We all know that homeschooling has its advantages. But is homeschooling an only detrimental to your child’s development? I shared many challenges of homeschooling an only child as well as socialization ideas for homeschooling onlies. However, the advantages of homeschooling just one far outweigh the obstacles you have to overcome.
Looking for more information about how to homeschool an only? Check out our resource page for homeschooling an only child.
**Note: There are many advantages of homeschooling – far more than I discuss in this post, but for today, I am focusing on the unique advantages experienced by those specifically with an only child.
Here are 6 advantages of homeschooling a singleton:
1. Undivided attention
It’s just you and your child, homeschooling each day. Since it’s just the two of you; you aren’t forced to balance time between homeschooling multiple kids, feeding the baby, and washing the fifth load of laundry that day. If your child needs help, your are there to step in. If he wants to study planets, you drop your previous lesson plans and, instead, head to the library to pick up books on the subject and check the hours at the local planetarium. You are right there watching him learn, and enjoying every “light bulb” moment with a front-and-center seat.
2. Extra time for extra activities
We go on field trips. A lot. In fact, I build “field trip day” into our weekly schedule. Since we have only one child, we are not having to share time nor resources between multiple children. This frees us up that If my son wants to visit a state park to study bird migration patterns for a few days, I don’t have to worry about working it around brother’s baseball practice nor sister’s piano lessons. Our time is not constrained. Instead, I listen to his interests. I want to make sure he gets to see, do, and experience everything he wants to learn about, and since we are not having to juggle multiple schedules, we can afford to spend the time to do these activities.
3. Fewer financial costs
I admit it… I’m a curriculum junkie. It’s the cost of buying all of the curriculum that eats through our wallets. Luckily, with only one child, you only have to buy one set of curriculum each year. I can’t image the costs that I would incur buying curriculum for more than one child. On the other hand, when you only have one child, you can also consider some of the more pricey curriculum options, which is not always an option if you have a larger family.
4. No comparisons among siblings
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be the best. I wanted to be the best student, performer, and athlete. But, my older brother always beat me in sports. And my younger brother was a natural comedian. I, on the other hand, doubted my abilities, because all I did was continuously compare myself (and my shortcomings) with them. One advantage of homeschooling an only child is that your child doesn’t compare himself to his siblings. There’s no worrying whether Suzie is going to pass Billy’s reading ability, or two brothers striving to outshine the other. With an only child, he gets to move at his own pace and working through his own set of challenges – no comparisons, no competition, just learning at his own tempo.
5. Close relationship with the child
My son is a mama’s boy. In fact, he’s a daddy’s boy as well. He relies heavily on both of us to be there for him. And, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. He needs those close relationship with us, at least during this time in his life. What I love is his honesty, openness, and willingness to share just about about everything with us. When he has a question, he asks. When he’s worried, he shares his his deepest concerns. I adore that he has no problems snuggling up next to me to share his deepest concerns. I don’t know if this is the same for families with more children, but in our household, it is a bond that I treasure!
6. Less planning and administrative duties
When I was a teacher, I loathed grading papers. It took up so much time, yet was necessary to give the student feedback. Now that we homeschool, I’ve found that lesson planning and grading papers can take up large chunks of time as well. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for larger families. With an only child, you only have to create one set of lesson plans, remember where one child stopped last week for history, review forgotten math topics with one child, and grade one set of papers. Whew, one set of each of these is about all that I can handle; I’m so glad we only have one!
So, what advantages of homeschooling an only child have you experienced? Which point above resonates the most with you? I’d love to hear what you think!
Are you homeschooling an only or thinking about homeschooling an only? See these other great resources for homeschooling an only child.