My fifth grader told me the other day that no one calls her to play because she is homeschooled. It broke my heart. I’ve been pondering her words and feelings for a few days because I don’t want her to begin to hate homeschooling because she feels like it’s costing her friends. I wanted to jot down a few thoughts – to help myself, to ask for your opinions.
It seems to me that children are completely overbooked these days. Those of us who choose to give generous amounts of time for unstructured play often end up with children who feel lonely and like no one can play. Does one begin scheduling more activities for their own children to combat this? Does one make playdates for an older child? Does one say to oneself that it isn’t a big deal, children can have fun with siblings or in their own imaginative world?
I think I might have mistakenly supposed that homeschooling was no longer a “weird” thing to do. Are homeschoolers still shunned as playmates? Do the children in my neighborhood who attend private schools have this same problem?
It really isn’t that my daughter has no “social” time. She has friends in the neighborhood with whom she plays, but they are often younger than she. She takes a gymnastics class every week. She attends Sunday School every week and participates in an activity for girls her age twice a month. I think she is just missing out on a “Best Friend.” I think she feels badly because the girls attending public school make plans to play on the bus ride home every day and then aren’t available when she reaches out to them.
I have been reminding myself that even when we public schooled, it was hard to find playmates sometimes. I recall many days of having a sad little girl complaining about a lack of girlfriends.
Are you struggling with this in your house? I would love to hear your experiences and feedback.
Thank you for reading!