It’s no secret that homeschooling an only child is unique. If you’re considering homeschooling only one child this year, I’d encourage you to give it a go. There are tons of awesome benefits to homeschooling just one child, like more quality time.
However, there are challenges to homeschooling an only child too. For example, that pesky socialization question can be a bit more challenging with just one child at home.
So what do you do when homeschooling an only child is hard? Let’s talk about the challenges, the benefits, and what to do when it gets hard to homeschool an only child this year.
What It’s Really Like To Homeschool An Only Child
At times that’s a good thing, with some pretty great benefits. In fact, I’m a firm believer that the benefits of homeschooling an only child far outweigh the challenges.
Homeschooling an only child is certainly different than homeschooling many. There are a lot of myths about what it’s like to homeschool an only child. So what’s it really like on a daily basis?
More One-on-One Time
For starters, you’ll get lots of awesome one on one time. Unlike moms homeschooling many, you’ll be able to focus all your energy and effort on just one child’s education. That’s a huge benefit for your child and a daily advantage for you as a teacher too.
I only have one lesson per subject to get through. I only have one child to assist and check behind. That’s a big time-saver, meaning we have more time for fun and games every single day.
Having more time makes it really easy to say yes to more games, extra crafts, more time outdoors, and more time spent pursuing our passions. It’s a win-win for the whole family!
It also means that when I need to spend extra time explaining a challenging concept, I can do that. I have more time to devote to her individual needs and interests because I’m not dividing myself and my time between multiple homeschooling kiddos.
More Quality Time
Plus, we get a lot of time to forge a strong bond and make extra special memories together each day. Through our lessons, activities, and discussions, we get a chance to make a deeper connection than we would if our child was in public school several hours a day.
Protecting that relationship and helping it grow is really important to us. I’m grateful that homeschooling our only child helps make it easy to connect in such a meaningful way.
When Homeschooling An Only Child Is Hard
However, homeschooling just one child comes with its own unique challenges too. Navigating the challenges of homeschooling an only child can be difficult, but it’s easier if you know what to expect and have a plan in place to combat these challenges. Check out my list of challenges we face homeschooling an only child:
The Socialization Question
Every homeschooler has had to answer this question, but it’s a unique challenge when you’re homeschooling an only child. There will be times when you feel like you’re missing out or worry about providing enough social opportunities for your only child.
Sometimes we have to get a bit more creative than moms of many to meet the socialization needs of our only child. Keep reading to see how we handle the socialization question while homeschooling just one kid.
You’re Their Person
When you’re homeschooling an only child, you’re their everything. While that creates an amazing connection, it can also make the days more challenging too. You’ll need to be “on” all day. If your only child wants to play a game, needs help, wants to chat, etc. you’re the only person they can do those things with each day.
Sometimes being the only person to fill all these roles can be taxing. It can leave you feeling burned out and overwhelmed at times.
Help For Homeschooling Your Only Child
There are a lot of ways to overcome the challenges of homeschooling an only child. Fortunately, with some creative thinking, it’s totally possible to successfully homeschool an only child. In fact, I think all the awesome benefits far outweigh the challenges you might encounter.
Socialization can become a big question when you’re homeschooling an only child. You worry that they’re somehow missing out, lacking opportunities to socialize with their peers.
While it can sometimes be a problem, there are all kinds of opportunities for socialization your homeschooler can take advantage of these days. Check out a few of our favorites:
- Library Activities
- Online Classes
Plus, there are all kinds of ways your only child can develop and practice social skills in the community too. Encourage your homeschooler to interact with the mail delivery person, store cashier, and the staff at field trip locations.
You’ll find these conversations with individuals in your community are a fantastic way for your kids to learn all sorts of things! They’ll also learn how to carry on polite conversations with people of all ages, not just kids their own age. Now that’s a valuable life skill!
Being “On” All Day
It can be taxing to be the only person there for your child to play with and interact with during the day. I’ve had to get creative when it comes to combating this unique challenge. My solution is to institute what I call “learning lunch.”
Learning lunch is an easy way to build in time apart to recharge my batteries, have an adult conversation, take some deep breaths, or just enjoy a little quiet. During our lunch time, I set my daughter up with a learning video playlist, movie, or documentary. Then, we eat lunch separately and I enjoy a bit of time to reset by myself in whatever way I need to that day.
What sorts of challenges and benefits are you discovering on your homeschooling journey? Share how you’re navigating the journey when homeschooling an only child gets hard in the comment section. I’d love to read about your successes as well, so don’t forget to share those too.