Haystack Full of Needles, A Catholic Home Educator's Guide to Socialization by Alice Gunther
This lovely little book is written specifically for Catholic homeschoolers who are concerned about providing opportunities for their children to make friends. It's full of ideas for finding other homeschoolers, organizing group activities, planning group activities and encouraging each other in faith, life and (of course) learning. If you are in an area without a strong homeschool group, this book would be a fabulous resource in using your own interests and strengths to develop the friendships and ties a homeschool group can provide.
We are extremely lucky to live in an area full of veteran homeschoolers with an amazingly strong Catholic homeschool group, so these type of ideas weren't necessary for our family. A great many of these small groups have already been organized in our area so we are already able to participate in a playgroup, monthly masses & picnics, Little Flowers & Blue Knights and a homeschool choir. (And those are just the activities we selected for the year!)
I loved this book, though, because Mrs. Gunther provides the advice of a wise mother to a young mother under her wing. She kindly and lovingly tells us how to behave with each other to build up our faith and our friendships. Seriously, she made me want to be a better person without pouring on any guilt at all. Reading this book, I kept daydreaming about the lifelong friendships our children will hopefully have with their friends from church, story hour and our homeschool group. (If only we don't move! I moved something like 18 times growing up and can hardly imagine what it might be like to stay right here in on the Range until the children are graduating from high school.)