How to Handle Homeschool Mom Cliques

Note from Linsey: The following guest post is written by Melissa Batai. We hope you find it helpful! It can be hard finding your community as a homeschooler, but it's totally worth it! 

I’m guessing that most of us thought that experiencing cliques would end in high school. Unfortunately, that’s not true. If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you’ve likely encountered the homeschool mom cliques. I don’t know if handling homeschool mom cliques as an extrovert is easier, but I can tell you as an introvert, I find this social situation challenging. If you feel the same, here are some strategies to help you handle homeschool mom cliques.

How to Handle Homeschool Mom Cliques

The first thing you need to decide is if you want to simply tolerate being with these other women for the sake of your kids and their friends, or if you want to break through the clique and hopefully make a friend or two.

If You Don’t Want to Talk

If you know that you must be with these people for the sake of your kids, for instance, if they’re in a homeschool activity together, but you don’t really care if you make friends, here are some options:

Bring a Book

Think of this as time to catch up on your reading. If your kids are in a homeschool PE group for an hour and the moms are cliquey, just read. This is a perfect time to have uninterrupted time to delve into a great book.

Bring Something to Do with Your Hands

However, if you choose to bring a book, you are choosing to forego conversation. If you want something to do that allows you to follow along with the conversation and contribute occasionally, consider bringing something like knitting or cross-stitching. Someone may even ask what you are making, which could spark a conversation.

If You Want to Make Friends

If, on the other hand, you’d like to eventually break through the clique and make a friend or two, you’ll want to implement a different strategy.

Listen, Listen, Listen

While extroverts tend to just jump into the conversation, introverts are different. When you first join a group, take the time to listen. Doing this allows you to find the people in the group you think you can make friends with. You may never break through the clique, but you likely can find one or two people that you connect with. Listen until you feel comfortable and know who you think you would get along with.

Ask Questions about the Other Moms

When you’re ready to start making friends, begin with asking other moms' questions. Most people like to talk about themselves, so asking about them, rather than talking about yourself, will help you connect with them. Even better if you can remember specific details and ask follow-up questions after some time has passed such as, “How is your dad doing? I remember you said he was sick two weeks ago.”

Read Some Books That Will Help You Socialize

If you feel clumsy with socialization, you can always read some books to help.

Girls’ Club by Sally Clarkson specifically focuses on hospitality and how to make a circle of friends.

Seated with Christ by Heather Holleman takes a different angle and asks us not to get caught up in the comparison game, so prevalent in our society where everything is shared on social media.

Both books are rooted in the Christian faith.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, the cliques you experienced in high school don’t go away once you become an adult. There are cliques in many different environments and frequently in homeschool groups. To tackle the cliques, first decide if you want to stay on the fringes of the group or if you’d like to join, and then take the recommended steps. With time and luck, you should be able to make a few friends despite the clique.