by | 5 Mar 2020 | Articles

How to cope with social anxiety as a homeschooler – Brainline Mentor

Social anxiety is a barrier that some of our Brainline students face on a daily basis. From my experience as mentor working with these students, it is clear that every case of anxiety is unique. 

Anxiety manifests in different ways and each person has different triggers. Some might love public speaking but fear sitting in an exam hall. Other students dread having to come to our campus but are excellent singers and actors. It is very important to keep in mind that only a registered psychologist or psychiatrist is can make a diagnosis.

    Socialising is often a big concern for prospective homeschoolers as well as family of homeschoolers. However, homeschoolers often get to socialize with a greater variety of age groups when compared to learners who attend mainstream schools.

Seeing that Brainline’s theme for February is “Friendship” – we would like to share some ideas on how to encourage our students to socialize and form meaningful friendships:

Although it is always great to make new friends, maintaining existing friendships is also important. Make time to visit with friends from previous schools or other circles.

Most homeschooling families focus on extracurricular activities such as art, scouts, gymnastics, music lessons, horseback riding and sports, which allow students an opportunity to make friends with similar interests.

Visit kid friendly places during hours that mainstream children attend school. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other homeschool families and most likely kids with similar ages.

Reach out to the online homeschooling community, there are some groups who organize fantastic events aimed at homeschoolers.

Or why not host a homeschooling social event? Organise an event at a museum or at a play area where the children truly have an opportunity to socialize with one another. For our older students, ideas like a book club, art show attending a play etc., are excellent options.

If the idea of socializing with other makes your heartbeat faster, stress or feel panicked – here is some good news – you are not alone! Do not fear that you might say something silly or that others think you are weird.

Instead of letting these fears prevent you from meeting others challenge your fears. Ask yourself how many times you have actually said something silly? What evidence is there that people think you are weird?

Should the anxiety get the better of you there are tips to make the experience better. If you are meeting up with a new group of friends – ask if you can take another friend along. Upon arriving at the venue – find a place where you feel comfortable – perhaps not being the centre of attention and moving to a corner will relieve some stress. Most importantly – allow time to warmup and get used to the group.

Should you feel that you need guidance or be pointed in the right direction you are welcome to contact our mentor, Liezel, at mentor@brainline.com

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Brainline
Author: Brainline

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