When I was a young adult in my 20s, I can’t remember ever feeling particularly lonely. I often socialised with friends and the local crowd at my nearby pub, and it really felt like I was part of my local community; always connecting with others. Today, though, I don’t have the same “wolf pack” I once did and a lot of my connections are now being made and maintained through online means rather than in person, which I feel is the case for many people nowadays.

This shift in our social connections may have started off as a gradual thing, driven by the introduction of modern technologies that allowed us to contact anyone, anywhere, at any time, but the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to accelerate this shift massively right the way across the board in both our private and work lives, bringing with it a significant spike in feelings of loneliness and detachment.


This deep-rooted problem isn’t just due to the pandemic, however, though that did of course highlight the matter and bring it to the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. In truth, this issue has been growing significantly more prevalent over the years, with a recent National Survey finding a worrying 40% of 16-24 year olds struggle with feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Not only has this sparked government concern; it is also part of the reason Britain has earned itself a reputation for being the “loneliness capital” of Europe.


With one in five of us now struggling with our mental health in the UK, the detrimental impact these feelings can have on people’s well-being mustn’t be underestimated. Some of the groups particularly affected are children and parents, especially those being homeschooled or acting as the lead homeschooling teacher, and the elderly; groups I feel particularly close to and wish to help in any way I can.

Since this week happens to be Loneliness Awareness Week here in the UK, I thought there would be no better time than now for me to shed some light on this widespread issue and offer some ideas you can try to help not only your child, but yourself and others who may be struggling. With just a few small actions, we can help beat loneliness together.


Learn a New Skill:

 I’ve spoken before about the power of learning alongside your child and how it can help you create a strong bond with them, but one even more fantastic part of learning a new skill and taking part in classes is the opportunity to bond with others, too. Whether it be taking dance lessons, learning to swim or maybe even attending some art classes, adopting a new hobby or returning to an old favourite can make a real difference when it comes to feelings of loneliness; being surrounded by other people with similar interests immediately gives you at least one thing in common which you can use as a foundation upon which you can build a wonderful friendship.



Making Time for Others:

One of the most important lessons you can teach your child is the importance of making time for others, and one great way to do so is to model this behaviour for them through your own actions. For example, if you have elderly neighbours or relatives who may be struggling with loneliness, making the effort to connect with them and show you care will not only help that person in need; it will help set an amazing example for your child, too.


Charity Volunteering:

 In my Homeschooling Happiness Guide, I talk a bit about setting projects as part of your homeschool, and charity volunteering is a really good option for this. There are plenty of different ways you and your child can help, so don’t be afraid to contact charities local to you to ask – they’ll be so pleased to hear from you.

If you find yourself feeling a little stuck or the opportunities aren’t appropriate for your child’s age or mobility levels, don’t be disheartened. I’ve spoken before about the role family pets can play in beating loneliness in my blog post here, so if your child is an animal lover, you may want to look at volunteering at your local animal shelter instead. This not only does wonders for the animals and help tackle feelings of loneliness for your child; introducing them to the concept of charity work and volunteering at a young age will set them a wonderful example that they’ll be more likely to continue when they become adults, too.

If your child isn’t interested in learning a new skill or you or they have some mobility issues that would prevent them attending that sort of class, a great alternative option for them would be to either join a group such as the Guides, Scouts, or a local choir, or for you to set up your own one and invite others to join you! Your child will be able to make lots of new friends and together you will become part of a lovely community that will help so many people; including yourself!


I hope some of these ideas are helpful for you and offer a bit of inspiration when it comes to tackling loneliness in your homeschool and beyond. If you find yourself really struggling or feel your child needs some extra support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to a charity such as MIND, who are experts in mental health support and can help give you further assistance.

Until next time,