Today, I have a lovely friend for you to meet. It’s Christy from Unexpected Homeschool! She is a very special friend, and also the mom of an only child. She has some wonderful thoughts about homeschooling to share with you; that particularly resonated with me, and that I know you’ll find thought-provoking. Meet Christy!
Encouragement for Homeschooling an Only Child
The question I most often hear about homeschooling isn’t the standard concern over socialization, but instead how we are able to homeschool an only child. Even more intriguing is that most of these questions come from other homeschoolers.
Honestly, it never occurred to me that homeschooling an only child would be different than homeschooling any other child. We have had the raising of our daughter since her birth, and homeschooling feels merely like an extension of the other portions of our life. Yet through the years, I’ve heard from many people interested in homeschooling who are fearful because they have an only child.
I want to encourage parents of only children who are interested in homeschooling or already homeschooling that it can be a wonderful experience that requires no more effort than you already make in raising your child. Personally, we have found it to be a fantastic bonding experience on top of all of the educational positives.
Our daughter has always loved to be around people, yet never felt the need to constantly be surrounded by other children to function. As many other only children, our daughter learned early in her life how to communicate and socialize with a wide range of people from adults to younger children, as well as how to entertain herself.
We did send our daughter to parochial school through mid-elementary age, which she initially loved. However when we noticed her social skills regressing, it was time for a change. After homeschooling for a few years she again interacts equally well with her peers both in a classroom settings and group activities. She still easily communicates with adults and younger children. In fact she adores helping out with the younger children at church. All of this because she is a homeschooled only child.
The question I receive the most is more a matter of how much extra effort is it to successfully homeschool an only child?
My answer: It’s basically the same as homeschooling any other child. We do not make any more of an effort to socialize her than we did when she was in school. We do not seek out social situations for the sake of socializing. In essence, we have continued to raise her as before, except educating her at home.
This is not to say that our high-school age daughter is devoid of social activities. Actually, far from it. She’s part of our church youth group, attends homeschool co-op classes, and participates in a wide array of activities based on her available time. Still, other than the co-op classes, these are all activities she participated in before homeschooling. The co-op classes do have the added benefit of meeting old and new friends, however they also offer enrichment courses we can’t easily complete at home.
Admittedly, there are a few drawbacks to homeschooling an only child. We can’t host a drama production with our family alone, field our own sports team, or comprise a musical band. Although we can still have fun. In the past we’ve held a Roman Day as the culmination of our ancient history study, several all day PI Day studies, family art projects, family science projects, and more. Plus, we have a lovely homeschool group that provides us access to nearly all the educational and social facets we might otherwise miss.
Homeschooling an only child need not be a point of concern, especially for the parent who feels comfortable raising their only child. Concentrate on enjoying the time with your child and exploring all that homeschooling has to offer.
More on Christy
Isn’t she wonderful? I love her story! You’ll have to visit Christy for more at Unexpected Homeschool. I know you’ll find her such an encouragement!