We are new to homeschooling this year and my biggest fears are coming true. I have a 6 year old and a 12 year old and while I believe whole heartedly in the reasons for homeschooling, I am really struggling with my 12 year old. She is a tween who is shy and had a small group she hung out with in elementary. Now they are have gone o middle school and that contact is less and less frequent. As an old it is easy to say “well i can go do an activity with like minded people and find friends” but for a 12 year old not so much. I am at a loss as to how to expand her social circle. We don’t go to church and while she plays with neighborhood kids if home and the all out, she needs more.
Although our daughter is only 5, I just want to encourage you to stick with it! Homeschooling is the greatest decision that we as a family have made and I have no doubt that you feel the same. As I said, ours is only 5 yrs old, but we too have been recently struggling with the social aspect of it. She is our only child, so she doesn’t have siblings to play with and since we are a family on a VERY tight budget, sports and various activities are limited and most impossible at the moment. She has already made comments about wanting more friends, more than just seeing them at church on the weekends (they all go to school during the days). The moments are hard, I totally feel you. I would maybe ask your daughter what she is interested in, maybe (if your budget allows) find some rec programs that may interest her. Not sure where abouts you live, but have you looked into co-op groups near you or homeschool programs? That would open the door to other families with like minded education journeys. I would just encourage her, which I know could be difficult at that age, that she is very lucky to be homeschooled, even though it may be hard to see. Be a positive light for her and have her input on things she could do to find some friends that, who knows, may be even better than the group she had. Good Luck!!! Stay strong and remember that even though some days aren’t easy, it’s always worth it in the end!!! =)
I also just noticed you name has Colorado in it…we too are in Colorado! You can message me if you want I may be able to help you in finding some activities or point you in the right direction for homeschooling groups…there are MANY avenues in Colorado =)
May I ask, is she interested in dance or music . . . those have been great resources for making friends for my two sons where we are in rural southern Wyoming. Even some community theatre groups have avenues for young people her age.
She is but not in the public or organized way.
Have you tried looking for a teen or preteen group for her? Try a homeschool search on Facebook. If you find a group, whether for teens or not, it may offer you an avenue to finding other families that can help you. Some of the groups for younger children may lead you to families with siblings. Remember, there are hard parts to every educational journey, whether you homeschool or not. Don’t give up just yet! Stay heartened. Search for some solutions and see where you find yourself in a few months time. There are no dead ends. If something isn’t working, you aren’t stuck with it. I wish you much good luck.
Hi! My oldest is 12 and we have a little bit of that going on here too. Here are a few things you can do to help
1: YOU be her best friend, you will be a good influence on her. And she will learn to trust you and create that relationship that she’ll need for when things get teenager tough.
2. Get her involved in something she enjoys like take an art class, or join some type of sport like swimming, dance, or whatever she’s interested in.
3. Not sure if this is an option, but we do a once a week co-op through our local school district, so that’s a great place for them to make friends, and get to see them in a classroom setting once a week. Plus they do things like field trips, science fairs, baking contests, choir performances, etc.
4. Join a homeschool group. I’m not sure where you’re located, but www.hslda.org has a listing of local homeschool groups. They get together for mom’s encouragement nights, as well as group kids activities too. If you’re near Parker, you might look into: https://www.pche.org/info there is also a ton of information on www.chec.org as well.
5. I would also encourage you to find a church in your area that fits your beliefs. Youth groups can provide a fun outlet for kiddos in a positive and encouraging environment.
Anyway, those are just some suggestions! I wouldn’t give up homeschooling for your tween’s social life, but instead encourage you to make an effort to get her involved in things that she’s interested in to fill in that gap. I hope that helps!
My daughter is 17 now and we have been homeschooling for over 10 years. She is EXTREMELY shy–she would much rather hang back observe and “fly under the radar” if you will. She is not outgoing or quick-witted–she is however, wonderful at deep 1:1 conversations and friendship times. There have been several times where I have felt the anguish you are describing.
I SO agree with Erica: now is the time for your friendship with her to grow. Also, these times are when I tried to draw my dd closer to God as her true and closest friend. Homestly, these times may have been harder for me! I had to pray continually not to worry! I also prayed daily for God to provide the friendships she needed. I knew He would do a much better job controlling that than me–lol! We prayed together sometimes for months–once she had SEVEN homeschool friends move or change schooling within 3 months–this was so challenging. But, God did provide–each and every time!
The thing I realized that helped the most: providing her with 1:1 friend times. This is the only way she would get close to the other girls. She just doesn’t get close in the group settings, although she was and is involved in several. Once she had a few of these 1:1 times with an acquaintance they would often become a friend. She now knows this about herself and will set up these times herself.
Please pray and see the
Miracles He will provide!
Blessings to you. Donna