When I was growing up homeschooled, one of the drawbacks of my mom running a home daycare at the same time was that we couldn't participate in a lot of homeschool group activities. But she was able to do childcare for other homeschool families, so we would have other kids our age over on a semi-regular basis, and she organized an evening "Science Scouts" club for a while, and later we had a book club with a couple of friends. And we took the city bus to all sorts of after-school classes, so don't picture my brother and I being locked at home wasting away.
Now, I have a much more flexible job and that is great for being able to take part in homeschool groups. I'm a member of three groups, ranging from tiny to a huge multi-county one. This means my kids do:
- Group field trips (museums, farm tours, the special performances of ballets, etc that are for school groups)
- Nature Study activities in a group
- Book Clubs
- Presentation Days
- Chess Club
- Lego Club
- Holiday Parties
- PE type play dates (skating rinks, group bicycle rides, etc)
- Park play days
- and more
In fact, I need to be careful with the calendar, to keep a good balance so we're not running around so much that we don't have enough time at home to do what we need to do there. Some days we are very busy being social. Like today in the life of my daughter: we all went to Lego Club (where valentines were also exchanged), then she had a Homeschool Art Workshop at the children's museum, then I dropped her off with friends who took her with them to the church's Valentine Dinner and Dance. Needless to say, I kept the rest of her school assignments for the day pretty light (just math and violin practice).
So if you were picturing the reality of homeschooling as being kids sitting at home at little desks facing a wall with a giant map on it, that sure isn't our lived reality.