Your child’s Homeschool friends


#1

We have been homeschooling for about four years now, my oldest being almost 8. We are involved in co-ops, homeschooling classes, 4H groups, etc.

My child has friends, but no deep friendships. The -my house, your house, wanna play with only you kind of relationship. I see other children with such connections, and my child has expressed his desire for this too “I want more friends” “I want more play dates”

He has lots of “friends”, but their families are frequently occupied with activities or our schedules don’t align. Many families don’t allow their children to play solo yet (being picked up/dropped off at someone’s house).

Ultimately he is fine, and flourishing. I keep us busy (he has a 4 y.o brother) this topic doesn’t affect him but I can see he is aware of what some kids have with others and that he doesn’t.

Am I thinking too much into for his age?


#2

I don’t believe you’re over thinking this. Honestly, I feel the same way. We’ve been at this for 4 years. Despite having numerous weekly activities with other kids, we have very few friends (loads of acquaintances they have fun with while we’re out!, but no, or few “let’s hang out today” type play date friends!) Part of the problem is our schedules. Another problem is that we live 30ish minutes from most of the people we know. That’s not too far, but 30 minutes does take a chunk out of the limited available time we have. Not sure of the solution…


#3

I start to worry is it me? is it my kids?
Do other children his age have deeper friendships…
Am I putting too much value on friendships…even if he too voices some of my thoughts?
I have no problem doing a drop off pick up scenario but only if it goes both ways… I don’t want only my child going away and never being able to share his home with friends… is that the wrong attitude?

I feel like in public school he would be able to work this out easily, that it may not even be a question. Granted there’s a whole list of concerns with that too (basic public school vs homeschooled topic…).
Is this just the trade off of being a homeschooler…


#4

Hi @Amae32 ,
I have always preferred to keep my children home with me, or if there have been play dates where mother and children would meet with another family at the park or something, even to their house, I would always want to be there to make sure they are safe and because they need our guidance always. I do not think it is wise to let our children go to other children’s homes alone.
I think it is healthy for our children to play with other children while mother is near but they need their own family a lot more, and all of the time really, and I believe they benefit much more from spending most of their time with their siblings, parents, other relatives such as grandparents, and even ministering to older people from church or their neighbors along with mother, than they would from having such close relationships with other children, especially their own age.
Children are like sponges, they must learn and be soaked in what is good and pure and lovely at all times. They also don’t behave their best at such young ages. They don’t make good decisions, either. They need much guidance and training still.
Every time we go to choir or some other activity where there will be interaction with other children I pay close attention to see what my children are absorbing. If it is not good, lovely and pure I talk to them and train them into what is and speak specifically about what I’ve noticed. It is necessary we do so.
Children need their families, not friends. Friends are good to have, but maybe they should be a little older first and strong in the ways of the Lord, able to be a friend, not just a playmate. A friend will always influence us for good, leading us to Him.
I hope this will help to soothe the concerns in your heart. I would take the matter to the Lord as always. He is faithful to lead and guide us in all aspects of life.


#5

I agree and have some other ideas as well.

I do feel that at a certain age rowing his own oar in a friends house (with whom I am familiar) is beneficial to a child. To learn independence (working through thoughts for themselves without my backup, and having a sense of responsibility to him self and his family in the presence of others (away from us) to do good. He’ll learn to hear his own voice in his head.

I value your ideas of family connection and influence. We spend all our time together and they spend time with grownup family routinely- but our cousins are either much different in age or very different in life. So we don’t exactly have the cousins card.

I grew up with a friend centered world, and I don’t want that for my kids. Then again I worry I am doing him a disservice sometimes…perhaps it’s my own habits I am used to as a public school person.

Ultimately I do fear that maybe I am jumping the gun…too soon. Thank you for your response


#6

Hi,

I’ve had my children in public school until this school year. They are now homeschooled and go to a co-op once a week. I can tell you from experience, it’s very similar when they are in “regular” school too. Everyone is SO BUSY.

We were right along with them, from travel sports to after school clubs and church events. This year we decided to make a conscious effort to scale back and have been loving it. It’s weird to look around you and realize how crazy busy everyone is though.

Busy is fine if it works for your family, but I just wanted to let you know that it’s not you who has trouble making plans with friends. It’s everyone. It’s the culture. We usually see the most successful with neighbors and friendships, but that’s probably proximity and luck.

Just keep at it. It takes an intention these days or most people get lost in all their schedules. Keep trying with the same kids or families or set up a regular playdate wherever it works for all. That has worked for us in many settings. Good luck!


#7

I totally get this. I feel like the last 2 years we hit the homeschool “sweet spot”. We took the kids out of school 3 years ago and they had tons of friends from school, we met tons of other homeschool families close and they had several families at church they were close to. And neighborhood kids! It wasn’t if they had friends to play with but when. But this summer we had one very close family at church move, the other family changed churches. We moved from our town close to everyone 20 minutes in the country so friends aren’t 3 minutes away for quick playdates, it’s an ordeal. And we have no neighbors now. It has been a huge struggle for all of us. The kids do seem to be doing fine but they say they miss their friends. For the first time I am starting to question if I am doing the right things homeschooling them. I don’t want them to feel isolated or not have friends :frowning:


#8

Being a homeschooling family is way more important than our children having friends. I understand the concerns and we all question our decisions at some point. But be encouraged and remind yourselves of the reason you chose to homeschool to begin with. Most bloggers that homeschool say to write down your homeschool statement and it really comes in handy at times like these so you can refresh your motives and be encouraged by the good in it.
Also, friends are possible to have even when homeschooling! It just comes in different ways and maybe different seasons as well. Take heart!