If your child has been in an institutional school for awhile, he probably has some friends. Removing a child from the school environment obviously presents challenges for your child maintaining these friendships simply because of the realities of no longer spending most of the day in the same place.
You can expect that over time, your child will develop friendships with other homeschoolers and that their friendships with school friends will gradually fade somewhat. This is an inevitable part of the transition just because of the physical separation and the lack of commonality of the school experience (except for those kids who have strong connections outside of school, such as in clubs or other activities).
In the short term, you should help your child remain in as close contact with her friends as you can (assuming the friend is someone you want your child to remain in contact with of course). Here are some ideas:
- If your child participates in an activity with a friend, keep them in that activity.
- Allow your child to invite his friends over to your home regularly.
- Provide email access to your child so she can keep in touch that way.
- Include "schooled" friends in homeschool activities.
- Answer questions your child's friends or their parents might have about homeschooling. This can make homeschooling more comfortable for everyone.
- Take your child to school events that don't interfere with your homeschool, such as sporting events in which their friends participate.