How will my kids make friends on the road?
Socialization is usually the first question raised by those who are unfamiliar with homeschooling and traveling with children. But among families who have traveled or homeschooled, it is generally not considered a problem.
The Socialization Myth
My family, friends and neighbors – and even strangers are all radically concerned about what is called among homeschoolers the “socialization myth“, which is exactly what it is.
“My kids have made more friends than ever since we started homeschooling and even more since we hit the road. The major difference is that now, they easily socialize with people of all age groups, races and cultures.
We have only stayed in one park that did not have any other children, and my daughters immediately made best friends with a 70+ year old couple. They have friends all over who they text with and visit when we return to places. Some of our kids best winters have been returning to Thousand Trails resort in Orlando, Florida, where they catch up with other fulltime families. Swimming, fishing, riding bikes or just hanging out together at our site gives them the time they need with their peers. We all enjoy a friendly Potluck dinner, or socializing around a campfire to really get to know other families. My best advice is to go for it and don’t worry about your child’s socialization unless you are going to live in Siberia.”
~Phyllis Stelly~, a fulltime RVing mother who homeschools her daughters on the road
This seems to be the general consensus among traveling homeschoolers, who have discovered that homeschooling combined with travel affords more social opportunities than ever.
Tips for Finding Kids to Play with while Traveling
Check with local homeschool groups for Park Days and organized field trips. Some may even offer group camp dates.
- Drop by the YMCA and check for classes your kid(s) are interested in
- Go to a playground
- Go to the swimming pool
- Go to Storytime at a library
- Park near the playground –so you can see or hear the kids
- Go watch a Little League Baseball Game
- Bring out the Pokemon or YuGiOh Cards.Check game stores, bookstores and libraries for gaming events.
- Hang out a McDonalds play place and drink your coffee slowly
- Look for indoor play places at malls
- Some grocery stores have a drop off – take advantage of it if there are other kids there, or go grab a cup of tea at IKEA while your kid plays in the drop off center
- Check the local parenting magazine for events and activities
- Try Storytime at a bookstore
- Go to church socials
Follow your passions – and you will find like-minded people of all ages whose company you enjoy.