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Forming Homeschool Friendships That Count

Updated: Jun 16

If you’re a veteran homeschooler, you know that socialization isn’t an issue. In fact, weird unsocialized homeschoolers are what TV shows are made of, not real life. However, if you’re a new homeschool parent, you may worry about how your new homeschooled child will find friends and stay active. Don’t worry! There are a lot of resources out there, you just have to know where to look.

Most kids don’t have any issues forming friendships when given the opportunity. When you're homeschooling, it may just take a bit more work from us homeschooling parents since the kids aren’t in a typical school setting, but you’ll be amazed how busy your children actually are once you get into a homeschool routine that works for your family!

Join a homeschool group The easiest and quickest way to get involved with other homeschoolers in your area is to join a homeschool or support group. Most of these groups offer a variety of opportunities to get together on different days and at different times. Field trips, co-ops, holiday crafts, and play dates at parks are just a few activities that are generally offered. Many large homeschool support groups are listed by state on the HSLDA page

Take advantage of online groups Besides homeschool organizations, there are a ton of small, local homeschool groups in your area to be found on Facebook. Whether they are for moms to connect their kids through activities, a sports group, a book club, a roller skating meet-up, or a group geared towards teenage homeschoolers, they are a great way to connect. Talking back and forth ahead of time online alleviates some of the awkwardness that comes with meeting for the first time in person. To help that first meet-up go smoothly, make sure you know the name of the group you are meeting, the name of the person with whom you've been writing, the exact location of the meet-up, and how to recognize them. It's frustrating when you've taken the time to find the group, text with a member, set up a time to join them, got your kids ready and arrived only to not be able to find the group.

Visit kid-friendly places during “school hours” While kids who go to a brick-and-mortar school are in session, head to your local library, neighborhood park, children’s museum, or other places where kids flock. The kids you will find there during regular school hours are most likely other homeschoolers. Don’t be afraid to ask – you might just make some new friends!

Join co-ops or classes While these are focused on extended learning, there’s typically little time to socialize before and after. Some school districts may offer homeschool programs one day a week that include lunchtime or recess time for the kids. If you notice your younger child clicking with a couple of other kids in particular, reach out for a playdate. If your kids are older, you may not need to help the friendship along. They may have already friended them on social media, exchanged cell numbers, or decided to play together on an online gaming platform of interest that they share.

Retain friendships If you’re a new homeschooler, chances are your child already has some solid friendships with some of their former classmates. Preserving those friendships may be hard, but make an effort to stay in touch through playdates, FaceTime, or Zoom. This will help foster the relationship they’ve already made.

Attend homeschool events Some local and regional clubs, organizations, and associations host social events for homeschoolers throughout the year. A homeschool dance, mixer, or outing is a great way for your kids to meet others with similar interests. Don't forget to search online for "homeschool" plus your particular interest such as "hiking". You'll be amazed at how many groups there are geared toward a variety of interests. Other options might be acting and theatre, sports, dance, classes such as photography, music, and cooking or art.

Inquire at church If your son or daughter does Awana or a teen youth group at church, they may not realize that some of the others in the group are homeschooled as well. Similar interests, beliefs, and values are a great way for friendships to grow into adulthood. especially if the kids already get along and spend time together at church or church events.

Take a chance

If your kids are a bit shy or introverted and have a harder time opening up and talking to peers, you may need to gently step in and help. My daughter is a competitive gymnast and part of her training is during the day. There’s another homeschooled girl who trains at the same time that is close to her age. They hit it off at training but were too shy to suggest they play together outside the gym. Once the moms stepped in and planned a playdate, the girls hit it off and have been close friends ever since. It’s nice to have a friend who understands a hectic sports schedule and a homeschool lifestyle, and who can also take time off together to “just be kids.”

Let’s face it. Friendship is essential. Even if you consider yourselves a close-knit family and are proud of the fact that your child comes to you with their concerns or worries, they also need a peer to laugh with, share their silly ideas with, build forts with, share secrets, and someone to go to that will understand their childhood fears and interests. Encourage those friend connections with homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike and watch your child blossom into the person they were designed to be. Join our private Facebook group The Essence of Homeschooling in order to meet like-minded homeschoolers and get support when you need it.


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