The dreaded S word

Share everyday things like field trips, homeschooling experiences, or just anything that doesn't seem to belong elsewhere!

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The dreaded S word

Postby MrsH » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:20 pm

I pulled my daughter from a Christian school after deciding that it was really too much like a public school. My daughter is shy and had a hard time approaching others to play with her. She ended up feeling like "she wasn't very interesting" when others didn't listen to what she was saying. She does speak rather quietly, although not when she's at home! <g> While I abhor the "socialization" model in regular school settings, I fear my daughter's experience has now affected her ability to connect with other children, regardless of the setting. She enjoys playing with the one friend she's still in contact with from her old school and gets along well with her same aged female cousin. However, making any new friends seems beyond her. She keeps to herself and seems to put up a wall around herself in terms of demeanor and attitude. I don't know what to do as I want her to have friends to occassionally play with or talk to at homeschool support group functions, etc. Anyone out there have any advice for me as to how to handle this?

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Postby Theodore » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:26 am

Some kids just like to keep to themselves, and throwing them together with a bunch of other random kids won't solve anything. There's just isn't any common ground.

My advice is to find an extracurricular that your daughter would enjoy (swim team, martial arts, 4-H, rocketry club, Girl Scouts, computer club, whatever) and sign her up for that. It will be a lot easier to make friends with people of similar interests, and maybe once she gets used to not being the one always sitting in the corner, socialization elsewhere will become easier. If not, no huge loss, she still has her friends from the extracurricular.

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Postby JaneLovesJesus » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:34 pm

We need some help in this department, too! But my kids really like it when we host informal parties in our home. Where parents come AND bring their children. I think it does them good to see the parents socializing as well, and it gives them lots of options: hang with the grown-ups for some of the time, show kids your room, mingle in the snack area, play games with kids, etc. And if they can get to know the kids this way, they can hang together on other occasions. Just a thought. Have fun/j

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Postby momo3boys » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:44 pm

One of the reasons that MOPS is so popular is for that very reason, MOPS stands for mothers of preschoolers. It is for moms who want to get together and meet usually at a playground and talk while the children play. Maybe you can start something like that for some of the local Homeschoolers in the area. Your daughter might even like it if you joined something where the children were younger than her, so that she could have some experience being the oldest and more experienced, giving her the advantage. This always helps boost morale!

Just some thoughts.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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Postby barabi51 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:35 pm

How recently have you and daughter begun homeschooling? It can take a while for kids to work through some of their attitudes/ideas about school, themselves, and other people, from what they learned while in regular school settings. It took our kids literally months, and when our seven-year-old began acting relatively normal again about eight months after we took him out of school, some other homeschooling parents informed me this was just about average...

Sometimes it helps for very shy people to just be in a medium-sized, low-pressure group of relatively friendly (not pushy) people on a regular basis, and to be allowed to hang around and watch how the others interact--to be included in a kind of passive way. Many homeschoolers I've known are like this, friendly but neither too standoffish nor too pushy (you have to know the group of kids in question; that's just part of the job.)

My daughter was nine when we pulled her out of regular school. She was academically advanced and had come in for quite a bit of jealousy and criticism from the other students. A couple of years later we signed her up for a couple of classes at a university-model school, and she was amazed to find herself with kids who did not seem to be doing one-upmanship all the time, jockeying for position--the usual brutal school-kid behaviour. She said they were genuinely friendly and nice. I said maybe it was because 1) they were homeschoolers, and b) they didn't HAVE to be together seven hours a day, five days a week, for 2/3 of a year, and not only that but c) they were taking classes THEY had chosen (that's one advantage of university model.) They could enjoy each other's society because it WAS a chance to socialize, as well as learn. (My opinions)
Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best. --Henry van Dyke

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Postby Mark » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:36 pm

My two took a while to find their niche. :)

With my eldest it is his music (he uses it like I do either shield or invitation)

With my youngest, it is Webkinz.. she can now go up and talk to the other
kiddos around her age with an ice-breaker. :)


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12-year-old son -- Friend Problem

Postby Jessica94 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:14 pm

Our son, age 12, has been home schooling for about 3 years now. Initially he seemed to be maintaining friendships from his public school days. Now, it seems he had no buddies -- worse yet, he doesn't seem to care. We've tried to help him connect with kids at church or sports and he doesn't seem interested. When forced into a social situation, he seems fine. He just doesn't want to follow up with asking a kid over or to hang out. There is a distinct lack of motivation. Should we be concerned and push him to make a friend or two?

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Postby mschickie » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:57 am

A few questions:

1. Are there other homeschoolers at your Church or in his sports?

2. Are you involved in a homeschool support group or co-op? If so are there any opportunities there for him to find a close freind?

The reason I ask is maybe he feels isolated because he does not have the same things in common with the kids he is in contact with. Sd is having that issue a little bit too. She is 16 and no longer associates with the kids from ps (we are happy about that to a degree). The only other kids at Church all go to ps. She is involved in our youth group but the girls her age do not come so she hangs out with the younger kids. She is also the only kid there who does not listen to secular music and know all the trends.

At co-op she felt a little out of place since everyone there pretty much knew each other and she was the new kid last year. The positive thing was though that these kids listened to the same music and she did find some shared interests among them. She has made some freinds but not a real close one yet. I am hoping she does but she may not. I am hoping we are giving her the skills that when she goes to college she can find a good freind who shares her values and interests.

I would just try and find a place he could find another kid to click with and if that does not work try talking to him and find out why. It could just be the start of being a teenager too.

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Postby Minniewannabe » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:33 am

A 12 year old boy who would prefer to hang out with a video game or online is probably normal in our present society. I wouldn't worry about it too much. I would not allow him to isolate completely, however. Make sure he has plenty of extracurricular activities with other kids. Our DS was like that once and he's a 3rd year medical student now and interacts with people remarkably well. (Although he'd still rather play a video game than go out with a bunch of friends :)

Our 8 year old DD, on the other hand, had a problem more with shyness and lack of confidence. She always wanted to have more friends and to entertain, but she was usually the kid playing alone at recess. I don't know if it's the year of HS or comedy and acting classes, but whatever, the problem's gone. She now always seems to be running her mouth with someone. And what's wonderful is she looks at people in the eye when talking, even adults. While I would love to think this transformation was the year of HS, I kind of know it was mostly the acting classes.

No matter what, however, there's nothing wrong with being a happy introvert. :lol:

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12-year-old son

Postby Jessica94 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:31 am

1. Are there other homeschoolers at your Church or in his sports?

We've been attending the same church since he was 2 years old. He's never "connected" with any of the kids there really. There is a group of home schoolers, but he fights me about being around them. We tried having him connect with several boys in one family, but they ganged up on him -- physically hitting him etc. He reacted poorly -- he cursed, which I've never known him to do elsewhere -- the mother made a big deal out of him cursing and ignored that her sons, two of whom are older, having beat up on him -- they were in a pool and he thought they were trying to drown him -- that was about 18 mos. ago. So of course he doesn't want to have anything to do with them. Since then, he won't even go into Bible or Youth around them. (He took responsibility for using foul language, but he did so to get the boys' mother to pay attention and help him -- she was ignoring that he was in trouble until she heard him curse... the mother admits that -- it was just a bad situation...)

He plays football and is cordial with teammates but not interested in getting to know any of them better -- even if invited, which I don't understand at all.

2. Are you involved in a homeschool support group or co-op? If so are there any opportunities there for him to find a close freind?

We did a co-op this past year and he kind of liked several of the kids -- but it was a distance away and the others live even further away...

His closest friend (since he was about little) -- the kid's a really nice kid, played football but is now into soccer etc. and moved about 1/2 hour away -- they stay in touch sometimes, but the other boy has started liking girls and Myspace etc., and my son's not up for that kind of thing.

He did have the brother of his little sister's friend hang out all day yesterday and then spend the night -- they played XBox etc. The boy is a year older and very bright -- so that helped them to connect. They've known one another for a long time but the other boy always thought of himself as "older" etc. I think they were surprised that they had such fun because the little sisters have been buds for years without the two of them connecting at all.

My husband thinks it is silly for me to worry -- that all middle schoolers go through "friend changes" and "friend problems" at this age -- He thinks I've forgotten that the older ones (now 24, 21, and 18 ) had the same kinds of issues and they were in public/private school.

Thanks for any suggestions -- it doesn't seem to matter how long we parent -- there's always something that challenges us, it seems.

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Postby mschickie » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:23 pm

It does sound like he is probably missing his freind who moved. Alot of kids take awhile to make new freinds once their best freind moves. I know it took me awhile at that age when my best freind moved away. I would not worry too much it sounds like he will be ok.

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Postby Glottis » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:36 pm

sometimes kids have a hard time going out of their 'shell'... i know several families that are quite successful with 'socializing' their home schooled kids... on weekdays, they would focus on the core curriculum.. but on the weekends, kids are taken outdoors to do extracurricular activities and meet other kids and other people of all ages... this will very well develop their interpersonal skills...

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