One apprehension many parents have when considering homeschooling their kids is the pervasive myth that it deteriorates communication and social skills. However, the truth is that homeschooling gives children more opportunities to socialize and develop these critical life skills than peers who attend traditional schools. Here is what you need to know about these skills and some useful tips for fostering social skills in homeschoolers. 

What Are Social Skills?

Social skills are the things we need to effectively communicate with each other. They include verbal and non-verbal things like speech, gestures, facial expressions, and even body language. 

Strong social skills are essential for everyone, including children. They help us build and maintain healthy relationships, manage conflicts, and understand empathy. No one is born with the social skills they need to succeed in the world. These are things that need to be learned. 

6 Tips for Fostering Social Skills in Homeschoolers

It’s not uncommon for children to struggle with social skills while growing up. It just means they need to learn proper skills and methods to help them. Here are some tips you can use to help foster social skills in your homeschooler.

1. Be a Role Model

Whether you’re at a museum, hiking in a state park, or shopping at the local grocery store, you can model healthy social skills for your child through your own interactions with others. 

2. Choose the Right Curriculum

Look for homeschool curriculum and teaching tools designed to help your child learn social skills. These might include writing prompts, reading certain stories, or playing games. 

3. Join Group Activities

Homeschoolers have countless opportunities to join group activities or create their own within the community. These can center on things like the arts, sports, science, or specific homeschool projects where children can work together toward a common goal. 

4. Play Turn-Taking Games

Learning to share is a critical social skill you can begin teaching early using games. For example, games where children need to take turns can teach your child about sharing objects and attention. 

5. Foster Their Interests

Every child has unique interests that get them excited and engaged. When you foster these interests with other children and in the community, they will want to share their knowledge and experiences with others. 

6. Emphasize Empathy

Empathy is an essential social skill that children should learn as they grow. As you go through your lessons, find ways to teach your child to be compassionate and respond to others in a caring manner.

Get the Support You Need for Your Homeschooler

There are many ways to foster social skills in your homeschool student. Fortunately, there is also a ton of support available in your local community. In other words, you don’t have to do everything on your own. 

For over three decades, the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) has provided support to homeschooling parents and their children throughout the state. We offer academic programs, curriculum assistance, online documentation, bookstore discounts, and more. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of SCAIHS membership