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Have you ever wondered what sort of extracurricular activities your homeschoolers can get involved in? Today I’m sharing my Ultimate List of Extracurricular Activities for Homeschoolers to inspire you with some great ideas!
As a homeschool parent, one of the most common questions I’m asked, (and I’m sure you’ve heard it, too) from non-homeschoolers, is the famous…
“How do your kids get social interaction since they’re homeschooled?”
And let all the homeschooling mamas nod their heads!
I try really hard not to roll my eyes at this question when I’m asked, you guys. I try REAL hard, because it gets annoying quite frankly.
When people meet my children, they are always amazed at how my children can interact respectfully with adults, easily make friends randomly wherever they are, and yada, yada, yada. I know this isn’t always the case for all homeschool families, though, unfortunately.
However, I can understand where most people are coming from, as they just truly don’t understand, and they have this preconcieved idea that homeschoolers are just locked in houses all day, doing boring, dry textbook work, all alone with their homeschool families.
But no, we’re not.
In our homeschooling, we use living books, rich literature, and provide a hands-on learning environment and experience that goes beyond boring textbooks and on-screen learning.
In our home, our homeschooled children get to experience things public school children will never experience in their learning. But we’re not here for that today.
But anyway, back to the social interaction topic- We go to parks and our kids make new friends there each time, we go to the library events, we go to church multiple times a week, so they socialize with their friends there, we have play dates with friends, the list goes on and on.
However, for some homeschooling families, you might want to get your student involved in more, and that’s where extracurricular activities come in and save the day!
I want to SHARE A FEW FUNNY QUOTES I SAW ONLINE ABOUT THE BELOVED “HOW WILL YOUR KIDS SOCIALIZE” question:
ME: I think I’m going to homeschool my children.
SOCIETY: But what about socialization!?
ME: I said I’m going to educate my children at home, not live in a cave, Karen!
“I wish my fourth-grade teacher who always said, ‘We are not here to socialize’ would please tell that to everyone who asks me about homeschool socialization.
Why extracurricular activities might be a good idea for your homeschooler
Sometimes, homeschooled children can feel left out (and I put an emphasis on the word, CAN) and separated from their friends who may attend a public or private school.
And, sometimes they don’t feel this at all!
However, this is especially true for the families that aren’t heavily involved in things such as church (as we are), or homeschool co-op groups and programs, where their children are able to get the much-needed social interaction with other children on a weekly basis.
Extracurricular activities offer kids a chance to leave the house, interact with other kids, and build lasting memories with other children, who can eventually become life-long friends. Not to mention, a lot of extracurricular activities can be counted as an elective, so it’s a win-win.
But what exactly are extracurricular activities?
Merriam-Webster defines an extracurricular activity as something that “does not fall within the scope of a regular curriculum,” or something that “lies outside one’s regular duties or routine.”
Simply put, an extracurricular activity is something fun that allows a kid a change of scenery from the normal routine of doing the everyday homeschool curriculum.
It does not have to be educational or a direct part of the child’s studies, which is great, and is the perfect time to tap into your child’s creativity.
But why should homeschoolers partake in extracurricular activities?
All children are different.
While some kids are perfectly well not always being involved in some sort of activity, there are some children who need those “extra” activities in their lives, to help them grow, feel excepted and thrive.
An extracurricular activity allows those kids to experience a much-needed change of scenery from the homeschool room, or, in the case of most homeschoolers— the kitchen table.
Extracurricular activities also allow homeschooled children to build community with kids outside of their family or small homeschool group. Having friends and meeting new people is an essential part of natural growth, as your child gets older, such as middle school and high school age, meeting new people can really open up doors for internships and future job ventures.
Not only are extracurricular activities fun for homeschoolers, you can also count a lot of them as high school electives once your child is in high school.
What kind of extracurricular activities will work for my kids?
There is an entire plethora of extracurricular activities to choose from, and at the end of the day, it comes down to what interests your kids and what fits into your schedule.
Do your research and see what is offered and available in your local area for your homeschool student. You can even ask your local homeschool co-op groups for a list of homeschool resources for extracurricular activities.
Ultimate List of Extracurricular Activities For Homeschoolers
Here is the ultimate list of extracurricular activities for your homeschooler. The activities are listed in like groups to help you navigate through them better.
There are clubs available for basically every subject imaginable that your homeschooled student, and gifted learner, might be interested in.
Here are a few clubs that would be great extracurricular activities for homeschoolers:
- Robotics Clubs
- History Clubs
- Biology Clubs
- Astronomy Clubs
- Writing Clubs
- Chess Clubs
- Cooking Clubs
- Book Clubs
- 4-H Clubs
- …the list goes on
Clubs offer kids the chance to connect with other kids interested in the same subject as themself.
Not only that, but being a part of a club can also open the door for older students to connect with people who might turn into business contacts or internships in the future.
Examples of specific clubs that can turn into something bigger for your older or high homeschool students are:
- Quill and Scroll Club- an international honor society for high school journalists
- Adopt-a-Physicist- connects high school students to real physics graduates, recruited primarily from among the Sigma Pi Sigma membership, who are eager to share their stories as a means of helping students understand the benefits of studying physics and the career opportunities it provides.
Academic competitive teams are another example of clubs:
- The National Math Club- A national program that gives students in grades 6-8 the opportunity to play fun math games in a non-competitive, social environment.
Academic clubs are where homeschooled students take part in competitions against students from around the country.
Sometimes a student needs to unwind by expressing themselves artistically; this can take many different forms.
It may be the more conventional forms of art, like drawing, painting, or sculpting that interests your homeschooled student.
However, there are SO many different and creative avenues available to those who wish to create art and express themselves through art.
Here are some examples of ways your child can get involved in arts-based extracurricular activities:
- Graphic design
- Pottery Making
- Bead Work
Helping your local community is an extracurricular activity that benefits everyone. Sometimes it can be as simple as going to a local park and picking up trash, or getting involved in a community-centered organization.
Getting your homeschoolers involved in their local community not only benefits those being helped, but it benefits the helper with a great experience and hardworking skills.
Better yet, if you like to create your own lesson plans and unit studies, you can weave this into your lesson plan for homeschool.
A few community-based extracurricular activities are:
- Habitats for Humanity- an organization that helps the underprivileged
- DoSomething– a digital platform pushing for civil and social change all around the country.
- Big Brothers/ Big Sisters- an organization that helps children and strengthens communities.
For those homeschool students interested in making a career in journalism one day, there are multiple opportunities.
Here are a few media-based extracurricular activities for your homeschooled student:
- Joining the team of a school journal
- Interning at a local newspaper
- Interning at a local radio station
- Freelance Writer
For those old enough, such as a high schooler student that’s looking to make a little money doing media-based extracurricular activities, there are options, such as:
- Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork– allow people to make money doing freelance work.
- Anchor- There is also the option of starting a podcast through programs like Anchor.
The world of media is big and always expanding, there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved in media-based extracurricular activities.
Just be sure to always do your research before getting your child involved in anything media-related and make sure their values line up with yours.
Expressing yourself through music is a great outlet for many students, including homeschoolers. It has even been noted that students who learn an instrument are more successful in their studies.
Music can be an excellent way for a student to try something new, meet people, and develop a new talent that will stick with them for the rest of their life.
Great examples of music-based extracurricular activities for your homeschooler are:
- Learning an instrument
- Singing Lessons
- Music Composition
- Music Production
Again, a lot of extracurricular activities can be considered homeschool electives.
There are many clubs and groups your homeschooler can get involved in if the student is interested in the performing arts.
And for the kid who is maybe a bit shy, the theater may also force him to get out of his comfort zone and try new things.
It’s kind of funny, but I went to school for performing arts (theatre), ended up switching to dance, and then graduated mostly studying visual arts such as drawing, painting and sculpture. Like me, your child will develop what they truly enjoy in the arts.
Some examples of performance art extracurricular activities for your homeschooler are:
- Comedy Clubs
- Dance Classes
- Theater Groups
- Slam Poetry
- Voice Acting (for audios)
Performing arts aren’t for everyone, but it can be an excellent experience for the student who embraces it.
Sports and Recreation
One of the most common types of extracurricular activities for all children are sports.
Sports provide students with an opportunity for exercise as well as team building.
Some sports and recreation extracurricular activities for your homeschooler include:
- Little League
- Nature Groups/ Nature Walks
- Water Polo
- Horseback Riding
- Running Track
- Martial Arts (even online, like Global Martial Arts University)
- Going to the Gym or YMCA
The options for sports are nearly endless. And what’s great about doing sports and recreation as an extracurricular activity, is that it can also be counted as physical education, aka, P.E. for homeschoolers.
There are multiple ways and avenues to volunteer in your community, and volunteering is a wonderful way to instill great work ethic in your children.
Here are some great examples of volunteer work your homeschooler can do as an extracurricular activity:
- Volunteering at a hospital
- Volunteering at the local fire department (I think the volunteering age is usually 16) may appeal to the student interested in a career in the medical field.
- Volunteering at a church
- Even tutoring a younger student would be an acceptable extracurricular activity
- Serving food at a homeless shelter
- Food Bank
- Soup Kitchen
For those wanting to impact their community, volunteering might be a good route, and I think every child should experience some volunteer work at some point in their life.
In conclusion, nearly any hobby can be an extracurricular activity.
It’s about building relationships and having experiences that benefit the student and can be used further down the road in a college application or resume.
At the end of the day, you just want to get your homeschoolers out and doing something different.
Even if you are the best homeschool mom in the world, and you do the most epic homeschool projects and assignments, there comes a time where your child just needs to get out and do something different in their homeschool day.
This is especially true for those who do online learning and take an online course.
Step away from the screens, and do something different.
Remember, choosing an extracurricular activity for your homeschooler doesn’t have to be a class or a club, it can be just as simple as picking up a basketball game in the driveway, a walk through the park, or a family hike at the mountain.