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Ordinary Shoes

Finding Homeschooled Friends?

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This is our first year of official homeschooling. Our daughter attends a hybrid school 2 days a week. She's met a few kids there and seems to be gradually making friends. But the friendships there seem to be school only friendships. 


DD keeps in touch with her old school friends through chat, Facetime and Roblox. She sees her best school friend every few weeks. They don't live close to us and are super busy with school so it's hard to schedule time for the girls to see each other more frequently. 

DD also has friends from church that we see at least weekly. There is one little girl who lives on the block. They don't play together often because they don't have much in common.  

I'm watching her to start to drift away from the school friends. She gets bored of playing Roblox endlessly. 

Also, my daughter is starting to follow her interests now that she has that freedom. She is beginning to be interested in things and her school friends don't seem to be interested in much besides Roblox. She told me that she feels like she can't talk to them because all they do is text and play Roblox. 

I can't find a homeschool group for us to join. All of the local homeschool groups I've found are religious. We're also religious but not the right kind of religious apparently. I also work which makes attending activities a challenge. 

Is there a way to find online homeschooled friends who share her interests? Maybe an online book club? 

How else do homeschooled kids find friends? My daughter is beginning to be interested in theatre and is doing a theatre workshop this fall. But the kids come from all over the area there doesn't appear to be any socializing going on. 

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Congratulations on your "official" homeschool! I'm guessing the new hybrid school friendships will blossom gradually as the kids get to know each other.  The way it worked for us was by following their interests into activities like the theater workshop, then being ready to drive or otherwise find ways to be able to have play dates or hang out time with new friends.  You could also put up a flyer at your church or a local food coop or farmer's market to either start a more inclusive homeschool group or a parent-child group devoted to something like trash clean-up at a park.  You could meet up at the park on a day you have off from work, do the volunteer activity then just socialize.  You could host a fall get-together for a few of them, maybe with a mom or two so you also get some new friends options.  It sounds like your child is ready for exploring her interests in real life as opposed to online, so my advice is take the opening and run with it, and she'll know she has options when she's a teen and the peer pressure to be constantly online will be more intense.

I'm not familiar with online groups for kids, though I'm sure others here have ideas.

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One thing I've noticed around here - the more "academic" activities put on by town organizations are frequented by homeschoolers.  We went to a nature club.  Most of the kids were homeschooled.  Book club at the library is about half.  Special museum offerings?  It'll be the homeschoolers. 

If you don't want to go all out with forming a group, you can look around and see what's in your area marketed to all kids.

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Can you try to encourage deeper relationships with the kids from the hybrid school, assuming your dd wants to get to know them better.  You could invite some over for a backyard fire and smores roasting or something else that is low key but planned.  We try to do this regularly with the families in our home school group.  

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The key to developing friendships is time and proximity. As your dd starts to connect with specific kids, do your absolute best to pursue regular, unstructured time together. For the hybrid kids, maybe a weekly after class lunch date. Or you could offer to take a kid after classes and then drop them off at home. When my ds was struggling to develop friendships, he had one set of brothers that he sort of connected with, so we made a Friday lunch date at our local skate park with that family. It was a sacrifice of time on my end, but seven years later, those are still some of his best friends. 

 

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Thanks. 

One challenge with the friends at the hybrid school is that my daughter is usually picked up by a sitter because those are my work days. Also the hybrid school is through the public schools and there does not seem to be much parental involvement so there isn't much opportunity for parents to get to know each other other than at drop off and pick up time. There is a carline so I doubt there is much socializing but I'm hardly ever there anyway. DH drops off and the sitter picks up on most days. My observation is that when the parents don't get to know each other, it's harder for the kids to form relationships. 

 

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My kids have good friends through scouts (AHG and BSA for us) The kids do many kinds of things together and it is a regular commitment over years, so they are growing up together. Lots of adventures and challenges as well as fun and sheer silliness. Both troops are a mix of homeschool and public school kids with a few private school kids here and there. 

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I would encourage you to try out the religious groups.  You might find other like minded people who have joined out of desperation.  Or there might be a core group of hard liners and everyone else is normal. It’s worth a shot just to see.  

Edited by Cnew02
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I agree with Cnew02.  If the statement of faith is general enough, you might find a good fit.  I'm in a religious group that has a very basic statement of Christian faith.  Most people in the group are Protestant, but I remember one lovely lady who described herself as a Christian raising her children in the Catholic tradition.  Even though her answer was a surprise, people generally just nodded and went on to become friends. 

 

  

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It is very hard in my experience, especially if you differ culturally from the local homeschool population.  In the areas we lived, homeschoolers were either very religious (we aren't religious at all) or very liberal (we're quite conservative, which you think wouldn't matter when your kids are 9 and younger, but of course it does, sigh).  There's also just not a lot of time for some kids to make friends - there are kids who can make friends quickly, but my oldest two weren't them, and neither was I as a kid.  So three hours a week at co-op or music school or the one day a week hybrid or whatever was just not going to make a friendship stick.  They had few friends until they started B&M school again last year, I'm sorry to say.  

 

 

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5 hours ago, klmama said:

I agree with Cnew02.  If the statement of faith is general enough, you might find a good fit.  I'm in a religious group that has a very basic statement of Christian faith.  Most people in the group are Protestant, but I remember one lovely lady who described herself as a Christian raising her children in the Catholic tradition.  Even though her answer was a surprise, people generally just nodded and went on to become friends. 

 

  

What you describe as a general statement of faith is often carefully crafted so that many of us can not join.
I was raised Catholic.  One of my good friends is Mormon.  We met because those "general" statements of faith carefully added text that excluded us unless we were willing to lie.  And just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there.  I would rather be lonely than deal with people who are so nasty that they discriminate against everyone unless they're exactly like them, because deep down, those aren't the people I want to be friends with if that's how they feel about "outsiders".

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2 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

What you describe as a general statement of faith is often carefully crafted so that many of us can not join.
I was raised Catholic.  One of my good friends is Mormon.  We met because those "general" statements of faith carefully added text that excluded us unless we were willing to lie.  And just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there.  I would rather be lonely than deal with people who are so nasty that they discriminate against everyone unless they're exactly like them, because deep down, those aren't the people I want to be friends with if that's how they feel about "outsiders".

I'm so sorry that happened to you.  I understand what you mean, as a Catholic friend shared once that she wouldn't be able to join another homeschool group I was in because of wording.  All groups don't have that, though!  I think there usually aren't Catholics in this particular group simply because they have their own truly enormous group here - which is Catholic only.  There are several large secular groups, as well, which are well-run and have good opportunities.  

OP, I hope you are able to find something!  If your dd gets involved in theater, she may start to make friends.  Often, it takes being in a 2nd show or class with someone before the relationship starts.  

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10 hours ago, moonflower said:

It is very hard in my experience, especially if you differ culturally from the local homeschool population.  In the areas we lived, homeschoolers were either very religious (we aren't religious at all) or very liberal (we're quite conservative, which you think wouldn't matter when your kids are 9 and younger, but of course it does, sigh).  There's also just not a lot of time for some kids to make friends - there are kids who can make friends quickly, but my oldest two weren't them, and neither was I as a kid.  So three hours a week at co-op or music school or the one day a week hybrid or whatever was just not going to make a friendship stick.  They had few friends until they started B&M school again last year, I'm sorry to say.  

 

 

Thanks. This is what I'm afraid of. We are culturally different from the local homeschool population. We are Orthodox Christians so are excluded from the Catholic group which specifically requires full communion with the Catholic Church. We would be excluded from any evangelical Protestant group as well. 

We are more politically liberal than most of the people in this area. 

However, we are just as different from the families/kids at any of the local schools. DD attended Catholic school for 3 years and we weren't Catholic. That became an issue last year when they did First Communion and DD became the only kid in her class who didn't go to to communion at weekly school Mass. We were also way to the left of the families in that school which was becoming more of an issue as my daughter got older and began to have opinions on politics. The public school would be more inclusive than the Catholic school but most of these families are to the right of us politically. 

Also, my daughter is not knowledgeable about pop culture. She knew less than the kids at the Catholic school so would be even more out of sync with the kids in the public school. 

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