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Home > Support > Homeschooling > How do I fulfill my son's needs for interacting with other children?
 
 
Question: I just started homeschooling this year and receive a great comfort from your website. I started the year with fear and trepidation, but knowing I was doing the will of God and it has been a very good experience so far. I love having time to read the Bible together and I have had the opportunity to really get to know my son and I am happy to report that I like what I see. Others have noticed that he has really calmed down. I have seen positive personality changes in both of us. He will soon be all grown up and I am grateful that I didn't pass up this chance to homeschool.

My problem is this: He has no friends. Yes he still has all his old school friends but it's just not the same. I thought we would find other homeschool families in our city by now but it hasn't happened. He's on the basketball team of his old school, and goes to catechism now, but I really had my heart set on homeschooled friends. The problem is, we can't really travel too much with only one car that my husband takes to work. I'm beginning to feel like the social aspect of homeschool is only successful for wealthy families that can afford 2 cars. Is this God's way of telling me to send him back to school next year?
Answer:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the beautiful letter which exhibited a powerful and moving witness to the loving and tender mercies and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It was uplifting for me to read. I am certain that every mother reading at this very minute feels the power of your words as they came from the heart. It is as though your letter has said, in the words of Jesus, "Bring the children to Me. Let them come, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."

The same Holy Spirit that has empowered you with the wisdom and courage to follow in the path of the Father's will for your family will not let you down now. It is my most heartfelt belief that when we bring our petitions to the Father, He hears and responds with solutions that are not only correct but holy as well.

Let me give you my take on homeschool friends. I think that it is a blessing that your son has re-acclimated into his former peer group. I would assume that this peer group is acceptable to you and your husband. This is really the most wonderful circumstance of successful homeschooling. Remember, young people actually prefer not to spend their time together focusing on school. When they are together they are eager to enjoy each other's company. They want to share hobbies, sports, and interests. That's great. My older boys rarely had homeschooled friends yet managed to travel in their peer groups with ease and fun because they didn't feel different or strange. They were accepted for who they were not where they went to school.

Let me tell you an interesting story that I believe brings home this point.

Once when two of my sons were in a play together at our community theater, they had the great fun of being in a cast that was largely made of teens from all over the county. Friendships developed. Some were good and some needed caution. We managed to work through these concerns and finally the boys had a core group of friends that they began spending time with. Long after the play was concluded, the friendships remained. One day I mentioned to the boys that one of their friends belonged to our homeschool co-op group. Though he no longer attended his little sister did. They were surprised to learn this. For, you see, the subject of where the boys went to school never came up in all the time they were spending together. They were focused on the theater and the unique talents that each person was bringing to that experience.

It is my belief that since this is your first year of homeschooling, it is a blessing that you are going slowly into outside friendships. Your son has the opportunity to be with peers doing what he enjoys and that is probably all that should matter at this point.

Another thing that you mention, was transportation. I can tell you one thing for certain. Teens really do not begin to make lasting friendships until they start driving. This has been our experience. When they have the freedom to go to places and functions where teens are, it is then that they begin to "make plans" and "network." For this reason I think that the Lord is giving you a great period of grace. He is allowing you to cement the goals and virtues that you wish to impart before the issues of car freedom come up.

The best days in my homeschool are the days that the car doesn't leave the driveway. In fact my huge white 16 passenger van feels the same way. It has been on strike for about two weeks. It has been a blessing. I am not pushed to attend obligatory functions and have sensed a quiet peace in our work.

If the Lord allows challenges in our life then He will give us the resources to work through the challenges. Go to Him. Tell Him your concerns and your needs as you perceive them. Keep communicating with your son and keep exploring options for friendships. Look into activities that will help your son broaden his friendship base within reason and to your peace.

To answer your last question. I feel that your words gave me confirmation that not only should you continue on the journey of homeschooling as is the will of the Father for you but it has given me an added boost this morning for my own journey as well. Praise God from Whom all good things flow. Continue in the work and trust that the Lord will continue His good work within you and your endeavors.

Jesus, we praise You and give You all the glory. You are a good and tender Father. Thank You for the evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit in our dear sister in Christ. Lord, we ask that You send a special anointing in this same Spirit to her family. Lord, she presents a need at this time. We pray with her for Your will in this matter. Lord, we know that when we strive to do Your will, it is then that we experience the peace that passes all human understanding. Amen.

Our favorite outside activity has got to be 4-H. See what you can find out. Sometimes there are even homeschooled 4-H clubs.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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