Homeschool One Child
Checking around with homeschool parents you know in your co-op, parent group, or fellowship, you might see that many consists of several children. In reality, a 2006 National Center for Education account discovered that households with three or more children make more than half of the homeschool community. If you're one of the rare families with an only kid at home, you will ask yourself the question, "Is it possible to homeschool one child?"
The relevant answer is, of course, you can. Single child families realize the same advantages homeschooling provides to more prominent families. An associate I had homeschooled her child for ten years when their family suddenly expanded in size, suggested to me that homeschooling is what you make it. If you plant good seed in your homeschool, you will see a productive season, despite the number of children in your house.
Homeschool One Child Knowing
My husband and I set our minds to homeschool our boys before we even had any. We knew about it and wanted to do it for our children. We paid little regard to him being an only child until I sought out a homeschool support group and realized we unique. Only three of the forty families in my group-including ourselves-were one one-child families.
Our beliefs hadn't changed. We had a God-given intuition for our family. I celebrated the benefits of only-child homeschooling I could see immediately: a fantastic amount of one-on-one time, more freedom in choosing curriculum and activities, and more flexibility in our schedule than that already afforded by homeschooling. But first, let's consider some of the annoyances you might face as you endeavor to homeschool your only child. Homeschooling an only child does provide some unique hurdles, but none of them are unbeatable.
Homeschool One Child Well-Meaning People
Interaction with others children was one of our concerns. As an only-child family, you might feel increasingly targeted. Well-meaning colleagues and family members argued that our son needed to be in a conventional school setting because he didn't have siblings to help him learn to share and work out disagreements. Privately, I didn't want her controlled by same-age classmates who would help develop her sense of self.
So I chose to fill in the holes left by the lack of siblings. One of the first lessons we taught him was respect: for himself, and everyone she encounters. These rules showed our soothe elements of real socialization, not what society calls socialization. He was taught to respect himself in her thought life and her image of herself as a bright, compassionate, and healthy child of God. Respecting others became important when we visited the library and when listening to the instructions for his math assignment. Respect for things developed naturally out of discussions of God's creation. Caring for his playthings, the fragile belongings we have, and the possessions of others.
We also aimed to provide occasions for our son to build friendships. We became socially active in church and community events. We attended field trips organized by our support group. We took steps to promote friendships, scheduling time together. We joined our support group in visiting residents at a retirement home once a month, providing our daughter both the benefit of practicing his social skills and the value of being a blessing to others. These activities had as their primary purpose to teach her to interact with people of all ages and stages of life.
Homeschool One Child Relationship
With our child being such an essential concern to us, how do we keep the proper influence in our home? We make sure her obligations at home progress as he grows in ability and skill. We set the standard of serving others by reaching out to neighbors and sick friends. We display a healthy marriage where we make time for each other as husband and wife, and we remember to put God first above all else.
Homeschool One Child One on One
One-on-One Time with Parents Homeschooling already affords valuable quality time between parents and children. When you are homeschooling an only child, that time becomes perhaps even more beneficial. With Mom and Dad as our son's primary playmates, we can focus on skills such as giving and playing honestly.
Once, my husband found our son and me competing fiercely in a game of Candyland.
Although it's sometimes tempting to let him win, we know that if we make him win every time, he won't know how to lose graciously. We can devote much of our time to nurturing his talents and interests and fixing our values in his heart. Regardless of family size, that's one of the biggest blessings of homeschool.
Each child is God's creation, and homeschooling gives us the time to focus on the individuality of this child. That's one of the benefits we enjoy no matter how small the size of our family we benefit from homeschooling just as much as anyone.
We love our freedom of choice. We pick the curriculum that is perfect for our child's learning style, the amount of time devoted to a subject, whether our child will learn cursive or Latin, workbooks or manipulatives, and on it goes.
Homeschool One Child Summary
Different Sizes, Same Blessings As I've emphasized, again and again, the blessings of homeschooling are the same regardless of family size. Some of the benefits may show in different directions, and to some extent, they may vary in number. For example, a family with more kids enjoys more opportunities to teach characteristics such as teamwork and sharing, while one with a single child enjoys greater versatility in choosing curriculum and adventures. In both cases, the versatility of homeschooling allows families to customize their approach, take advantage of built-in strengths, and fill in potential areas of weakness. That's the significant benefits of homeschool; it's flexible and versatile to the unique situations of your family.
The parent of only child wonders about pressing on, is this journey is worth the time and effort it takes? It may require some creative effort on your part, but if God has provided you with the vision to homeschool your child, anything is possible with Him. "He which has started a good work in you will realize it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).