Years ago, if you were in a conversation with someone and mentioned you were homeschooling or “online schooling” your children, you would see a surprised look on their faces. That is not the case anymore. Today, homeschool curriculums, online middle schools and online high schools are an accepted alternative to traditional brick and mortar schools. Even so, parents looking into these options for their children have some concerns.
One major worry for parents and students is the social aspect of school. A big part of a student’s day is talking with and hanging out with friends. Parents worry that their children will feel isolated working from home without face to face interaction with children their own age. What parents need to realize is that there are many other ways their children can interact with children their own age.
Many homeschool and online school students are very active and social. Most students retain their friendships after leaving their schools and still have opportunities to get together and socialize with their “school” friends. Many students also maintain friendships with children in their neighborhood who they still see daily. In addition to that, Homeschool and Online School Students participate in city sports teams, martial arts classes, dance, gymnastics and many other activities where they maintain contact with children their own age. Some homeschool programs and a few online middle schools and online high schools have student forums where students can chat with other kids in the program. Sometimes they are even able to meet up with students in their area. Along with all the social media sites, students are finding it easier to connect with other students in similar situations.
There are many opportunities outside of school where students can stay involved, active, and social. If considering online education for your children, social interaction should not be a deciding factor considering the plethora of ways students can engage with children their own age. Besides, many parents find their children perform better when they are not distracted by other students and all the drama that can result from that interaction. After all, isn’t education what school should be about?