If you are a homeschooler, or are planning on homeschooling, then you have likely had someone bring up “socialization” to you at one point or another. It’s the “go to” argument for people who haven’t been directly exposed to homeschooling. Socialization may have been an issue decades ago, but there are so many programs out there now that it is easy to connect with other families. The following is a list of different local resources all homeschoolers should utilize in order to enhance their children’s homeschooling experience.
The most obvious group that homeschoolers should utilize is their local co-op. If you don’t have one that shares the same ideas as you (i.e. secular, religious, unschooling, or more structured) then start one yourself. Our closest local co-op is religious based and since we are secular homeschoolers a friend and I have decided to start our own. It’s small now but continues to grow. Here are a few co-ops if you are in the Richmond, VA area.
Parks and Recreation Classes
Parks and rec departments are a great resource for homeschoolers. Our local Parks and Rec offers a wide variety of classes including dance, karate, soccer, drama, art, music… and the list goes on. If you live in the Central Virginia area here is a list of Parks and Rec programs:
Park and Museum Classes
A lot of parks and museums offer classes that are geared towards homeschoolers or school groups (co-op field trips). Here is a short list of classes offered at parks and museums around Central Virginia
- Maymont Park – Homeschool Mornings
- Pocahontas State Park - K-2 Homeschool Program
- Agecroft Hall – Homeschoolers and Historic Houses
- Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia – Homeschool Program
- Children’s Museum of Richmond – Art Workshop
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens – Children’s Garden and Education
- Henricus Historical Park – School Programs
- Science Museum of Virginia – Events
- The Valentine Museum – Events and Programs
- Virginia Aviation Museum – Education
- Edgar Allan Poe Museum – Education
As homeschoolers the library will likely become your best friend. If your library is anything like mine they hold story times several times a week and special events scattered throughout the year. Sign up for your library’s newsletter in order to keep up with up coming events.
Whether you choose to take part in community sports or join an actual homeschool league you have a lot of options out there for you. Homeschool Richmond has a full list of athletics for your homeschoolers.
Don’t forget to consider the community associations that we all used growing up! I plan for my children to be very active in our local 4-H Club.
There are programs and classes out there for every interest. Sometimes it just takes a little research.