Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday - Park Dates

 As homeschoolers, we're all aware of the ever popular socialization issue.  That has got to be the number one question asked by non-homeschooling people.  Little do they know that our kids get plenty of socialization.  One of the ways that my family makes sure my kids are "socialized" properly is to have regular park dates with others in my homeschool group.  We meet at an area park each Friday afternoon for an unstructured playdate.  Kids of all ages come and play, or simply hang out as the case may be.

This standing park date is at 2:00 each Friday, which is a wonderful tool to get my kids motivated to finish up our school week.  If they know we have something fun planned, they will work really hard to get everything done in order to attend.  Here are a few of the reasons why park dates work for us:
  • My kids get to see their friends each week and play for several hours. 
  • I don't have to clean my house just so that the kids can mess it up again.
  • The kids are building lasting friendships with the children they play with regularly.
  • I get time to relax and chat with other homeschooling moms and build some friendships of my own.

Our group used to have organized PE each week.  When this program ended so many of us missed the social aspect of it.  The parents of older children have told me that PE is where the kids met the children that ultimately became close and lasting friends.  Without this, my kids weren't able to get to know children well enough to become close.  So, I started a park date.  Its very simple to do, requires very little planning, and is a win/win situation.  Everyone is happy!  We had a planning meeting, discussed possible locations to visit, scheduled the first couple of months, and signed up several moms to help out with planning.  During the winter months we will also add in field trips and indoor activities when the weather is too cold to go to a park.  Our park dates are called Freaky Fridays and they really work for me!

To see more great Work for Me Wednesday posts go to We are THAT Family.

1 comment:

  1. We do play dates when we can, but we haven't set a standing date. I like the idea, though; would definitely be great for motivation! :)