How to Find Socialization for Your Homeschooled High School Student

This is a guest post by Melissa Batai of

When homeschool students reach late middle school or high school age, they may ask to go to school instead of continuing to homeschool. As a parent, you may want to explore this desire further. Frequently teens request this not because they want to abandon homeschooling but because they believe that going to school will give them more opportunities to make friends. If this is the reason your teen wants to go to school, before you send them, try these ways to find socialization for your homeschooled high school student.

How to Find Socialization for your Homeschooled High School Student

Here are some ways you may be able to help your child make new friends even while homeschooling:

Enroll in Live, Online Classes

Many live, online classes also offer pockets of socialization. For instance, some classes open up five to 15 minutes early so students can chat with one another before class begins. This year, my 6th-grade daughter, who is craving more social interaction, is taking one online class just so she can have access to the virtual clubs the school offers. She’s hoping to make more friends that way.

Be forewarned before you enroll your child in a live, online class, that some schools protect students by never letting the student on camera. My daughter was frustrated by this, so we had to search for a school that does have students on camera so she can see the other kids.

Volunteer at the Library or Elsewhere

Not only is volunteering good for your teen and for her college application, should she decide to go to college, but it can also help her make friends. My son volunteered for the local library’s summer reading program and made several friends. Libraries may also offer teen advisory boards where teens help the library through volunteering and helping determine and organize content.

If the local library isn’t an option for your teen, there are many other places to volunteer in the community where they may meet other teens like Habitat for Humanity.

Join Church Groups

Church youth groups can be a fabulous way to meet other teens. Many churches offer both middle school and high school youth groups. These groups meet weekly and may offer other, longer opportunities to serve and socialize. As part of youth group, my son attended a five-day volunteer program assisting people in underprivileged neighborhoods as well as attend two retreats where he was able to deepen relationships with other teens.

Join Extracurriculars at the Public School

Did you know that some states allow homeschooled students to take part-time classes at public schools? Some also allow homeschooled students to join the sports teams and partake in extracurriculars such as theater and band. You will need to check with your state to see if this is allowed. Taking advantage of this opportunity may give your teen all the socialization that he needs.

Join a Homeschool Co-op

If you can’t join the local public school’s extracurriculars, or if you don’t want to, another option to consider is joining a homeschool co-op . Before you find a homeschool co-op, first decide what kind of experience you want. Some homeschool co-ops are strictly academic, while others offer both academic classes and extracurricular activities. The third type of co-op only offers fun, extracurricular activities. If you don’t want to upend your homeschool to follow the academics of the homeschool co-op, you may want to try the latter two options.

Final Thoughts

Teenagers naturally crave increased social interaction. Parents who have successfully homeschooled through high school often say that they had to make socialization a priority for their teens. Luckily, there are many different paths you can utilize to give your child the opportunity to meet new friends and develop deep bonds with other teens.

Looking for more homeschool socialization tips? Check out HOMESCHOOL HACKS: HOW TO GIVE YOUR KID A GREAT EDUCATION WITHOUT LOSING YOUR JOB (OR YOUR MIND) available now!