Homeschooling an only child is unique and wonderful! But it’s full of challenges you might not realize too. When you’re homeschooling an only child, you get lots of extra one on one time and plenty of opportunities for field trips, art projects, and science experiments.
Then again, you’re also the only person your child gets to play with, talk to, and even argue with about everything every day. It can be really overwhelming at times to fulfill that role for your child. You’ll need to get creative to find ways for your only child to build relationships with other kids.
I’ve had to get creative about finding time for myself while homeschooling an only child too. Keep reading to discover some of the ways you can find time for yourself when you’re homeschooling an only child and get some great resources to help you on the journey as well.
The Reality Of Homeschooling An Only Child
The reality is that homeschooling an only child isn’t easier or harder than homeschooling multiple children, it’s just a lot different. There are lots of awesome benefits and some challenges too. We have come to love homeschooling our only child and we hope you will enjoy the journey as much as we do.
One fun benefit to homeschooling an only child is that we can say yes to more field trips and excursions. Only needing to buy a ticket for one child is a big money saver that allows us to go on more field trips and participate in more activities.
Homeschooling an only child is faster too! It takes way less time than trying to teach multiple children, so we have more time for games, art, and field trips. There’s lots of extra time for Emily to engage in activities that she loves and we can really deep dive into her favorite subjects too.
However, it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There are some challenges to homeschooling an only child too. Sometimes the socialization question gets to be a real concern.
We have to work a little harder and get creative facilitating opportunities for Emily to engage with other children. Joining clubs, attending homeschool meet-ups, and taking online classes have helped a lot.
Another challenge we face is that Emily comes to me for everything. This has led to a very strong bond and lots of 1:1 time which we love. But it can be exhausting to be someone’s “everything.”
When you’re together all the time and it’s just the two of you, you’ll find that you become your child’s playmate, teacher, mom, and everything else all in one. That’s mentally and physically exhausting sometimes. Plus, being the only person to wear all the hats can make it difficult to do anything else you need to do.
How Do I Find Time For Myself While Homeschooling An Only Child?
When you’re the only one to play games with, the only one to fight with, and the only one your child can ask about everything, it gets stressful sometimes. I love the bond we have forged, but sometimes I need time for myself too. Here are some of the ways I find time for myself while homeschooling an only child.
Strewing is a great learning method that works well for those of us homeschooling an only child. With strewing, your child can learn and explore independently. It’s a great way to free up some time for yourself before the homeschooling day begins.
In fact, I use strewing a lot in the mornings when I’m still waking up or to sneak in a quick workout. Emily can engage in a fun educational activity or check out a new book while I get my bearings and find a few moments for myself.
Another way I find time for myself is by instituting learning lunches with Emily. During our lunchtime, I let Emily watch a documentary or curated YouTube playlist. That way she’s still learning and I can step back and have some time for myself.
This is a good way to reset if your homeschool day isn’t going the way you hoped. It’s also a great way to find some quiet time to breathe, practice mindfulness, or do something you want to do for a few minutes.
Carschooling has become a wonderful method for adding fun to our road trips, squeezing in learning time while we run errands, and so much more! Since we live an hour from town, we often practice carschooling as we travel to the library, grocery store, or other appointments.
Carschooling involves squeezing in fun and “sneaky” learning moments with fun podcasts, trivia in the car, and educational tools that work well when we’re on the go. Sometimes when Emily is preoccupied I will listen to my own audio book or podcast for some me time.
Parallel Self Care
It’s not always possible to create a lot of alone time when you’re homeschooling an only child. When that is the case (which is often) I try to create time to still fill my cup along side Emily. This is a great way to take care of myself while also setting an example for Emily of what self care looks like.
A few of the ways we practice parallel self care include working out to a fun YouTube dance video, going for a walk, reading on the couch, journaling, and doing things we both love at the same time such as her crafting while I’m homeschool planning.
How Do I Prioritize Myself While Homeschooling An Only Child?
I’ve been on a self-care journey for a while now. Learning to say no and making time for myself have been an important part of self-care for me. Exercise, getting enough sleep, and taking care of my mental health have all become important self-care routines I value and protect. When you’re homeschooling an only child, you’re always “on,” so it’s important to care for yourself in order to give your family the best version of you.
I have found that getting some exercise is helpful in so many ways! Taking care of my physical body and getting in enough movement are really important ways to take care of myself. Plus, a quick workout or a walk outdoors is a good way to make time for myself.
Whether I’m on the treadmill, lifting weights with dumbbells, or walking outside, exercise has tons of mental and emotional benefits. It’s a great way to clear my head and take care of my body while making time for myself. I think it’s important to model taking care of my body in this way for Emily as well.
As homeschool moms, we’re always reading. Usually, we are reading curriculum and chapter books aloud to our kids. When was the last time you read something just for yourself?
I’d like to challenge you to make time for yourself by choosing a book you actually want to read. Yes, audiobooks count. Check out some of the books on my homeschool mom reading list to get some suggestions for your next great book.
Mindfulness and meditation are other ways I take care of myself and make time for myself. When I began my mindfulness journey, I was searching for a method that didn’t feel like another item on my to-do list. That’s when I discovered The Breathe Mama Breathe book and short mindfulness minutes that I can squeeze in whenever I need a quick reset.
More Resources For Homeschooling An Only Child
There are all kinds of myths about homeschooling an only child! Is it easier? Is it harder? The truth is that homeschooling an only child is different, challenging, and rewarding.
Discover my favorite resources for homeschooling an only child to help you along the way. Get support and encouragement to face the unique challenges that come with homeschooling an only child. Don’t miss my favorite homeschooling hacks for the days when homeschooling an only child is really hard too.
Please share your favorite tips and tricks for managing to find time for yourself when you’re homeschooling an only child in the comments. I can’t wait to read them!