If you are new to this series, you can see the first post here and the second post here. I, again, just want to say this is intended to both be an encouraging series for homeschoolers of an only child as well as give other families insight into what it’s like in our shoes.
Homeschooling an only child has some challenges that many people would not realize! Some can easily be overcome, while others are things one must accept and move on.
When you have only one child you don’t get to divide curriculum cost across multiple children, thereby making it more cost effective. You have to decide if a resource is worth your investment for one child or if you need to find another more affordable solution.
Group subjects and individualized subjects have the same number of students. It is hard to create an environment where your student learns to work with others. You can’t have everyone working on a project together doing different parts based on ability. This can be partially remedied by being involved in a co-op or support group where your child can work with other students.
This might only be Sammy, but I would venture to guess that it happens with most only children. Sammy is always comparing himself to Tim or I. If we are doing an art lesson he wants me to join in. Then he compares his project to mine. He will then say he is not good at art. He will also do this with board/card games. So then I have to balance out whether I should let him win or lose. I am not saying I let him win every time (that is a disservice to the child) but if it is a game of skill I will win every time. It is not any fun to lose every game!
Activities in curriculum where you do a survey of your family, or ask your siblings questions don’t work out. An easy solution to that is to call friends, post questions on Facebook, or ask other family members.
Subjects that require discussion (history, read-alouds, government, etc.) are a little less exciting. It feels like a lecture instead of a discussion. This will improve as the child gets older and contributes more to the discussion.
There is no one else to play with. This makes “socialization” all the more important. It is important for your only child to have time with peers, but it is also important for mom to have time with other adults as well!!
I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts on “the bad” of homeschooling an only. Did I miss anything? Is there anything else I should cover in this series?