One of the main objections I hear from folks about homeschooling is lack of social interactions with peers. This comes mostly from people who know very little about homeschooling and are not tuned into a local HS community. I am of the opinion that M is getting plenty of socialization, sometimes too much of it.
For example, here's how this week went, in terms of all the socializing:
Monday morning we had a much-anticipated tour of a landfill. Yes, I know, we've been there already. But this is one tour M seems to want to go on over and over (ok, another one he wouldn't mind doing again and again would be anything NASA related). Sure, we don't go to a landfill every week, but we frequently go on field trips and outings with our homeschooling friends. I'd say, we go a couple of times a month.
Tuesday we started the new session of the Junior First Lego League. It's super exciting for a couple of reasons. One is M loves being there, building with Legos, playing with his friends and, of course, having a snack. Second, he got his first ever grant! It came from OurMilitaryKids.org and covered not only all the program fees, but also some nice bricks, gears, and a motor. Awesome, I say! That's 3-4 hrs of socializing, being engaged in cooperative play, problem solving, etc.
Wednesday is our usual get-together with a group of Russian kids. There's usually a short lesson - math, logic, Russian language, and an art activity. Then kids have a snack and go play. And moms have some tea. The kids have been meeting and playing together for over a year now, almost every week. They speak Russian between themselves (so far).
Thursday is our Russian reading night. It's with the same group of kids, but at a different time and the format is different too. There are some language-building activities and a short story time. But then kids have a snack and play together while moms have tea. Both Wednesday and Thursday get-togethers are organized and hosted by some absolutely amazing Russian moms who seem to have boundless reserves of energy, enthusiasm, teaching ideas and patience.
Friday is our homeschool park day. We didn't do it in the summer because it was just too hot. But now that the weather is a bit cooler, we are going to return to the park day. M gets to play with his American homeschooling friends.
In addition to all this, we usually have 2-3 small playdates each week, including weekends. That makes for a very full schedule. Now, we are very lucky to live in an area with so many homeschoolers and such an active HS community. Then again, M has plenty of non-HS friends too.
I realize that the pictures I put on this blog do not reflect any of this. Sometimes it's because I'm not there to take a picture (I'm either chatting with other moms, drinking tea or doing both at the same time; yep, I'm THAT talented). Other times I just don't feel it'd be right to put pictures of other kids on the blog for privacy reasons. But I also know we're not at all different from many other HS families in our area. With all the co-ops, playdates, clubs, park days, and such, kids here seem to get plenty of social opportunities.
Ok, I'm going to get off my soap box now.