the time for playdates more than once a week. We regularly play with the kids in our neighborhood but they are all younger: three 3 yo girls, a 1 yo girl, 1 yo boy and baby boy. So... how does it work in your family? Do you go out of your way to set up playdates? 

When my kids were that age, my daughters friends were the kids she saw several times a week during daytime homeschool activities. The same kids were in dance and scouts and history club and book club and playgroup. This meant a lot of hosting for me on a reasonable rotation and driving somewhere nearly every afternoon. Luckily, nothing was more than 10 minutes away. 

DS’s friends were the little brothers of these girls. They started as tagalongs and eventually had their own playgroups and activities. 

It was all a lot of work and organizing from mothers of young children, but the friendships were worth it and we still see many of those families today now that my kids are 18 and 21.

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I Thought you had  decided not to homeschool. Putting together that your dd has friends in brick and mortar school and does not seem to like to do work for you in homeschool, it seems like keeping her at brick and mortar school makes sense.  Maybe a different decision would work for your boys.  I got my other impressions from this thread:

 
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Your child is 6.  Church and activities and a weekly playdate/group is plenty if you want to homeschool and you think that is best for your family right now.  I set up a weekly park/play day with a handfull of families when my kids were young and that got to be kind of a life line.   My kid went to k and 1st and there wasn't a lot of extra time for playdates.  He got maybe 1 or 2 extra social things a month.  He did do a few activities too and those were good outlets.  Running with a range of kids is fine and that seemed ok with my kids until they got close to being teens.  Then they really craved a direct peer group.

My kids are teens now and it is a full time job carting them around to various things.  Which is fine and working for us.  My kids get SO much social and out of the house time.  Much more than their academically minded B&M school friends actually.  But that doesn't work for every family which is fine.  

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9 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

If your daughter is happy in school, why are you considering homeschooling her? 

Good question. Her learning style is part of it. Worksheets mean nothing to her. Reading has been a struggle. She has trouble focusing. Also, the lifestyle of homeschooling really appeals to me, more family time, more down time, more time for extracurriculars, more outside time, more time for chores and learning life skills, time to learn about whatever interests them and follow rabbit trails. During school we are always rushing around to get out of the house in the morning, rushing to get chores and homework done, rushing to get to bed so they can get up early again the next morning. 

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For the most part, my kids didn't have "close friends" in the early years. They had people they played with, some on the regular and sometimes just random kids at the park, and there was nothing wrong with that.

Around the tween years, neighbors closer to their ages moved in.  We joined more activities in their interest areas. Because they were interest areas, the same kids tended to overlap in multiple activities.  They were able to bond with kids over those interests instead of just being randomly stuck with each other, lol.

Today, my teens have really beautiful friendships. There are a few kids I'm not over the top thrilled with but, overall, they're an amazing gang of teenagers. They encourage each other, look out for the shy kids, celebrate each other's achievements, help each other with school work, team up on service projects, take each other's siblings under their wings...  What more could I possibly ask for?
(They're not immune to drama, but it seems to settle down pretty quickly.)

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19 hours ago, omishev said:

This is probably going to seem like a really annoying question but how will my children have friends? Close friends. My daughter is 6 and has been to pre-K and K and has gotten used to having friends to play with every day, multiple times a day.

The reality of most pre-K and K classes, is that young children get used to having other children around in the room. It's not the same thing as having actual friends, and not even remotely the same as having close friends. You build close friendship over time, and for young children it requires some adult guidance and involvement so that children have opportunities to play together, learn to share and be kind, and feel comfortable and safe. 

I've found that homeschooling families often tend to put more time and energy into helping their children develop close friendships. They are willing to drive to meet up with other families and usually willing to help ensure that the children are behaving appropriately so that close friendships can develop. They are willing to do this month after month, year after year, as finding friends that you really bond with takes time.

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3 hours ago, omishev said:

Good question. Her learning style is part of it. Worksheets mean nothing to her. Reading has been a struggle. She has trouble focusing. Also, the lifestyle of homeschooling really appeals to me, more family time, more down time, more time for extracurriculars, more outside time, more time for chores and learning life skills, time to learn about whatever interests them and follow rabbit trails. During school we are always rushing around to get out of the house in the morning, rushing to get chores and homework done, rushing to get to bed so they can get up early again the next morning. 

 

In terms of learning style, what does she respond positively to?

How much of the above is what you find appealing and how much will be appealing to your daughter?

ETA: In theory the things you write about above can be very positive parts of homeschooling.

However, you may find yourself switching one sort of rushing for another.  For example rushing in afternoon and evening to go to play dates and group events in order to meet friendship needs.  Rushing to make your house ready for social events  — cleaning up afterwards  

Your daughter may not enjoy rabbit trail learning. 

Dealing  with reading and focus trouble can be hard to do, very hard—a lot of work not leaving all the free time you imagine.

It can be especially hard with younger children present, making focus and concentration for both parent and student even harder.  

There can also be more of a struggle being the parent-teacher who has to push a non eager student than being a parent only who can empathize and advocate for the child with outside teachers. 

Edited by Pen
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20 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

We prioritize playtime.  

This. This. This.

I know that it can be hard for a whole host of reasons - introvert parents, lack of community around you, large families, kids with special needs, etc. etc. Sometimes parents work hard to make social opportunities happen and it still doesn't work (as also happens in school). But I get very frustrated when I see people complaining that their kids are so upset that they don't have enough friends and yet they never go to anything regularly! And I've seen people who are ideologically not far from me do it in my area so I know we're here. It's just that they never prioritize it.

And the time to do it is when they're younger. School takes less time. Invest in social stuff and it will pay big dividends later on. Some kids will go to school, yeah, but some will probably stick with you.

My kids are starting high school. One of their best friends is a kid they met when they were four. They still routinely see and hang out with kids they met as young elementary schoolers. It's because we prioritized putting time into those relationships. They have newer friends too, but those core kids are really important.

I know it's not a magic bullet - some families or kids have other limitations in making friends. And on the flip side, some families live in neighborhoods where all the kids are friends and run around in the street in a pack and you don't have to put in effort! But if you don't automatically have that, it has to start there. You have to make it a priority - by hosting things, by taking them to things, by investing time in your church or co-op group, by be willing to travel, etc. - or you can't complain that it didn't happen.

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It’s hard. We recently went on a pretty epic, 10 +country trip, with loads of fun activities planned for the kids (Komodo dragons! Bathing with elephants! Volcanic mountains!) but what she really wanted is...to be home and on the yellow school bus.

for DS, high school is where we drew the line. He is going to private high school part time and we are turning ourselves inside out to make the logistics work. He is less social *and has one great friend since kindergarten, thankfully these two boys have been everywhere together, we take him on some trips and this other family just took DS on a crazy summer trip but it’s hard hard work.hence the high school. 

* actually he is super social and I think we would have done him a great disservice keeping him home longer. 

Edited by madteaparty
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I remember reading something online that said it takes about 40 hours of real interaction to make a friend. I think that is true for adults and children. It is not just being around people, but doing things and spending time with them. So you do have to make sure social stuff is a priority in the younger years, and it definitely helps to have activities that are regular and at least school-year long. Co-op, Sunday school, sports teams, you have to be busy!

For my kids, that was swim team and judo. Plus the occasional luck of neighborhood friends. Even with my last two going to public hs (for social reasons), their best friends are from their activities, not classes.

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7 hours ago, omishev said:

Good question. Her learning style is part of it. Worksheets mean nothing to her. Reading has been a struggle. She has trouble focusing. Also, the lifestyle of homeschooling really appeals to me, more family time, more down time, more time for extracurriculars, more outside time, more time for chores and learning life skills, time to learn about whatever interests them and follow rabbit trails. During school we are always rushing around to get out of the house in the morning, rushing to get chores and homework done, rushing to get to bed so they can get up early again the next morning. 

 

Thanks for explaining. That makes a lot of sense. ?

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When we started homeschooling this was my biggest concern. I had no idea how someone acquires friends when at home and it caused me to pause. I just made it a huge priority for our first year. We attended groups in our community and when I saw my kids make a connection, I arranged play dates. I put together activities, signed them up for sports, we began attending an umbrella school a couple of times per week and met tons of people there. I was just incredibly proactive and persistent. It was hard at first but my persistence paid off. We have a large friend group now and I was just telling DH how our whole summer has been consumed by play dates because now we have to turn down offers. You can get there but when your kids are young, it is truly dependent on your own ability to network and be social. I am pretty outgoing and can make friends quickly so I don't mind the leg work it takes. My DH is more introverted so he would have a harder time. Typically though, you can find people in the community that you jive well with. I find my kids now get more way more social exposure than they would even in a brick and mortar. It just takes time. 

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On 8/27/2018 at 10:14 PM, Pen said:

I Thought you had  decided not to homeschool. Putting together that your dd has friends in brick and mortar school and does not seem to like to do work for you in homeschool, it seems like keeping her at brick and mortar school makes sense.  Maybe a different decision would work for your boys.  I got my other impressions from this thread:

 

The decision weighs on my mind every day. We have already paid for this year so it is unlikely we would pull them out. But next year is definitely up for debate. We have to commit in February so I am trying to explore all these questions before then. Their school is wonderful and so far so good but ...... 

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