Homeschooling Teens: The World Is Your Oyster
Homeschooling high school is great preparation for life after homeschooling, helping to hone dreams and skills to attain what you want. You get to live your life now, not just “prepare” for the future. It allows for:
- Time and space to explore and delve into interests
- Real world experience
- Self-paced study (faster or slower)
- Flexible scheduling
What about socializing?
The norm in our culture is school, which means having a set group of peers with whom you spend all day, every day. In the real world, that’s not how people meet and make friends. They do meet people and make friends though, in various settings. Just because you are a high school aged homeschooler, doesn’t mean all your friends have to be high school aged homeschoolers.
According to psychologist and friendship expert Marisa Franco some strategies for making friends at any age include:
- Assume people like you
- Join something that meets regularly over time
- Show people that you like and value them
Join an established group in your community to meet new people:
- Camps, Scouts, 4H, SPLASH
- Volunteering and employment
- Community groups or organizations related to your interests
- Community education and community college classes
Create your own opportunities to meet people through shared interests
Proactively creating opportunities to pursue interests and meet people is a skill that will serve you well throughout life. Here are some ideas to get your juices flowing. What excites you? Start there.
- Gather to play theater games or read parts out loud
- Join a community theater group
- Go see live productions—volunteers may be needed for tech and wardrobe too
- Invite others over to work your way through a Top 100 Movies list, or go to the cinema
- Look for fellow artists to share talents and swap ideas
- Explore museums, art galleries, graffiti walls
- Take a class in pottery, drawing, painting, glass blowing, photography—you name it
- Meet at a park or field to play a pickup game of soccer, softball, Ultimate Frisbee, whatever!
- Gather at a skating rink—check out your town’s recreation department offerings
- Explore a bike trail
Pick a book, a date in the future, and a place to meet. Get together. Discuss. Snacks required!
Invite crafters to sit, talk, learn from each other, and admire each other’s creations.
- Host a potluck, themed or not
- Explore local restaurants
- Have a cookie swap
- Start a cookbook club
Get together to focus on a particular game like chess, Scrabble, Magic, or D&D or just ask attendees to bring their favorite card or board games to share.
- Organize a folk, classical, jazz, or rock ensemble
- Get together to sing folk songs, rounds, or other simple fun songs
- Attend live music events together, from symphonies to open mics
- Join a chorus
Organize hikes to explore outside. This can go in a lot of different directions: You can incorporate animal tracking, discover edible plants, whittling, bird watching, forest bathing... or not!
Get together to write, using prompts or working on your own story. Share or not!
Keep in Mind
Most of these ideas are low cost or free. For each one you can:
- make it a one-time meeting, or a series
- have the same person host each time, or rotate, or meet in a community space
- ask people to RSVP or wing it
Don’t be discouraged if turnout is low. Sometimes fewer people means it’s easier to get to know each other.
In addition to whatever social networking platforms you have at your disposal, AHEM has resources to help you connect with others:
- The AHEM Forum where you can post your own ideas
- A listing of local support groups
- Town Point People to find other homeschoolers in your town