A lot of homeschool moms get the question- "What about socialization?" This question is usually asked about the children. However, moms need socialization, too!
In generations past, most children were home with their mothers until kindergarten or first grade. This was so for 75% of the post-World War II Baby Boomers when I embarked on parenthood. This generation was the vanguard of the modern homeschool movement. They blazed the trail for homeschool families today.
By the time Millennials were born, the demographic shifted drastically. 75% of moms were in the work force and children were often tended by daycare providers in small to large groups. As they became parents, it has been natural for them to seek group socialization for their children. Many, but not all, seek time away from their children, to socialize.
I am a Baby Boomer. In the generations before me, it was women who nurtured women, through quilting bees, preparing charity baskets, and preparing for church bazaars, and this was usually done in groups. Most fathers worked and moms often brought their children in tow, to help at these events. So, women got their socialization with other women, and more often than not, their children socialized at the events, with other children, as well.
Ways for Moms to Socialize
I have seven children and a 20 year gap between the oldest and youngest. I did not do all the things below at the same time.
- I enjoyed going to lady's night at church and socializing there.
- I organized a mother's art group. I invited moms from the neighborhood and from church. We got together once a month for lunch, shared what we were working on individually, and cheered each other on in our gifts. Our children came and socialized too.
- I organized a homeschool mom's support group. We gathered once a month in the evening, for support and to learn more about homeschooling. We did this after husbands came home and after dinner; that way children were home with their dads.
- We held a come if you can weekly park day on Friday afternoons. Children would play and socialize and moms would talks with moms as they watched their children. This was low key and required no preparation. It also was held in the afternoon, so as not to interfere with our homeschool.
- I belonged to a neighborhood lunch group. Each lady had an opportunity to house at their home, until everyone had the chance. Then we would start over again.
- I belonged to another neighborhood lunch group. Each month was a different theme and each would bring a dish to share, such as a dish with apples, salads, soups, pumpkin, etc.
We would bring a dish inspired by that month's theme and bring the recipe. We brought babies and toddlers as most of us had small children. We enjoyed time together.
- A woman named Lenore moved into my neighborhood. We became fast friends. We had children the same age. Both of us homeschooled and we used the Charlotte Mason method at the time. We did lunch together. We took walks together. We did field trips together, with our children. As our children got older, sometimes Lenore and I would do something for us.
- When my daughters grew older I had mother-daughter book and potluck luncheon groups. moms socialized and the girls socialized.
- Over the years I have had friends I walked with in the early morning.
- In the past few years, Lenore's children were grown. Lenore and I would gather once a week in the evening and make our Christmas gifts for our family, as we talked. Sometimes we just went out together for lunch.
How My Married Daughters have Socialized
I have two married daughters who homeschool. Both have three children and their children are five to eleven. What do they do to socialize? They are blessed to have husbands who work from home. However, they live close enough and sometimes grandma and grandpa will watch the grandchildren and spend time with them at the park, or this grandma teaches them art lessons. My daughters sometimes will go to lunch with a friend. Sometimes they gather at a home and take their children, too. Sometimes these daughters attend events or lectures. Sometimes they meet with other likeminded moms. My ome daughter does events with her tribe of lifestyle bloggers. These events are often in the evening so the children are with dad. Both go to lady’s night at church and other church events where they get to socialize with women, as well.
Most of the things I have shared here, take little planning and are little to no cost. Hopefully, I have shared ideas on socializing that will help you. Take time to socialize, even if it is with your children and other moms with their children in tow.
How you have chosen to socialize?
Enjoy the Journey!