How much socialising?

(16 Posts)
IWipeArses Wed 12-Dec-12 23:03:26

How much socialising do/did your primary age home ed children do? What kind of things and how often?

streakybacon Thu 13-Dec-12 06:49:07

I always found it harder to find time for academic work because there was always so much going on socially. Some weeks we were rarely home. That's eased off now that ds is older (14) and we're into more 'serious' study, but it's still an issue.

Remember it doesn't have to be home ed focused socialising - community activities are still available to everyone.

IWipeArses Thu 13-Dec-12 09:24:33

I can be a bit of a shut in, and DS is friendly, but doesn't like noisy, busy places and can be socially awkward, so the 'socialising' aspect of Home Ed is the only area I need to consider logistically before we can take the plunge.
I need to quantify the amount of social activity iyswim.

Streaky, when you say 'rarely at home' can you give me an example, is that travelling to one activity a day, or zipping between two or three each day?

I'm trying to think of socialisation in different terms. When people panic about socialisation (not saying you, OP, but rather critics of HE) they imagine that children need to spend long periods of time in a large group of children the same age as them, doing school-based activities. But I don't think this is the case. My plan is to sign DD up to a couple of activities like a sport and a group like Badgers or Brownies and then invite her friends over for play dates.

Any kind of human contact is socialisation, if you think about what you want for your DC's social life then it might be easier to narrow down activities for them.

IWipeArses Thu 13-Dec-12 09:48:02

No, I agree absolutely, spending time with Great Aunts, cousins etc, is all on my checklist.

BitofSparklingPerry Thu 13-Dec-12 09:52:28

Our standard week (but we have only been doing this half a term)

Monday: Mostly at home, maybe to the park or DD1 (5) might go out after school time to play in the street

Tuesday: Often meet up in one of the local museums with one or two other families. Dancing lessons after school

Wednesday: Either stay at home or go to a museum. Rainbows after school for DD1. After Christmas, DD2 (3) will start football after Christmas.

Thursday: HE art club in Newcastle every other week, in the opposite week we often meet up with other families, or chill out at home. After Christmas DD1 will be doing football after school.

Friday: Local shopping centre to do some shopping (as a task for the kids really, I do the main shop online) and go to the library.

At the weekend we sometimes go to visit people, go to the ILs for Sunday lunch, etc - the stuff we were doing anyway.

Plus obviously playing in the street whenever and having friends for tea, going to birthday parties and so on.

Whenever we go anywhere, DD1 asks for her bus ticket, orders in cafes etc, so that she is learning day to day interactions. There are also often special events - eg this week we have been to a cathedral to learn about christmas and we are having a HE christmas party tomorrow at a soft play centre. We also went to the "mainstream" christmas party at the community centre on Tuesday as dancing is now off for Christmas. Next week we will be going to look round a fire station with the HE kids.

We also sometimes go along to a playgroup for DD2 (although DD1 plays too, to "help the babies"...)

We do some nature walks now, but hoping to step that up a bit in summer. I know that isn't exactly "socialising" but it is out of the house.

I do get the impression that we do more than the families who have been doing HE for a while though. There is another regular meetup that we never get to because we are too busy.

I am very shy, but weirdly HE has made me make more friends, because I force myself , iyswim. DD1 is relaxing and getting much better socially too, because she isn't being overwhelmed.

catnipkitty Thu 13-Dec-12 10:12:52

My DDs, all primary age, are so much happier out of the busy, noisy, 'forced' socialisation that they had at school and are finding it so much better being able to socialise on their own terms and with people they want to be with and in much smaller groups, or more commonly on a one to one basis. We still see a few school friends, have 3-4 HE families that we meet up with and also intereract on a daily basis with people of all ages...family, neighbours etc etc. They each do one after school sports club. We haven't yet partaken of any of the large HE groups that we have near us because the girls would just hate all the people and noise, but the beauty of HE is that you can cater to their changing needs and I regularly ask them if they'd like to try different groups, meet up with people etc etc.

I am also so much happier that they are avoiding all that horrible peer pressure that is already evident at school and even the bitchiness that is happening in the 8 yr old's peers.

IWipeArses Thu 13-Dec-12 10:14:28

Thanks BitOfSparklingPerry.

I was thinking that it might be ok to take DS who is 4.5 to playgroup with DD who is 1, if it's ok with the organisers and as long as he plays nicely. He was always highly strung when he used to go, but I thought he'd really enjoy helping. It's a pretty small, low key group too.

It's things like going into town to shop, go to the library etc. that we've not had time for since he's been at school, and he's too tired and wound up for dancing or swimming afterwards, so all those things would come back into play too if we went for the Home Ed.

IWipeArses Thu 13-Dec-12 10:21:50

catnip, that sounds like what DS needs really. When he wasn't enjoying school, about two weeks into term, and I asked him if he wanted to see his friends, he would say 'yes, but at their houses'.

streakybacon Thu 13-Dec-12 15:28:39

Sorry, been away from the computer all day.

Our weeks varied quite a lot - there were some weekly home ed sessions we went to, some monthly, some in blocks for a short period. Quite a few one off workshops that parents organised - we went to as many of those as were relevant and ds had enough interest. Some days there weren't any activities going on. Like other people we spent a lot of time at the shops, museums, visiting friends and family, because yes it's all socialising.

Ds has AS and ADHD so he was a bit of a social and sensory wreck when he first came out of school so we had to pace his social contact quite carefully. Sometimese we'd go to an activity and leave after a short time, maybe half an hour, if he wasn't coping. Gradually we were able to stretch it to longer so that he could manage full sessions.

He also kept up activities he'd been involved with while he was at school - karate training, swimming lessons, events that interested him/us. A lot of people go to brownies/cubs, cadets, activities at leisure centres and other. They are all still there when you HE. Some schools allow children who aren't on their roll to join in with after school clubs.

Yes to paying for things themselves in shops, cafes, bus tickets, cinema etc.

As he's got older I've taught him independent travel (huge social skill), he goes to some workshops by himself on the bus, and he phones the dentist and GP for appointments and repeat meds. All of that counts too and I doubt he'd have had the ability had we not encouraged the social contact he had in the early days. Remember though he has AS/ADHD so these are relevant, though would be routine for typical children.

IWipeArses Thu 13-Dec-12 22:17:07

Learning how to do things in the real world seems a really important focus to me. Crossing a road, catching a bus, shopping etc. Spending time with mixed age groups too, vital imo.

Thank you.

BitofSparklingPerry Thu 13-Dec-12 22:46:27

I think it is one of the big advantages of HE - it lets them interact in the kinds of groups that everyone else does, and doesn't shut them away like school does. Far better to learn social skills talking to people at bus stops, asking for things in shops and so on than learning to put your hand up to ask to have a wee :-)

IWipeArses Thu 13-Dec-12 22:48:13

smile We've decided we want to go for it, just have to be confident we've tackled our weak areas. It's hard as he isn't having a totally shitty time, so we need to be sure he'll be better off out of school.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Dec-12 20:59:07

IWipeArses

FWIW, I completely understand as our dd was really happy and thriving at school, it makes the decision a lot harder, I think.
DD has continued with the many activities she did when she was at school and is meeting new friends and soon new groups as a H.ed dc.
Good luck.

SDeuchars Mon 17-Dec-12 10:53:56

IWipeArses, at least, as they are so young, you can say "let's do it for two years and review what happens at 7 [11, 14, etc.]". To home ed or not is not a binary choice.

I run a toddler group and we have a 7yo HE girl come with her 2yo sister. As long as she plays nicely, that is fine. We always do craft, so she can do it at her own level (usually for longer and having a recognisable product, unlike the toddlers). I would also be OK if her mum brought something for her to do but at the moment she does not [nor does she need to]. We've had issues with other people in charge but mostly it is their issue rather than what the DC is doing.

IWipeArses Tue 18-Dec-12 10:49:22

Well, he's enjoying school more than ever at the moment, and is progressing with his reading and writing. <eye rolls> It's the Christmas build up at the moment though, so that may or may not change after the holidays.

I know we're going to get so much resistance from some family members when we get around to it. And all our friends with children, friends who are teachers. Not everyone will be against it, but lots will. I'm scared. But then things come home from school spelled incorrectly, his behaviour is erratic on school days, he tells me someone said his drawing was babyish and there's no time to do anything anymore!

I'm nearly getting enough sleep to get organised, and once we're into the swing of it, it'll be fine, but taking that step is scary.

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