Moving to a new neighborhood can be difficult, especially for young children. They are forced to leave their childhood home, their friends and the only neighborhood they have ever known. This transition can be even more difficult for a child that is homeschooled. While most children gain friendships through interactions at school, a homeschooled student has to work twice as hard to find friends in their new neighborhood. If you are the parent of a homeschooled child, here are 5 ways you can help her to connect to her new neighborhood after a move.
Help Her Join a Team
While your son or daughter may not be able to join their school’s basketball or softball team, there are plenty of club teams and just-for-fun leagues that are always accepting new members. Being a part of a sports team is not only a great way to make friends; it will also help your child to stay in shape and learn to work as part of a unit with group of kids. If your child isn’t interested in sports, give the scouts a try. Your child can learn valuable life skills and make new friends at the same time.
In some neighborhoods this is easier said than done, but if you are lucky enough to live in a place where you can go for a walk with you child take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and introduce yourself to as many people as possible. You may find that there are other kids your child’s age living just around the corner. Set up a play date for them to get to know each other better.
Get a Library Card
We often think of the library as a quiet place to read and study. The library is also a great place for your kids to make new friends. Libraries often organize readings, movie nights and other types of get-togethers designed for kids of all-ages. Does your child love Choose Your Own Adventure or G.A. Henty books? The library is a great place for your child to meet kids that are into the same types of books that they are. A shared love of Harry Potter could blossom into a lifelong friendship.
Sign Your Child up for a Class
Just because your child doesn’t attend a traditional school that doesn’t mean that they can’t attend afterschool classes offered in the community. Does your child like to dance, cook or paint? Afterschool classes are a great way for your child to improve a skill while meeting dozens of kids with the same interest. Having trouble picking out a class? Try signing your child up for Spanish, French or Chinese classes. Not only will they be introduced to an extremely helpful new skill, they will also be introduced to a new culture, new foods and new friends.
Make Friends with Your Neighbors
There is no better resource in your new neighborhood than the people who live down the street. Take the time to invite your new neighbors over to a housewarming party or just knock on their doors and say hello. Even if they don’t have children that are your child’s age, they will be able to give you a better idea of where the neighborhood kids like to hang out, what activities they are into and where you can connect with other parents. By building your social network you will not only help your child to make friends, you will make a few new friends yourself.
Author Bio: Kenny Soto is a blogger for MyMove.com. Visit MyMove.com for tips, customizable checklists and hand-picked deals to make moving more rewarding and less stressful.