Our co-op classes have started not so long ago. I am always so happy to see our members returning and of course, feeling super old when I realized how much the kiddos have grown. I mean, we see each other on a weekly basis and when summer comes around, we all go our separate ways for trips and whatever. So yes, even if it is a fact that children will grow, I am always in shock to see how much they did, when we return to co-op time.
Each year, we will have some new members joining our group and, if you like to observe people like I do, I find it fascinating how friendship will form between kids of all ages. The little ones really are just care free, that a simple “hello, you want to play” works fine and you have a new best friend.
Now, on the other hand, our teenagers do need a little bit more time to get those friendships going. Ok, you can give the boys a basketball and access to the gym for break time and magic happen. There isn’t much talking going on when you shoot some hoops but some bound are forming over time. But the best way to make things move along a bit faster is a Teen Event. Last year, we did try, but the lack of participation made it hard to do such events. This year, we have some new directors and they are moms of teenagers and they now what works!
I realized that you don’t have to go big and crazy to get the conversation going. Dinner, movie and games were on the menu for the teens and even if they could have left at 9pm, they all stayed until 10pm. They were honestly having a good time, getting to know one another and just free to be who they are. I must be old because I do not remember how most of my childhood friendships started. But I saw some teenagers connect over their love of sports, video games or just to be with others like them. Magic moments were happening.
Have you heard that children who are homeschooled don’t socialize? I have heard that so many times and yet it is so false! No teenagers sat in a corner or were left themselves. Everyone was getting to know one another and as a mom, I find it awesome!
So, if you are thinking about homeschooling, try to find a group that you can belong too. It might be out of your comfort zone but it is so worth it for your children!