Instead of Halloween, Host a Harvest Festival

emily_scarecrow2010Want a fun alternative to Halloween? Host a Harvest Festival! It is lots of fun. My children wouldn’t trade it for trick-or-treating any day! We have been having Harvest Festivals for the past eleven years. When we first decided that Halloween didn’t fit the description of seeking after things that are virtuous, praiseworthy and of good report, we realized that we couldn’t leave a vacuum. We had to begin a new wholesome tradition to fill the gap left when we abandoned Halloween. My children look forward to Harvest Festival eagerly each year. Rather than decorating our house with ghosts, spiders and ghouls, we focus on the blessings God provides for us in a bounteous harvest. We leave these decorations up right through Thanksgiving. We learn songs such as “Come Ye Thankful People, Come” and other hymns that celebrate the harvest. God is the center of this season.

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But What About Social Life?

studying-703002_1280Contributed by Daniel Hopkins (age 17)

“But, what about social life?” This question is one of the most often asked questions regarding homeschooling. It’s the reason many homeschooled teens go back to public school.

When I first started homeschool, I was anxious to make friends and be accepted. My Mom helped out a lot with this problem. She helped me organize activities with other homeschooled teens so I could make friends. We also had a regular “park day”—we all went to the park and played volleyball while the moms talked and the little kids played on the playground. These activities helped me feel comfortable and helped me make some friends. After that, we just did a lot of stuff together on our own. When new homeschoolers came to the activities, we’d include them in our “group” and try to make them feel welcome, too.

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Social Life: The Real Need

Social LIfe

Singing round the campfire at a homeschool campout

When I first began homeschooling, all I could think of was academics. I spent lots of research time trying to find the best books and worrying that I couldn’t teach my children all they needed to know. As the years have filed by and I have gained confidence in my ability to teach them and educate them well, I have increasingly become concerned about their social well-being.

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Lonely, Lonely Child


My daughter is very social and craves having a playmate all the time. She is very intelligent and easily a grade or two ahead because of homeschool, but she complains nearly constantly about feeling lonely, wishing for friend to play with, wanting to talk to someone, even on the phone. My other children are younger and do not satisfy her social need. She is pretty unhappy. What do I do? [Read more…]

Wishing to Go Back to School


My daughter is 10 years old, and we are homeschooling full-time this year. It is hard because we moved to a small town and she is used to having friends in the neighborhood. We are slowly getting to know some really nice homeschoolers in this area. How do I continue to keep her motivated? It seems like things will go along smoothly, and then she wishes she was back in school. I don’t want to send her back. [Read more…]

Making Friends



We joined a homeschool coop which is great and I love it. They only meet for 2 hours or so on Friday mornings, though, and then for field trips once a month. Of course, there is no guarantee that the kids in my daughter’s class will be at the field trips. So, how do your kids make friends? I didn’t want her to go to public school, but with homeschool it doesn’t seem like she’ll make friends as easily. She’s very introverted. [Read more…]

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