Homeschooling + social life = impossible?

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megan1105
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16 May 2010, 4:18 am

Is/was anyone else a homeschooler? And more specifically, did you feel isolated? What did you do to reach out and interact with people outside your family?

I have been homeschooled since October of 9th grade (I'm now wrapping up my 10th grade year) and have found that as time goes on, it's pretty difficult to connect with other high schoolers. Luckily, I have an amazing family, and my mom and sister are great friends to me, but there are many times when I wished I had a group of friends to go out with on weekends like the "typical" teenager does. To be honest though, I'm such a loner that I really don't care all that much about having a group of friends- it's really a boyfriend that I wish I had.

The bizarre thing is that when I reach out to people I used to go to school with and who were great friends then, they don't seem to want to have anything to do with me. It's like they don't have time for anyone who's not built into their schedules, which may well be the case; I remember how demanding formal high school is.

But yeah. Any thoughts or possible solutions? At my parents' insistence, I've been going to this youth group at my church for the past couple weeks, so I am doing something to try to reach out. I guess it's too soon to tell whether I'll make any real friends from it.



faithfilly
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16 May 2010, 6:08 am

I hope your experience with youth group isn't like what my son's was like. He is an Aspie and is now 21. I home schooled him. He wanted to be taken out of elementary school. The kids there bullied him and we both knew things were only going to get worse if he continued in public school.

He went regularly to the same youth group for 12 years; from age 6 to 18. During all those years of going to all their gatherings, never once did anyone in that group (which was large) become his friend. They didn't bully him, but they didn't associate with him either. The man leading the group was the only person who talked with him.

Thankfully my son doesn't mind having a life without friends. He has his mom and dad, his 27 yr. old sister and her husband (they have 3 young children who adore my son), our two cats and dog, and a strong bond with God for companionship.

My son has had a job once for a couple of years. No one at his place of employment befriended him either. My son went to college and made no friends there either. I know he would enjoy a girlfriend (no, I'm not making any hints), but she would have to be quite special (in personality) to attract him.


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zer0netgain
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16 May 2010, 7:55 am

faithfilly wrote:
I hope your experience with youth group isn't like what my son's was like. He is an Aspie and is now 21. I home schooled him. He wanted to be taken out of elementary school. The kids there bullied him and we both knew things were only going to get worse if he continued in public school.

He went regularly to the same youth group for 12 years; from age 6 to 18. During all those years of going to all their gatherings, never once did anyone in that group (which was large) become his friend. They didn't bully him, but they didn't associate with him either. The man leading the group was the only person who talked with him.


That was about the best you could do for him. It's one thing to learn to live without any friends or companions in life. It's another thing to grow up being despised and persecuted. The emotional scars from the later make it even harder to build relationships later in life.

I should know. :cry:



faithfilly
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16 May 2010, 9:00 am

I also know. That's why I did what I did. Most people don't realize this is as good as it usually can get for us Aspies.

I remember telling my son as he was growing up that only real friends are worth allowing into your life. As they say about fake friends, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"

Aspies can have friends too, but most likely they will be other Aspies (which is great!).


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PunkyKat
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16 May 2010, 10:52 am

I was homeschooled and never felt isolated. We lived in a rural area too. I was a loner and my dogs were my playmates and friends. I took riding lessons for a while and Lestat, the horse I rode, was my buddy.

I got socialtion with humans on my own terms. I never got it in the public school unless it involved some form of bullying. I was a loner and liked it that way. My mum tried a homeschool group at the YMCA but it was VERY unstructured and the kids were not very nice to me there either. I got hurt when some ganged up on me and chased me. My mum let me quit after that. I had no desire to make friends (of the human kind) in the first place and it really frustrated me when my mum tried to force the issue. She would really push the issue when I had to go to the doctor's and I think she was afraid she was going to report her to social services because I wasn't getting an aduquite amount of socialation. Forcing me to interact with other kids would be more abuse than letting me be a loner.


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astaut
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16 May 2010, 12:16 pm

I was home schooled k-9th grade. I had more of a social life then than I do now, much much more. In 9th grade I started attending a private school part time, and 10th grade I went full time. I tried public school (twice) and it was awful. I absolutely detested it. I understand what you're saying about friends, though. In high school it's sort of like everyone has already made their friends and they're not really looking for any more. I'll list some of the stuff I was involved in where I got to know people.

-Church activities. I was really active in youth group..it was small, and I made a very close friend there. We still talk now. Our group went on several mission trips together out of the country.
-Group schooling. I didn't do all my school at home. I had some 'classes' with other home schoolers in people's homes. That was pretty fun.
-Hobbies. I had a horse and rode in rodeos on weekends (made friends there); played sports (softball, basketball, can't remember if there were any more); took piano lessons; took art classes

As you can see, I did a lot of stuff. Most of it my mom made me do :lol: I pitched a fit about most of it, and loved it once I got into it. Only one of the things I listed above was something I actually wanted to do. You have to really put yourself out of your comfort zone. Oh, and another one...when you're far enough in school, you could dual enroll at your local junior college or university. You can take an online class if you don't want to be in the classroom, though I don't recommend it.



faithfilly
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16 May 2010, 7:31 pm

PunkyKat wrote:
...She would really push the issue when I had to go to the doctor's and I think she was afraid she was going to report her to social services because I wasn't getting an aduquite amount of socialation. Forcing me to interact with other kids would be more abuse than letting me be a loner.

Social services in the US makes way more problems than they can possibly fix. I wouldn't doubt your mother feared being reported. You're absolutely right that being forced to interact with other kids would be more abuse than being allowed to be a loner!


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billsmithglendale
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26 May 2010, 5:47 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
faithfilly wrote:
I hope your experience with youth group isn't like what my son's was like. He is an Aspie and is now 21. I home schooled him. He wanted to be taken out of elementary school. The kids there bullied him and we both knew things were only going to get worse if he continued in public school.

He went regularly to the same youth group for 12 years; from age 6 to 18. During all those years of going to all their gatherings, never once did anyone in that group (which was large) become his friend. They didn't bully him, but they didn't associate with him either. The man leading the group was the only person who talked with him.


That was about the best you could do for him. It's one thing to learn to live without any friends or companions in life. It's another thing to grow up being despised and persecuted. The emotional scars from the later make it even harder to build relationships later in life.

I should know. :cry:


I agree, you made the best of the situation. Staying in school would have been worse.

I do wonder if maybe mixing it up with other organizations in his life (like Boy Scouts) would have made a difference -- I can't remember any kids in scouts not being friends with someone. But it sounds like this is a lifelong issue, not isolated to just that group.



Eldanesh
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31 May 2010, 10:02 pm

I was homeschooled for just half of kindergarten. Due to having a good teacher, I was a full year ahead into grade 1 level when I was sent public, where I daresay we did jack all. And of course all the clique type groups were said and done before I had gotten there.

I have no doubt being out of the social system for even that amount of time combined with my personality had long term negative effects. I like to think I got past it by middle school 8)



PunkyKat
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04 Jun 2010, 12:09 am

faithfilly wrote:
PunkyKat wrote:
...She would really push the issue when I had to go to the doctor's and I think she was afraid she was going to report her to social services because I wasn't getting an aduquite amount of socialation. Forcing me to interact with other kids would be more abuse than letting me be a loner.

Social services in the US makes way more problems than they can possibly fix. I wouldn't doubt your mother feared being reported. You're absolutely right that being forced to interact with other kids would be more abuse than being allowed to be a loner!


Maybe I'm wrong because my mum insists she never insited that and that she never had any fear of the pedatrition calling social services and that social sercies knew about AS so maybe I dreamed her saying that. Or maybe I misinterperted something.


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FreeSpirit2000
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05 Jun 2010, 6:58 pm

The more socially reserved AS types tend to be less victimzed by bullies. The ones who want to talk, but have trouble relating to others, are more targets of bullies, and all the sudden, they lose their self esteem and they almost give up. It all depends what obstacles you have to go through.



Michael829
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02 Sep 2017, 7:55 pm

I've decided that I should have insisted on home-schooling (maybe self-taught, just me and the school-books) when I was in Junior-High (pre-secondary school, "middle-school") and highschool.

But I doubt that there was such a thing as allowing home-schooling or home-study in those days (I started Junior high school in 1957).

But maybe I could have insisted on it anyway, given the unsafe violent environment at "Juvie-Jungle Junior-High".

So maybe I could have gotten an exception, or maybe there was a provision for home-study.

Anyway, yes, it has occurred to me--How would I meet anyone, if home-schooling?

Well, for one thing, I wasn't meeting anyone anyway, even at school, which was just a Juvie-Jungle daily ordeal.

But of course surely there are (and were in 1957 too) ways of meeting someone outside of school.

If there was a girl who had seemed a possibility for me, I could have phoned, writen or visited her. ...maybe even suggest together-home-study.

The church group that your parents suggests is a possibility--or similar thins. But surely it isn't the only avenue. What about friends of relatives? Neighbors and their friends? Friends of parents' friends' kids? Maybe it's possible to meet someone via a summer or after-school job too, or at various public events and places, like summer public swimming-pool, etc.


There are probably many possibilities.

I'm posting because I didn't notice any age-limit in this forum's definition.

I don't have personal experience, but I've seriously considered home-study (with its social ramifications) as something that I should have insisted on, starting in 7th grade, and so that's my qualification for answering.

Michael829


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Michael829
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04 Sep 2017, 9:34 pm

I forgot to mention Internet introduction websites (I think this website has an introduction-forum). Of course the reason that it didn't occur to me to mention those as a way of a home-schooling or home-study student to meet people is that it wasn't available when I was in school.

But, even then, there were postal-introduction organizations, which would have been among the options available in those days.

So, all in all, it seems as if meeting someone, by one of those means, wouldn't be prohibitively difficult for a home-schooling or home-study student.

True, you wouldn't have the social milieu, but wouldn't it really be better to not have that? The conditions at school, for me, would have been the worst conditions for meeting a girl. (lntroduce myself to someone while I'm under attack half the time?) ...if I'd been able to consider meeting a girl at all.

Michael829


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SandraH155
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08 Sep 2017, 5:37 am

nowadays it is possible thanks to social media we can communicate with other people and the difference wouldn't be huge. Besides chatting it's also possible to receive a great education MOD EDIT - LINK EDITED OUT and you can learn from professionals, achieve valuable skills.



wachterhector
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19 Oct 2017, 8:04 am

It's very difficult but I think It's definetly possible! Nowadays there are a lot of communities of homeschooling students. Here you can find friends who live not far from you. You can spend your free time together. :D



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27 Dec 2017, 1:03 am

I think it really depends on how you feel about it to be honest, it’s hard to put yourself out there but there are a lot of groups and stuff for out of school socializing.

I’ve been doing online school for the past year just to finish off my GCSEs. I have two friends that I still keep in contact with and see every few weeks. Before that when I was in high school I had a group of 20+ friends that I didn’t really feel comfortable with, being a bit of a loner I feel like I deserved the down time after all that socializing lol.

My mum took me out initially because I got so stressed in school that I got really sick, my cortisol levels dropped dangerously low and I was going back and forth to hospital, constantly fatigued too. My endocrinologist explained that stress was probably the main cause of that. I’m really glad for it though, I feel like my confidence has boosted a lot, my teachers in the online school understand my ASD quirks whereas teachers in my high school despised me for it.