I hear all the time that people think homeschooling is a poor choice due to the lack of socialization. However, I can tell you that my kids get more socialization than any children their age can get from the average preschool program that meets 2-3 times a week for a couple of hours. In addition, almost everything we do is FREE or very inexpensive. I’m am writing this with preschoolers in mind since I do not have any school age children.
MOPS– MOPS provides an opportunity for both mom and child to socialize. It meets at a variety of churches every other week during the school year. There are at least 5 MOPS groups that meet with in a 10 mile radius of our home. You can find a group near you by searching your zip code on the MOPS website. During MOPS mommy’s meet to discuss hot parenting topics, play games, do crafts, and study the bible. Meanwhile, the children go to Moppets which is a preschool-style experience which includes a bible based curriculum. There also a nursery for babies.
Awanas– Awanas is a youth group type experience for younger children. They start as early as 2 years old. The children engage in bible story activities, play games, crafts, and music. Each child is given a handbook with carry over activities to do at home. There is also a memory verse each week. I love how the handbook keeps you connected as a parent.
Library- The library has a wealth of free resources for children- storytime, art club, lego club, video gaming tournaments, book clubs, 3d printing classes, etc.
Coffee Break– This is a women’s bible study associated with the Christian Reformed Church. During meetings, a preschool type childcare is provided for children 6 and under through the Little Lambs and Story hour program. This is free and you can find a group near you here.
Children’s Museum Membership- We usually ask for a membership to the local children’s museum as a family Christmas gift. You can find a children’s museum near you on the Association of Children’s Museums webpage.
Scouts- My kiddos are not old enough for scouts yet, but I am signing them up as soon as possible! Scouts learn many valuable skills that are often overlooked in schools such as survival skills, service, character, etc. You can sign your child up for scouts starting in first grade. Find a local boy scout troop here and a girl scout troop here.
MOMS Club– Designed for stay-at-home moms, these clubs meet during daytime hours for discussions, playgroups, and holiday parties. It typically costs between $15-$30 for a year membership. Click here to find a chapter near you.
Fitness Gyms- Lifetime, XSport, L.A. Fitness, some park districts and other private clubs offer childcare. Lifetime offers structured activities like kids Zumba and sharks and minnows.
Other activities for Socialization include-
- McDonald’s playland
- Nature Centers (usually offer inexpensive or free preschool programs)
- Park district programs
- Sunday School (offered at most Christian churches)
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