How will my child make and stay in touch with their friends?
Socialization is usually the first question raised by those who are unfamiliar with homeschooling and traveling with children. But among families who have "been there", it is not generally considered a problem.
Tips for Finding Kids to Play with while Traveling
Check with local homeschool groups for Park Days and organized field trips. Some may even offer group camp dates.
Drop by the YMCA and check for classes your kid(s) are interested in
Go to a playground
Go to a swimming pool
Go to a skating rink
Go to Storytime at a library
Park near the playground --so you can see or hear the kids
Go watch a Little League Baseball Game
Bring out the Pokemon or YuGiOh Cards.
Check game stores, book stores and libraries for gaming events.
Hang out a McDonalds play place and drink your coffee slowly
Look for indoor play places at malls
Some grocery stores have a drop off - take advantage of it if there are other kids there.
"Shop" or go grab a cup of tea at IKEA while your kid plays in the drop off center
Check the local parenting magazine for events and activities
Try Storytime at a bookstore
Go to church socials
Follow your passions - and you will find like-minded people of all ages whose company you enjoy
"My family and friends and neighbors - and even strangers are all radically concerned about what is called among homeschoolers the "socialization myth", which is exactly what it is. My kids have made more friends than ever since we started homeschooling and even more since we hit the road. The major difference is that now they easily socialize with people of all age groups, races, culture, etc... We have only stayed in one park that did not have any other children, and my daughters immediately made best friends with a 70+ year old couple. They have friends all over who they email with and visit when we return to places. My best advice is go for it and don't worry about your child's socialization unless you are going to live in Siberia."
~Phyllis Stelly, a fulltime RVing mother who homeschools her two daughters
This seems to be the general consensus among traveling homeschoolers, who have discovered that homeschooling combined with travel affords more social opportunities than ever.
"I've had people say that my only-child son will have no socialization skills. He socializes with US all the time. Are we not as good at socialization as a middle schooler? He's at a cribbage tournament right now, socializing with 21 other adults. He likes adults better than kids, and frankly, I'd rather him hang around with a bunch of retirees that are going pinch his rosy little cheeks than a bunch of ill-mannered children anyway."
~Vickie Swindling (FOTR since 2006)
We will go on the road and my son/daughter will be surrounded by other kids who fulltime in their RV.
Your child will find friends who live in stick houses that share their interests. The truth is that families who travel tend to stick to their own agenda. It is possible to meet up occasionally when paths cross but don't expect it to be a daily occurrence.
Meeting Other FOTR Families
Families who travel full time tend to have their own agenda based on work or travel goals. Occasionally some families find it convenient to meet up and possibly even travel together.
You can use the forum to coordinate get-togethers with other traveling families.
Try to attend an official rally that has like minded families on the road.
"Traveling has also allowed us to stay in touch with other families and friends that move around. One family we have known since the kids were 5 years old. We met in Los Angeles area. They moved to the SF Bay area and then to Texas, San Diego, Massachusetts and now New Hampshire. We have been able to visit them in all of their homes (except San Diego).
Our family is extreme in that we don't spend more than one week in one location. But that hasn't stopped our son from making and keeping friends. Some of his friends he's met at our shows, others he's met online and others at homeschool park days. He started an internet based radio show with other progressive homeschoolers and made friends through that. He's even managed to form a band with some of the friends he's met online. They compose music and lyrics over the phone and internet; and get together to record and play gigs whenever we are in the area. "
~ Kimberly (FOTR since1992)
Keep In TouchCell Phones - Kids can call their friends no matter where they live in the US. And with the three-way calling feature (don't worry they'll show you how it works) they can even introduce their friends to each other. Sign up for the free weekend and evening minutes so you don't have to stress over the bill. You can also use Shop Amazon - Contract Cell Phones & Service Plans for your kids so there is no chance for them to surprise you with a ridiculous bill.
Computer - Texting, Gaming, Facebook, Blogging, Skype, Google Hangouts Special Interest Groups and Email are just some of the ways we are able to connect with our friends in this modern age.
Also see Communication on the Road >>