What About Friends?

June 26, 2007 at 10:09 am (Uncategorized)

One question new homeschooler and skeptics seem to ask alot is "What about friends?"   Last year I heard a friend, who is also a phsycologist, speak.  One thing she mentioned is that people only need one real friend in life to find happiness.  Now, I am not suggesting that homeschooled children only have one friend, but what I am suggestion is that being in a classroom with 29 other children does not guarantee friendship.  I remember one Mom who has children in public school telling me her 10 year old son had never been invited to a birthday party.  A few popular kids in the class didn’t like him, so the whole class treated him poorly and no one was brave enough to be his friend.  To me that is so sad and sadly I don’t think it is that unusual. 

So here are my thoughts on the BENEFITS of homeschooling and friendship…

1.  Because I homeschool I  tend to be much more invovled in my children’s friendships.  My kids tend to spend a lot of time at home (Imagine that!  LOL) and I am there too!  This means as there parent I get to know their friends really well.  I can be active in helping guide them through problems and conflicts that arise.  I can recognize good and bad influences that my kids are picking up from different friends and guide their child to proper actions. 

2.  Homeschool parents know each other!  My children have never had any friends whom parents I didn’t know!  Actually I have not only always known the parents, but I have almost always been friends with the parents.  You could even say I have picked my kids friends!  LOL  This is a natural process of homeschooling.  Mom picks activities to participate in,  Mom meets other Mom she likes.  Mom sets up times to get together,  Kids meet.  Kids become friends.  Mom’s keep hanging out together so the kids form friendships. 

3.  Homeschool parents can help their kids pick good friends. Because I am always with my kids I can truly guide them in good relationships.  I can see the qualities of the kids they meet and lead them towards the kids whom behavior I find appealing.  I can encourage right relationships by making an effort to take them where the kids I feel are a good influence on them are!  My husband heard a speaker at a conference a few years a back that said studies have shown that we act most like the 5 people we spend the most time with.  If that isn’t a good reason to help your kids find the right friends I don’t know what is!

4.  As homeshcoolers my KIDS are friends to each other!  They have never been separated and told that siblings are not "cool".  They spend unlimited time together, so they become friends with their siblings.  Sure, the fight and drive each other crazy some of the time.  But, for the most part they have built in friends who are being raised with the same values as each other! These siblings are NOT going away, so they HAVE to learn how to deal with them! I remember when I first started homeschooling a wise homeschooling Mom told me "If my 4 kids can learn to get along with each other, they can learn to get along with anyone. God does NOT pick the most compatible children to place in a home together!" LOL 

5.  Homeschooling offers a much more realistic model of how friendships are made in the grown-up world.  In the grown-up world we do not make friend just with people who live near us and are the same age as us.  Yes, some of us make friends at work, but we usually have a common interest with people we work with.  We have to look around in the real world to find friendships.  We meet like minded people at church, in clubs, homeschool groups, sport activites, etc. 

So in answer to the question "What about friends?" I can only say that homeschoolers do make friends in a different way than kids in traditional school.  But, in my opinion…different is good!

 A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.– Anonymous

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1 Comment

  1. tn3jcarter said,

    And LOVE that quote!

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