Home education socialisation

Experiences of homeschooling socialisation

Our Travelling Family are volunteering around Europe. Here mum Karen shares her thoughts on the much talked about topic of home education socialisation.

For this month’s topic I thought it would be a good idea to discuss home education socialisation.

Another month has passed and our journey has taken us 1300 km from Oria, Spain to a campsite in the woodlands of Chalandray, France. The children are doing a fantastic job of balancing their homeschool studies, volunteer work and time spent at the pool.

Socialisation of homeschoolers

Homeschooling tennis player Stefania talks about socialisation.

Ella showing that home education socialisation with all ages is easy

Response to family and friends

If, like myself, you researched the pro’s and con’s of homeschooling or if you broached the subject with family or friends I would be willing to bet that home education socialisation came up at some point or another.

We came across statements like, “Homeschooled children feel disconnected from their friends”, “They find it more difficult to socialise after being removed from traditional schooling and peers of their own age” and “Homeschooling can negatively impact relationships in the future”.

The reality

After almost three months as a travelling, homeschooling family we have found our experience to be the exact opposite. If anything, our travel combined with home education has made the children far more independent.

It has exposed them to situations they would never have had to navigate in a school environment and has effectively forced them to communicate in different languages, with children and adults of varying ages and from completely different backgrounds. They have found that teachers and mentors come in all shapes and sizes.

Sebastian sharing a joke with a friend he has made during his travels showing home education socialisation is alive and well
Working on a volunteering project

In Aljezur they had a six year old and eight year old showing them how to surf, in Evora it was a (female) major in the Portuguese army teaching them to plaster walls, use a pneumatic drill, care for horses and gut fish.

In Oria their Tutors were of a similar age and helped them to complete their Spanish assessments. They also took them to the local recreation ground where they participated in epic football matches, with other Spanish children in the village, which only came to an end when the sun went down.

They seamlessly joined this family of six, doting over the youngest member, Maggie and behaving like siblings with the other three children. By the time we left the kids were inseparable and earlier today they were chatting to each other over Whatsapp.

Striking a balance

Right now we are with another family in France, I’m sitting at the pool and all I can hear in the background is the infectious laughter of children. Earlier today the children sat outside under the oak trees and worked on History, English and Maths assignments. Aiden even managed to fit in a one to one Skype assessment with his Spanish Tutor.

Another stop on our homeschooling journey and another reminder that education isn’t limited to the four walls of a classroom.