There are a lot of things to consider when choosing what school will be best for your child. Factors like location, ratings, size, cost, and type are the first things we determine when narrowing down our choices of school. For us, we also looked at what environment would best foster a love of learning. She is in first grade now and started schooling at just 18 months old. She’s always been excited to go to school to learn and be with her classmates and teachers.
Each year we re-evaluate how the school year went to see if she needs a change of environment. One year we were forced to make a change because of distance and her newborn baby sister. I was unable to drive 2 hours total per day with a newborn to let her continue going to the school in the museum downtown. We also didn’t like any of the local choices for her year before kindergarten and thought we would try homeschooling.
My first thought was that she would hate it because she loves being around other kids. Her teachers have always bragged about how helpful and empathetic she is towards her classmates. How could I force her to stay home each day with her mom and newborn sister?
Well, we did. And she loved it.
We loved BookShark’s 4-day curriculum because it gave us plenty of time to have Field Trip Fridays and even smaller adventures in the afternoons on school days. This was before the pandemic, so we took lots of field trips and adventures to the zoo, parks, museums, water parks, and anywhere else we could learn something. My daughter was still able to see kids and make friends with them while she was on our homeschool adventures.
But I noticed that she would never see the same kids on a consistent basis like she would in a classroom. On her birthday, she didn’t have any friends to invite because she didn’t have any constant friends outside of the neighbor kids and her cousins.
Cue the homeschool groups! Thankfully, our library has specific STEM and reading programs for homeschool children. Once we joined those groups, she made friends she was able to see on a consistent basis. Problem solved!
The following year we let her try public school because she really wanted to be able to go on the school bus with the bigger neighbor kids. She did awesome and learned important lessons like teamwork, sharing, listening to the teacher and other students, and how to eat lunch in a small window of time!
But the pandemic forced a virtual learning environment for the last month of her kindergarten year. She knew the following year would be virtual again, so she asked to go back to homeschooling. Last week I asked her if she wants to go back to public school next year and she replied "No, I love doing school with you every day, Mommy! We learn what I like to learn about and it’s shorter and we have Fridays to play!’"
So, if you’re wondering if your outgoing child, who’s never met a stranger, is going to thrive in homeschooling, the answer is yes.
You can give your extrovert all the social interaction that they need while implementing all the other wonderful benefits of homeschooling.
Homeschool children are no longer labeled as outcasts or socially behind. There are so many programs through museums, libraries, and parks specifically for homeschool children that homeschooling is a great choice even for outgoing kids.
About the Author
Shelly Bergman is a homeschooling mother of two children ages 2 and 7. After trying various educational options including private Montessori school, museum-affiliated PreK, public schooling, and homeschooling, she and her children fell in love with the hands-on, literacy-based curriculum of BookShark.
Shelly blogs about her family's travels and lifestyle at DIY Mama.