I know that sounds weird, but we've had some good things happen lately on the socialization front and I want to share. First, some background. Two of my 3 homeschooled kids are shy and they all 3 are introverts. (We sent our oldest introverted but not shy one to college 5 years ago in another state and now he is coming back here and is married). We have joked about the homeschool socialization cliche through the years, but it HAS kind of been an issue that I have had to work at. We live in a very isolated area with no close neighbors and our church is very small. We have joined various (3!) homeschool groups, put together a prom for our kids and I have put together this board game group especially to help my (now) young adults meet other people their age. It has been an effort and thankfully, we've finally got some regulars who are coming and spending time and some friendships are forming. With introverts, making friends is a slow process and it takes a lot of time. This week I was talking to 2 of the moms in this group and found out that their sons are going to be going to the same community college as my son! I'm very happy and excited about this and I'm glad we didn't decide to send him to the other community college in another town, at least for now. So anyway, my youngest son will be going to college with a couple of people he knows.
Also, I am thinking that having my oldest son and his wife coming here to live will be good for socialization because I think they will join a church and start networking and forming friendships here and then they will invite my 2 younger, shyer ones to join them. That's what I'm hoping for anyway.
A third bit of good socialization news is that the youngest two kids have joined a D&D group and are really enjoying that. It might turn out to be a good way for my daughter to meet young men as she is the only girl in the group, playing right into the Dungeons and Dragons stereotypes. She, being an artist, drew a picture of each persons character and gave it to them. I picture them going home and mentioning that a girl in their D&D group gave it to them and having their parents say not "Great art" or anything like that, but "There's a girl in your D&D group???" LoL.
If you're going to homeschool, remember to join some groups, go to 4H and reach out to others. If there is something that your kids are interested in, look into starting a group based around that. Invite others to your home or arrange, as we do, to meetup at the library or restaurants. Its good for the homeschool mom to meet and spend time with other homeschooling moms as well, so it's a win-win.