Homeschooling High School: Socialization

by GfG on July 11, 2013

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Socialization is one of the top concerns people have with homeschooling.  I won’t address today why I think it’s a poorly thought out concern for homeschooling in general, but will instead present options for those considering homeschooling high school or those worried about it.  

Today’s post is fourth in my series on Homeschooling High School.  Jump in on the fun and check out the other posts!

As I shared a little in Day Nine of my series: A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler, we socialize our children in a variety of ways.  Each of the situations is intentional.  This is true in high school too.  The goals of high school socialization are different than elementary and we believe in high degrees of autonomy.

We believe that true socialization skills involve learning how to interact with all ages and people, not just those the same age.  To this end, we do many things to grow our children’s skills.

There are a plethora of options for socialization. Here are many ideas to consider for high schoolers. 

Attend Bible studies, small groups, youth groups, and church events.  By early high school young people should be a part of the adult studies in their local church.  Raising the standard of study, interaction, and input is an important part of good socialization.  These students should be welcomed and discipled by the godly adults in their Christian community.

If your youth group has a great level of social standards and teaching, then have your child attend that on occasion too, I suggest, though, that great socialization skills aren’t learned if a young person is only around other young people.  Mix it up.

Participate in extra-curricular activities.  Next week I will share about the many ways students, including or especially high schoolers, can participate in extra curriculars.  These activities are terrific socialization opportunities; if they group itself is worth socializing with, actually.

Exercise hospitality.  Learning to host friends, family, and even strangers is a terrific lifelong skill and a wonderful way to grow socialization experience.  Involving high school age kids in the planning and implementing of social events in your home is fabulous.  Calling them play dates at this age is a big no no.  Ask me how I know know.

Spend time with admirable friends and their families.  While it seems like a no-brainer, making sure your child spends time with great people is important.  Choosing wisely who your child is sharpened (or dulled) by is important at every age, including high school.  If there are some amazing people in your child’s social circles, increase the time with those people.

Make sure the high schooler isn’t spending time only with the child their age, but also with the family.  Most of the time, great kids come from great families.  It is a wonderful for high school young adults to see how different families interact and for them to have to socialize with different aged members of those families.

This means, not allowing the norm to be that your high schooler  and his/her friend disappear from everyone and “do their own thing all the time”, or that they bury their heads in their phones/electronics, or that they ignore others.  That is terrible socialization.  Actually, it’s not socialization at all.

 

Host events.  If necessary, or even if you just like it, host larger events than just having a family or two over for dinner/dessert.  Host a dance, game night, holiday sing along, or some other bigger type event.  When you are the host, you can choose a variety of people for your child(ren) to interact with intentionally.  It’s also a ton of fun.

Serve those in need.  Learning to serve starts in families, but should expand beyond that.  High schoolers should be ready to do this and can help in a wide variety of ways.  Helping a widow weekly, being a mommy’s helper, assisting neighbors, and working around the house for grandparents are just a few ways high school young people can serve.  There are also non-profits or other organizations…

Volunteer at non-profits.  I happen to be a fan of non-profits, since Paul had worked for three in our almost nineteen years of marriage.  Ours have all been camps for special needs children and one boys’ home.  Watching people volunteer in different capacities blessed me, blessed the children, and blessed the organizations.  I’m confident the serving blessed the volunteers too.

kayak volunteer day WEB

Apprentice for a godly man or woman.  Probably the best way to learn a skill is to work alongside someone already highly talented at the skill.  Apprenticeship was a vital part of skill training for centuries.  If you know a godly man or woman with a job/skill that your child admires, is gifted towards, or would benefit from learning AND the adult is willing to have an apprentice, don’t miss the opportunity.

There are wonderful ways to handle this: paying for the room and board (if your child lives with them), trading out apprentices, paying the adult, etc.  These could range from a month to even a year.

Work in a paying job.  True socialization also involves learning how to interact in a workplace and/or professional setting with confidence.  Many high school juniors and seniors are ready to work, building lifelong people skills and possibly their career skills. If the young adult has been participating in the previous items on this list, this is the natural next step.

Teaching children how to socialize in mature ways isn’t as hard as people think and it’s actually quite productive.  Some of these can be done during the school day and some not.  It depends on the family.

How do you want to socialize your high schoolers (whether then are in homeschool or outside the home school)? 

 

 

 

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