How Do You Homeschool Just One Child?
The idea that the educational process is a group activity is so extended that homeschooling one child seems like a revolution. Even the popular homeschooling image is one of a large family of kids of different ages sitting around the kitchen table.
However, if we go back in time, education was a privilege and it was, in many cases, a 1-to-1 activity—a tutor with their student.
So, if you’re asking yourself if homeschooling an only child is a good idea, there’s no one single answer. It’s not a factual question but rather a debatable one, and you have to see for yourself if it will work for you and your child.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of homeschooling one child and what to do to eliminate the cons. By the end of this article your concerns will be gone, and you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision!
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Why Would You Homeschool Just One Child?
The most obvious situation is that your child is an only child and you’re interested in homeschooling. In this case, it’s essential to build in social opportunities to your curriculum.
Another situation might be that you’re homeschooling your youngest child, and your older kids have moved out of the house. That’s a plus as you already know what you’re doing and you’ve likely learned from your mistakes.
There are various other reasons why you might be homeschooling one child. Whatever your reason is, you’ll be able to learn more about whether it’s the right fit for your family or not by reading the rest of this article.
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Pros and Cons of Homeschooling an Only Child
Homeschooling is a complex journey that’s ultimately very rewarding with numerous benefits, but it’s essential to understand the pros and the cons to the experience.
Homeschooling an only child has unique pros and cons that I will explore below. After you read them, you can decide if you’d like to move forward with homeschooling!
Pros of Homeschooling an Only Child
You’ll be surprised to see all the advantages of homeschooling one child (versus more than one). Looks like this might be a beautiful thing, after all!
1. It’s Peaceful
Having multiple children is great and can be very fun, but it’s no secret that children have their disagreements. My two kids can even get heated about who got a splash more juice in their cup than the other one!
So homeschooling one child avoids chaos and long discussions at the homeschool table. While it’s no beach picnic (don’t get me wrong), it’s much more quiet and serene!
2. Scheduling Made Easy
Preparing a homeschool timetable is a challenge and planning and juggling activities for many kids at different ages is a high-level skill.
Your homeschooling schedule can be more relaxed and you can extend the time you spend on an activity without thinking that you’re taking it from their siblings.
Homeschooling one child with a 1:1 teacher-student ratio means that the whole process will be more time-efficient than it is when homeschooling more kids.
Depending on the grade, you can finish the whole work before midday as you’re focusing just on one child’s needs and adapting the teaching process to their specific learning time. This leaves you both more time for extracurricular activities, sports, and spending time with friends and family.
4. Quality Time
Parents of kids that attend regular schools don’t spend as much time with their kids as you homeschooling your child. What’s more, it’s quality time.
Your child doesn’t need to compete with other people for your attention and together you create meaningful memories. You know better than anybody not only what your child knows, but also what they think and what their opinion is on many topics.
5. Deeper and More Specific Knowledge
The 1:1 student-teacher ratio that I mentioned earlier, and the fact that you know your child’s needs and interests like anybody, let you both go much deeper into topics you like.
What’s more, because of the time-efficiency, you have time to add any extra activities that would broaden your child’s knowledge. You can also spend time on educational apps that add information to what your child learns during classes in a fun and entertaining way.
6. Lower Cost
Anything you have to spend money on during the homeschooling process will be cheaper when homeschooling just one child.
Do you want to buy homeschool programs, pay for classes in a local homeschool co-op, or just go to a zoo? The cost with one kid is obviously lower than with more. To say nothing about the homeschool classroom supplies. Your costs with one child are much lower in comparison to homeschooling more than one.
Cons of Homeschooling an Only Child
Are there any cons of homeschooling an only child? I won’t hide it, there are, but with a bit of creativity, you can take care of them.
Do you recall all these homeschool socialization memes? Somehow, non-homeschooling parents think that homeschooled kids have no opportunities for socialization, but come on, it’s “homeschooling” not “caveschooling.”
While the morning might only be you and your child, you can easily take the afternoons to put them in extracurricular activities or join up with playdates.You could also get your child involved in volunteering you can do together with other community members.
Ultimately, you could argue that a homeschooled child is better “socialized” than their peers who go to K-12 schools, as they are used to interacting with people of all ages and in many different contexts.
2. Collaboration Skills
And what about collaboration skills? Most current educational systems put emphasis on collaborative skills and make students work in groups as a real-life preparation.
Yes, that’s true, you might miss some bigger group discussions, and group science projects most of the time, but once again, this all can be solved with homeschool co-op classes, field trips, and extracurricular team sports!
3. Your constant attention
You may get tired, as it’s only your child and you, and you’re the only one instructing, administering, and interacting. The famous homeschool burnout.
On one hand, I can tell you that the older your homeschooler gets, the smaller this problem becomes. Your child is every year more independent and ready to take care of their study time.
On the other hand, you can solve this issue by talking to your partner about dividing some tasks. You can use online programs and apps that can guide your kid in their studies, and you can exchange classes with other homeschool families and have your kid spend some time at their place.
Also remember, the homeschooling period is such a small part of your life with your kid that it will end sooner than you think and you’ll miss it dearly.
Enjoy Homeschooling Just One Child!
I hope you’ve decided by now that homeschooling one child is a good idea and you’re prepared to deal with the cons and enjoy the benefits.
Every homeschooling journey is different and rewarding and this one will also surely be. So stop wondering if you can do it, or how to do it, and enjoy it.
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