I worried that I wouldn’t have enough friends and neither would my children when I was deciding to homeschool. Today we are all blessed with wonderful friends. I don’t think we could have continued to homeschool all these years without them. This week, we will work on establishing friendships and strengthening those we have.
#1 Plan activities with kids’ friends.
If you already have friends and acquaintances, now is a good time to make plans with them. Often, adult and kid friendships fade simply because no one takes the initiative to plan a get together. This is especially true over the summer.
Some of the things we have done in the summers to keep friendships strong include camping together, having regular barbecues, and vacationing together. Ask the kids what they would like to do with their friends this summer and even into the school year.
#2 Discuss options for new friends.
One of the best choices we made was to participate in a homeschool P.E. class. I had learned from veteran homeschool moms that this was the best way for kids to make friends and they were right. Ask other homeschoolers how they have established friendships for themselves and their kids and take their advice.
Of course, friendships don’t all have to be centered around homeschooling. Your church, neighborhood, and extracurricular activities are also opportunities to make friends. Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. Invite people to your home and see if you click. If not, try again. Discuss people you’d like to approach as a family and pray about it. God may suggest a friendship that you hadn’t considered.
#3 Plan mom activities
I have never felt guilty for being away from my family to spend time with my girlfriends. I need that time to be the best wife and mother I can be. My friends have helped me see that my struggles are typical and have given me wonderful, godly advice as well.
Being in a homeschool co-op and attending homeschool P.E. classes have given me the opportunity to talk with my friends. But we have taken it a step further by going out to celebrate one another’s birthdays, going out as couples, and as I mentioned, taking family vacations together. Participating in a moms’ Bible study and women’s retreats at church have also been ways to connect with friends.
Discuss potential activities with your friends for the summer and ideas you could use throughout the school year.
#4 Plan a May Day surprise for friends
One tradition I really miss is May Day. When I was a kid, we would put baskets of goodies together (usually for a neighbor), put it on their doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run away before we were caught. Once when I did this, the woman caught me before I could get away. She proceeded to chew me out for pulling a prank. When she looked down and saw the basket, she started to cry.
Despite my neighbor’s bad reaction, I love the idea of surprising people. Talk with the kids about how to surprise a couple of their friends. Here is a May Day basket printable the kids can decorate and fill with flowers or candy. This May Day basket with flower centers made from candy would be easy for the kids to make as well. These candy-filled flower cups would be a great surprise for kids or moms. Your mom friends would love a basket of flowers ready to plant. These printable tags are a beautiful addition to whatever May Day surprise you’d like to plan.
Follow the Organized Homeschool board for pictures of these and other May Day ideas.
Here is this month’s free printable organized homeschool calendar for April 2014 and a list of previous weeks’ challenges.