To the outsider homeschooling or online schooling can seem inherently isolating and maybe even lonely. However, thanks to major strides in technology and the popularity of alternative schooling, most students will likely attest to the fact that making meaningful homeschool connections has never been easier.
Form Homeschool Connections with Similar Students
Homeschooling and online schooling have increased in popularity significantly in the past decade. In that time things have changed drastically. Naturally, the first students in homeschools did often struggle with feeling isolated or sitting on the margins. However, today students and families often have the support of local homeschooling organizations. These networks usually contain other parents and children the same age as their own. Through these groups students and parents often organize monthly get-togethers, sports events, field trips, proms, and even graduations.
Furthermore, homeschool co-ops are also a fantastic way of forming connections. School co-ops are usually small. Each class is taught by a parent in the group and have about five to ten students. Co-ops can meet one/two days a week and work is typically done independently. This allows students to have a chance to be around peers one or two days a week and experience classes their parent might not be able to teach.
Moreover, fun extracurricular classes can also be a great way to connect outside of the home. Local art and music classes can help online schooled and homeschooled students meet others with similar interests. It is not rare for there to be at least one or two parents in the local homeschool community who may offer art or music lessons. But if this is not an option, local community colleges and music stores will often offer group classes for reasonable rates.
Lastly, likely the most accessible and hands off option is an interactive online forum and club. These are often provided through the online school platform. This allows students to use relevant technology for rapport, connection building, and networking — skills that will be invaluable as adult professionals. However, more importantly, it lets students make a meaningful connection with their peers.