It’s not always easier to homeschool an only child. There are lots of unique benefits and challenges too. For example, you can focus on quality one-on-one lessons with an only child. However, you might have to get creative to provide socialization opportunities with other kids.
Homeschooling an one child is not what you might think. There are lots of myths about homeschooling an only child and some of them might surprise you. Keep reading to discover some of the biggest myths about homeschooling an only child, learn what’s true, and get strategies for navigating challenges that are unique to homeschooling an only.
Myth #1 – It’s Easier to Homeschool an Only Child
We have all heard exclamations from others about how easy it must be to only have one child or only be homeschooling one child, but that’s just not how it works. I mean what if I said homeschooling six children was easier? That’s just crazy, right? The same holds true for homeschooling one child.
Homeschooling an only child isn’t easier, it’s just different!
The dynamic of homeschooling an only child is different from homeschooling multiple children. Some things are easier, but other things can be more challenging for parents homeschooling only one child.
The biggest challenge I find to homeschooling an only child is that I am her everything. I am not just her mom and teacher but also her classmate, sibling, playmate, friend, etc. I am all she has. That means I have to be on all day long.
I like to think that moms of multiples are physically tired at the end of a homeschool day. As a mom of an only I am mentally tired at the end of a homeschool day. Not an easier kind of tired, just a different kind tired.
Myth #2 – Homeschooling an Only Child Means You Have Only One Child
Another big misconception about homeschooling an only child is people thinking you have only one child. There are all kinds of reasons why you may choose to homeschool one child, including age gaps and special circumstances. Whatever the reason, homeschooling only one doesn’t mean there’s only one.
There are lots of reasons a parent might choose homeschooling one child but not the others. Oftentimes these reasons include health concerns for the child or special needs that make traditional schooling less than ideal. Sometimes parents choose to homeschool one child because of special gifts or talents. For example, many elite gymnasts and dancers are homeschooled.
Sometimes you find yourself homeschooling an only because the other kids have completed their education or there’s a significant age gap between siblings. The bottom line is that homeschooling only one child doesn’t mean that’s your only child and that’s ok too.
Myth #3 – Socializing is a Bigger Concern for An Only Child Homeschool
Homeschoolers are really familiar with the socialization argument. We hear it all the time! When you’re homeschooling an only child, socialization can be a bigger concern. Sometimes you’ll have to get creative to provide ample opportunities for your child to socialize with other kids his or her age.
How do you socialize an only child when you’re homeschooling? The secret is teaching your child to get along with people of all ages. There are tons of opportunities to socialize in the community. A trip to the post office, a conversation with a neighbor, and any other outing in the community can easily serve as an opportunity to socialize and practice social skills with an only child. After all, socialization isn’t just about teaching your child to interact with people their age.
One way that we like to ensure that same age interaction does happen for our only child is through online classes. This provides her the ability to share her thoughts with kids her own age on topics that interest her.
Myth #4 – Homeschooling An Only Child is Lonely
Homeschooling an only child can be lonely at times, but it doesn’t have to be! There are tons of ways you can avoid feelings of loneliness for yourself and your child. Include the whole family in science projects, field trips, and story time to create a sense of community within your home.
Check out these other great ideas for encouraging community when you’re homeschooling an only child:
- Join a co-op
- Find a support group
- Attend “homeschool day” events
- Field Trips
- Schedule Play Dates
Can’t find a group that fits your child’s needs or interests? Start your own! Offering to host a playgroup, studygroup, or book club in your home is a fantastic way to build community for your only child while providing lots of opportunities to practice and develop social skills and form friendships too.
In the end, homeschooling an only child is not without its challenges, but there are lots of amazing advantages and opportunities too. I absolutely think that the advantages far outweigh the challenges and I wouldn’t trade homeschooling an only for anything!
Are you homeschooling an only? What’s your favorite part about this homeschooling journey? Share your stories about homeschooling an only child in the comment section. I can’t wait to read them!