Top Myths About Homeschooling An Only That Might Surprise You
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!
Hi Jessica, thank you so much for this blog post on homeschooling an only child! I’m also homeschooling my only child. She’s 9 and your YouTube channel and blog has been an enormous source of inspiration and encouragement for me as a first time homeschooling parent and a mom of an only child. It also really helps me that we both have daughters close in age! I totally agree with all the myths you listed and your answers, especially the socialization piece. We get that comment a lot about concerns for her socialization. To ensure she is “socialized” she goes to a two-day nature program, skating, gymnastics, and we book a lot of play dates. She also plays with all the neighborhood kids and her cousins. She talks to our adult neighbors, her program instructors, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. She is very socialized! When we first started homeschooling I was so unsure and worried about homeschooling an only child. I worried about filling in the time and space when there is only one child, but over the year we’ve become more comfortable, confident, and happier with our decision and realize that homeschooling an only child is very possible and very successful – we just have to be a little more creative about it! 🙂
This absolutely made me tear up. Especially the part about “I am her everything..mom, teacher, classmate,…friend..” and being mentally exhausted at the end of the day. I felt this to my core. My son and I just finished our first year of homeschooling and while it had its challenges, it was beautiful and I loved every minute of it, especially the opportunities I was able to provide for him that he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to have. Can’t wait to do your Survival Unit in the Fall with him! He loves Bear Grylls and this is perfect ❤️ Thank you!!
Hey Jessica! I loved this post! I am homeschooling an only and we are going into our second year. And we have faced many challenges. He is in a time where learning isn’t interesting most days and he is extremely strong willed. One day that will serve him well I know however this momma gets very mentally worn out. Although it has been a great experience and I have totally fallen in love with homeschooling! One of our biggest challenges is writing he doesn’t want to write and the actual sit down of school work so I have been working on different methods and
some work some not so much. The first year is always the hardest so I have lots of hope! One small challenge just for me has been finding content on you tube to see other homeschooled onlys. I was grateful to have found your channel and one other that also has a boy only. You mentioned online classes my son took a class on Outschool and felt totally embarrassed by the other kids it was a total immersion spanish class and his first time taking Spanish so momma fail I quickly realized immersion was not for us. He didn’t like the other kids being able to see him so I’m hoping to find another class he will be excited for with other kiddos. Thank you again for your content! Take care!
Hi Jessica! I have been following you for a couple years because I feel connected to your thoughts on homeschooling an only child. My daughter is 6 and I agree with you that it’s not “easier”, it’s different. It really resonated when you said homeschooling an only is mentally exhausting – Yes! I just wanted to say thank you for always being open, honest, and optimistic about your homeschool journey. Also, thank you for always being amazing at communicating; I imagine you are swamped with messages but you have replied to my Instagram message multiple times and I really appreciate it. You are truly inspiring.
Thank you for this. We just finished our third year of homeschooling an only. The struggles are real and there are so many misconceptions about how much easier it must be. I totally relate to being her one-and-only everything. We take part in a homeschool coop, ballet, and lots of church events with people of all ages. It has been so wonderful this year to see her blossom in her socialization skills. She has made friends with a number of the ladies in our church, people from their 30s to their 60s. I think our biggest challenge has been in accumulating our “hours.” Our starts requires a certain number of education hours each year. Parents of multiple kids always talk about how easy it is to reach that number quickly. Not so much for us. Wit only one, we are often finished quickly. Sure count a lot of different learning experiences. But, it is just different than the time it takes to school more than one child in a family. Thanks for your inspiration!
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