While we are now in the second half of our homeschool year, other families are looking into the future and considering homeschooling in the fall. As homeschoolers, you will find yourself a source of information for your peers and friends exploring the homeschool option. Our Cottonwood team is preparing for our fall information meetings to answer many of the same big questions! Of all the questions, the most frequent often involve social opportunities. “How will my child make friends?” “What can I sign my child up for so he can be with other children?” “My child requires constant socialization. How do I meet that need?” These are important questions!
While socialization certainly looks different for homeschooled kids, you and I know that homeschooling usually doesn’t take place exclusively at home. Our children frequently interact with others in a broader range of settings with a wider range of ages. It is also because homeschooling parents usually try to create social opportunities. The opportunity for our Cottonwood students to interact with peers is abundantly evident when you browse our extensive list of community partners, primarily generated via parent referral, where children engage socially in enrichment activities with each other.
With your parental intuition and very little research, you realize the developmental importance of social interaction. Thankfully, the ways to keep your home learner engaged with others are endless, especially with a bit of planning. (Luckily, we have done much of the planning and legwork for you!)
Here are some of the ways you can connect your children to others in a variety of ways and settings offered by Cottonwood and beyond:
Field Trips and Events
Today we are releasing our lengthy list of monthly field trips and events for the month of February and the first few weeks of March. Last week we highlighted some of our project-based learning events, including the International Fair, Science fair, and Maker’s Market. There is something for everyone to join on our upcoming list. Some of these events are geared toward specific age ranges and interests. Families enjoy seeing familiar faces and making new friends on our field trips.
Park Days & Lending Library
Our Family Liaisons and Lending Library van host weekly park days across our regions. Familiar faces show up weekly, and we have observed terrific friendships and bonds made between children and parents.
Visit the Lending Library!
Without a doubt, you will find other Cottonwood Families there. Every Monday, the library hosts multiple gatherings, including Storytime and Craft Club. We love seeing our regular weekly visitors, and there is always room for new friends to join the fun!
Participate or Enroll in one of our weekly programs:
We have multiple weekly opportunities for your students to connect. You can find can find details for each of these within this newsletter:
Register Your Child for Enrichment with our Community Partners
As I mentioned above, we have a growing list of community partners offering classes and enrichment. Many of the Enrichment Centers are beginning their Spring Classes soon! Maybe now is the time to try a few classes, sign up for tennis or gymnastics, or learn to dance or play chess. These are all exceptional opportunities to make new friends in new environments.
While there is no shortage of ways to fill your schedule listed above, the ways to meet other families and grow socially are endless. Visit your local library often! They frequently have free programs for kids of all ages. You are bound to run into many other homeschoolers during school hours. We live in a region with multiple amazing parks to explore. Again, during school hours, you will find homeschooling families.
We look forward to socializing with you at many of our upcoming offerings and events!
Family Support Advisor