Embracing The Environment: Education And Socialisation For Homeschoolers

By Guest Writer Jennifer Collin

In Australia alone, over 30,000 children are homeschooling. Public education is often a hotly debated topic, polarizing parents and politicians on the issues of education quality, curriculum, and content. Some parents want to tailor the topics or pace of the classroom; others are committed to protecting their children from bullying, and encourage them to collaborate with people of all different religions, races and ideologies to promote a more peaceful planet. Organizations are popping up all over, like Millenium Kids, a project dedicated to enabling children to become empowered in tackling issues like education, environmentalism, and sustainability on a community level. Whatever their reason for homeschooling, socialization remains a real challenge, and some parents feel helpless in addressing this issue. Parents can meet socialization and education goals simultaneously by collaborating with other homeschoolers to work on a cause like the environment.

Connect With Your Homeschool Community On A Common Cause

When the classroom size is limited to one or two children, it can be challenging to teach kids the “soft skills” that they would otherwise learn when attending a traditional public school. As their parent and teacher, it is critical to create a curriculum that fosters learning while not sacrificing socialisation with similar-aged peers. One way to do this is to reach out to other homeschoolers in your local area. Create a Facebook group or host a meetup with like-minded families to familiarise yourself and your homeschoolers with the community. Many parents and homeschoolers support an important and educational cause like the environment to connect with the community and teach children about science, climate, and collaboration. Going on camping trips or group excursions to parks and nature centres fosters socialisation while creating an opportunity to teach children about nature, the environment, biology, climate, and earth science.

Get Involved And Get Creative 

Home-schooled children could choose to focus on environmental groups, for example, and participate in activities like camping, park clean ups, and conservation events. Getting the kids involved in planning these activities is sure to enhance the experience and increase the likelihood that your child will be enthusiastic about participating. Plan a camping trip with your child, and reach out to other local homeschoolers to invite other kids. Before the outing, invite others to a meet and greet, where you can get to know other parents and children. Get creative, and have the kids work on a D.I.Y. project to use on the trip, or create informational flashcards about the plants and animals they may encounter. Take the time to teach the kids about the importance of cleaning up their camping spaces and respecting wildlife. This meetup not only provides an opportunity to chat logistics, but also is a great way to get the kids excited about the upcoming social gathering and drive home the educational aspects of the event.

Encouraging your child to get involved in a cause with other homeschoolers is is a great way to ensure that your child is socialising with their peers and forming critical bonds and friendships, despite being homeschooled. Reach out to organizations that encourage creative collaboration with youth, like Millennium Kids. Keep an open mind, and be sure to source advice from your homeschooling community to overcome any challenges you may face in creating your child’s curriculum or managing your relationship with the child as both teacher and parent. By remaining involved with your community and relying on a bit of creative thinking, you can successfully homeschool your child and avoid any major socialisation challenges. Focusing on a cause like the environment, and involving your community in this cause is a perfect way to encourage socialisation and education simultaneously, as well as having a positive impact on the environment.

 

If you are keen on setting up a Homeschool Green lab with Millennium Kids Inc please email info@millenniumkids.com.au

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