How often do your children see their friends?(6 Posts)
And where have those friends come from (e.g. home ed groups, mainstream activities like cubs/sports)? Wondering about the social side. Easy to meet lots of other children I know, but what about sustaining decent friendships?
Some friends we see two or three times a week; met through home ed groups, and hang out at the same home ed activities. It took a while to build up, but we are part of a big community now, and we intersect with a slightly different part of the venn diagram at each of our routine activities. Some of those families we see just once a week, usually for half a day each time, and it's enough to sustain friendships.
Some friends we know from pre-school days, or because they are neighbours or children of friends of mine etc etc. We see them either in a great burst in the holidays, or else every 3-4 weeks at weekends. Sustained because of longevity, though it doesn't have that intensity of seeing people most days.
Other home ed friends don't do the same activities so we see them less frequently than every week (between once every 2-3 weeks, and once every few months).
It all works out
As you say, it's easy to meet lots of other children and in my experience proper friendships can follow on from that, with a bit of facilitation from parents. We go to a weekly activity that has an educational basis but also involves free time that the children spend chatting and playing. Because most families go each week, the children have the chance to get to know one other well. Once you have a group of friends it's easier to organise other activities, whether it's clubs based on the children's interests that you also open up to others (I've seen all sorts of things on local FB groups, from drama to science, book clubs to Lego) or just having a group that you can invite to the park or to an interesting exhibition at the museum. My children also have non-HE friends through out of school activities but of course these children are not available during the daytime. As ommward says, it all works out!
My answer is identical to ommmward's. We do live in an urban area so there are masses of HE kids near us and loads of HE activities. It might be harder if you are in a less populated area, particularly if you don't have a car. Both of my kids very readily make good lasting friendships at HE activities. Partly it is because that is often a priority for the other parents too. Partly it is because we see the same people repeatedly over the weeks and years - some often, some rarely - so there is a continuity which reminds me somewhat of extended family. Even when I only saw my cousins once or twice a year, we knew we'd see each other again naturally via family gatherings, without making a special effort IYSWIM. People do enter and leave the local HE scene by moving area or going into or out of school, but still. I am still in regular contact with more than half of the kids we met as toddlers ten to fifteen years ago.
When it comes to non-HE activities, some lend themselves to forming friendships and others don't. They need some regular unstructured time to play and chat, for example during breaks or after the activity. It also helps if parents stick around and chat. Parents' willingness to facilitate play dates and take their kids to meet up with yours is key when children are young. If the kids aren't encountering each other regularly then the friendship will only work if both kids and parents make an effort.
Some friends we see once a week at a particular activity, others more or less often be it at group activities or privately. As they get older they maintain the friendships online too.
There is a huge he social scene locally and actually this can make it harder as there are so many activities to chose from.
Home ed socialising does require effort from the parents and a bit of luck. Parents are required to do a lot of ferrying about, coordinating with and hanging about chatting to other parents. It is much easier to foster bonds between children if the adults get on. My son is 10 now and has had the same best friend since he was 4.
Cubs and scouts also play a big role in my kids friendships. Gives them people in the village to call on of a weekend.
We have a real mix of groups, three different home ed areas where both have found people they like, we see people about once a week but even those we only see once a month have developed links with our kids...old school friends from before we home edded and people from a sporting activity we do, neighbours, old friends..
I think home ed kids have friendships more akin to adult ones, they dont have to see one another every day in order to have close, enriching relationships...and its great because they don't seem to argue like they did in some of their school friendships because they are not too much on one anothers company.
Join the discussion
Please login first.