Socializing isn’t just sitting around laughing or playing games. Ways to socialize your kids includes teaching them how to properly interact in multiple situations. Here are five I implemented.
Host A Party and involve your children in every aspect. Have each of them make a list of who they want to invite, the activity they want to organize, and the snack food they’ll make. Don’t over think this! The youngest can make peanut butter sandwiches or a snack mix. And everyone can help get the house ready.
An easy party to host is movie night. The only thing you serve is popcorn and soda. Show a family friendly movie and afterwards, have sparklers available or play flashlight tag.
Real-Life Skills Take the kids with you to run a business errand like a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the post office, or to make a bank deposit. Prepare them before you enter the business so they’ll know what to expect and how to behave. Explain to your teens the steps you’re taking to complete transactions. This gives them a head start into adulthood.
Plan A Field Trip Get some friends to go along with you, or better yet, invite a family you’ve just met. Teach your children to socialize with people they’re not familiar with. Talk in advance about the questions to ask someone they’re trying to get to know. Reaching out to a new family in your neighborhood could lead to a long friendship.
Volunteer In The Community Offer to help with child care at an event like scouts or church. Put your children in with the mix to help—and play. For older students, contact your local homeless shelter and find out a need your family can fill. One year we collected blankets and jackets that people no longer wanted. We asked our neighbors for donations and told them we’d be back in 3 days to pick-up it up. Just make sure you arrive as promised to get the donations.
Host an Etiquette Class Typically, the girls will be more excited about this than the boys. But in the end, whether they admit it or not, everyone will enjoy this time together. I know some homeschoolers get a group together for a few weeks to practice formal etiquette. This might include role playing situations like 1) How to greet with proper eye contact and a firm handshake. 2) Practice how to make a call for information and the proper way to answer the phone. 3) How to give and receive a compliment.
Homeschooled students can be a cut above the rest with their social skills. Good social skills cross generational lines and will serve your kids well.
I’d love for you to share in the comments. What is your idea of homeschool socialization?
What have you done with your kids that teaches them important social skills?