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Lisa*

Online Social Interaction for Homeschool Kids

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Hello,

My two children, DD and DS, are homeschooled. My DS is in 8th grade and desperately wants to attend the PS. My husband and I are not thrilled by the idea, however. DS wants to attend the PS so he can be "normal" and "like everyone else" he knows. He is not socially isolated, however, as he participates in Boy Scouts, Crossfit, and mountain biking. He also takes three classes from WTMA, but there is no way to "meet" his classmates.

There are no coops that I know of or am interested in joining in our town. 

My question is: Does anyone know of an online forum for homeschool kids to meet and share notes on the good and bad of homeschooling life? Any other online hangout? Any ideas? Thoughts?

Thank you!

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I don't know of an on-line forum. In my town, there are several homeschool  groups.  These are different from a co-op in that we don't meet to take classes together. We meet every Friday for Park Day, we have a monthly field trip, one mom hosts a "Game Day" where kids get together to play board games. This year, we have a Teen Event where teens get together at a Starbucks to hang out and chat. Some moms drop off, others stay and chat with the other moms. Moms get together once a month for a meeting where we discuss various homeschool topics and upcoming events. We do a lot together and it's always the same group of kids so our children develop friendships. I like this better than a co-op because there is no class to prepare for and we meet often enough to develop friendships (moms too) but not so often that it takes over our homeschool. I mention our group because one, you may want to do a search for "Homeschoool Groups" in your area or two, you can possibly start your own.   All you would need is one other family to start.  Your group will grow. Ours has. One last thing, our group is a Christian group and many groups can be found through churches.  Hope this helps.

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@Lisa* My oldest DD thrived with online classes, but only those which were live AND also included a way for the kids to interact. She didn't care for Memoria Press online classes for several reasons - one of which was that the kids were not really allowed to interact before, during, or after classes. She liked her La Clase Divertida Spanish classes because the teacher encouraged the kids to email each other for help, support, and comraderie. Wilson Hill Academy, as a provider, has a way for kids to email each other outside of class and they also have "houses" where the students meet online outside of school time. At the end of the school year, they have an in person meet up (along with graduation for kids who choose to graduate through their online academy). All these things encourage interaction among the students. Perhaps you should look for an online provider that encourages more interaction between students both inside & outside of class?

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I guess I lean toward just allowing the public school as long as there isn't anything hugely bad there. I mean, by 14 yrs old they seem pretty set in their morals anyway. Of course, I could be wrong. Seriously. I allowed my 14 yr old to go to public high school this year and am hoping for the best. Oh yeah, I did put one condition down. He had to have a reason to be there...as in, a "thing" he was doing. He wanted to do ROTC. 

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We are struggling with how much to allow our DS to choose his own course: going to PS vs putting our foot down and telling him we know what is best.  DS is our social butterfly even though he struggles with making friends. Our PS is FINE, but I fear that he will not achieve much, as he is not super motivated unless it's something he truly wants to do. Currently, he claims that everything is wrong with homeschooling, and his life would be oh-so much better if he were at PS. 

Anyone else struggling with their kids claiming they want more social or want to go to PS?

Thanks!

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Online G3 and Athena’s Advanced Academy both include moderated forums for connections outside of class. DD has made more social connections from Athena’s. 

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Other local "live" interaction ideas:
- participate on the local public school sports team
- join a community youth theater group
- after school bowling league
- after school club -- electronics, robotics, chess, book club, etc.
- join YMCA Youth & Gov't program, Speech & Debate team, Model UN, Mock Trial, etc.
- volunteering
- teen group that does air-soft, paint-ball, orienteering, rock climbing, kayaking, skateboard park, or other weekend social events

Edited by Lori D.

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7 hours ago, Lisa* said:

We are struggling with how much to allow our DS to choose his own course: going to PS vs putting our foot down and telling him we know what is best.  DS is our social butterfly even though he struggles with making friends. Our PS is FINE, but I fear that he will not achieve much, as he is not super motivated unless it's something he truly wants to do. Currently, he claims that everything is wrong with homeschooling, and his life would be oh-so much better if he were at PS. 


I will say, it is virtually impossible to drag a reluctant teen through homeschooling high school. Also, your student is right at that age/stage of starting to do very natural rebelling/pulling away and trying to figure out who he is -- ironically, young teens usually do this by thinking that is going to be the complete opposite of whatever parents think, say, do, lol. Also, to give you hope: the immature person that a student is in 8th grade will grow and change dramatically through the years of high school, and be very different by 12th grade.

Another thing that may put pressure on you to decide one way or the other before 9th grade: in some areas, the decision to switch to public school has to be made at 9th grade, as the school won't accept homeschool credits (and some school districts don't accept the credits from public high schools in other districts!) without making the student take the "end of year" final exam for each and every class in order to prove the credit was truly earned.

What about shadowing for a day so he can see what school would be like? Perhaps couple that with running homeschool like a PS for a week -- get up early and have to get ready; drive for the amount of time it would take to go to the school; run your homeschool classes like PS classes -- no talking while "in class", raise hand to go to the bathroom, assign 2 hours of homework to be done after dinner, etc.

OR, if your student has a passion or interest, can that be used as a carrot? "Homeschooling will allow us to schedule courses so that you'll have time to explore _____. No guarantee public school (away for 7 hours, then 2 hours of homework a night) will provide you with that time."

Don't know what to tell you -- just brainstorming here, and wishing you the BEST of luck in deciding what's the best route for all! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I love the idea of taking a week of time and making it like a PS week. I also know he can shadow, which is a good idea. I have not thought about the transfer of credits, however. We are going to meet with someone at the school, so that definitely will be a question.

Thank you!!!!

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You know, I am finding that the social scene at my kids' extracurriculars is more active than when they were younger, even in middle school. So while most of our friends all through K-8 were other homeschoolers, now they're other dancers/actors, which are my boys' main activities. That's a shift. I think kids make more friends outside of school once they're teens.

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I am happy to hear your boys made friends outside of academics. My kids are working on it, but friends are not always easy to come by. My DS is determined that the only way he will make more friends is to go to PS. I do not think he is correct, but maybe he needs to discover that for himself.

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