Homeschooling an only child? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-11-2011, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone or is anyone homeschooling an only child? Do you feel they get enough interaction with other kids? If so, what do you do to ensure that happens? 

 

I'm contemplating quitting my job to stay home with DS with the aim of homeschooling him when it comes time. We are TTC but not having much luck and I'm tired of putting things on hold over that.

 

"Socialization" is often a concern with regards to HSing and while I think there are definitely other ways to socialize children (in real-world society) I'm a bit concerned that HS an only may be too isolating. Can it be? Am I worrying for nothing, or is it a vaild concern? I'd love some BTDT perspective.

 

(P.S. I tried searching but couldn't find any threads on this.)


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Old 02-11-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Check out homeschooling and AP groups in your area.

 

But also go to your local library story times, sign up for toddler classes in your parks and rec programs, that kind of thing, because even if he makes a friend who ends up going to school you'd still be able to get together to play after school and on weekends. And that's a fairly reasonable amount of socializing.

 

Socialization, otoh, is different. And is better learned by observing a socialized adult interacting in the real world.

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Old 02-12-2011, 01:58 AM
 
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I love homeschooling my "enfant unique" (I think that sounds nicer than only child! lol). We went on a homeschooling fieldtrip the other day and three of us just had the one. We tend to think of homeschoolers as big families, but there are plenty of only children who are homeschooled.

While he may not have a sibling relationship to negotiate, there are lots of advantages to homeschooling an only. I think the social issue has more to do with a child's personality and preferences than with whether he/she has a sibling. I've seen people post here who have two or more children who are having trouble meeting the social needs of one of their children. Sometimes it's a case of one child being a very sociable extrovert and the other who prefers to be home a lot. I really don't think this is just an only child issue.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:44 AM
 
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 I've always homeschooled, and my oldest was an only child for K-6th grade. There are many steps to ensure that your child will not feel lonely. Here is what we did/do

 

1. Joined a homeschool support group w/ a lot of girls my dd's age

2. Joined a weekly co-op for fun classes

3. Attend park day weekly

4. Play homeschool sports (with other homeschooled kids) like tennis, swim team, gymnastics...

5. Attend YMCA homeschool gym day.

6. Attend group homeschool field trips, homeschool days at the children's museum and zoo

7. Go with homeschool families to plays, the opera, and musicals

8. Attended parties (example: yesterday we went to a Valentine's Day card exchange/party) with other homeschool kids

9. We attend a weekly homeschool art class

10. Joined homeschool choir

 

I hope those 10 things (there are many more things if you want more) are helpful. We really enjoy time with other like minded homeschool families.Today, my youngest is attending her homeschool girls' book club. I think it takes more effort to get involved when you homeschool, but the results are amazing. 

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Old 02-12-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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I personally think it is less isolating.  That's me.

 

My kids are not limited to 15 or so classmates and are not told to be friends in their own age-grade.  My 7yo has time to do the following in addition to her core academics at home:  art studio, Girl Scouts, dance company (5hrs/week), swim team (4hrs/week), gymnastics team (6hrs/week), concert choir, piano, and a sport at the rec center.  And I may be forgetting something.  My son is a year younger and does a subset of the above.  They also have free time almost every day (if they will do their schoolwork without dawdling), and play with the neighborhood kids, whom they also see in choir and swim team.  A girl from my daughter's Scout troop dances with her.  They are not isolated and have a rich society of adults and children the same age, older and younger.

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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ds is an only child and we homeschool.  i try to get him together with his neighborhood friends as much as possible - playgroup after school, the local playground after other kids get out of school...we also go to classes at our local nature center.  if you ask ds, he says he gets to see his friends plenty ( it's usually a couple times a week now, but will be more often once it warms up and we can go to the playground). personally, i think the whole early sociaization thing is overblown and not as necessary as "they" would have you think.  i suppose it depends on the child, though.  ds is perfectly happy staying home and playing with me all day.  i know some kids crave the socialization with other kids more

 

one thing to keep in mind - in most schools there is very little time to actually play with other kids.  most play is done after school anyway.  as a child i did not socialize much with friends at my school. my good friends were other kids in my neighborhood that i played with after school and on weekends


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Old 02-12-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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i think it does depend on the child and for the very social child it can be supplemented just fine.  my dd craves more one-on-one relationships with her friends, hanging with mellow kids in smaller groups and enjoys mixed aged groups.  we homeschooled until last August and had a playgroup that met once a week along with other activities when they came up.  then she said she wanted to try school, so we did.  she enjoyed her class as a whole, re-connected with some old friends, liked the short recess time they had but we are transitioning back into homeschooling, should be finalizing that decision by the end of the month... and we are merging back into our playgroup.  she is still seeing her school friends on the weekend, she has other friends in other schools that she was seeing on the weekend while she was in school, she gets to now play more with her homeschooled friends again, it all seems to flow well.  she doesn't have a lot of interest in classes or clubs still, she is almost 8, but when/if that comes about that will be another great way to "socialize"... she has done 1-2 week art camps and has enjoyed those so i see classes in our future.  and i do think that she likes to socialize with different age folks, babies to adults, so homeschooling is a great option for her, hence why i think she is naturally going back to homeschooling - just seems to fit her better.  anyhow... i think a singleton can be homeschooled fine :-)

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Old 02-12-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reassurance everyone. I believe there is a fairly active HS group in our city, and I've already found lots of activities/outings to do together once I'm home with him during the week (although I love the suggestions above as well). I just never seemed to run across anyone on the boards who was homeschooling their "enfant unique" (winky.gif Needle in the Hay) and wondered if there was a reason.


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Old 02-13-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzoh View Post

ds is an only child and we homeschool.  i try to get him together with his neighborhood friends as much as possible - playgroup after school, the local playground after other kids get out of school...we also go to classes at our local nature center.  if you ask ds, he says he gets to see his friends plenty ( it's usually a couple times a week now, but will be more often once it warms up and we can go to the playground). personally, i think the whole early sociaization thing is overblown and not as necessary as "they" would have you think.  i suppose it depends on the child, though.  ds is perfectly happy staying home and playing with me all day.  i know some kids crave the socialization with other kids more

 

one thing to keep in mind - in most schools there is very little time to actually play with other kids.  most play is done after school anyway.  as a child i did not socialize much with friends at my school. my good friends were other kids in my neighborhood that i played with after school and on weekends


Ditto this!


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...it is nothing like school, and we are never at home...so why is it called homeschooling?
 
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:48 PM
 
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DS is 10 and an 'only'.  I WOHM and he goes to a sitters when I work.  DS has friends at the sitters, both preschool age and school age.  On days that I dont work we get lots of 'school' time in - we are basically unschoolers.  As others have said with one child its easy to schedule classes, playdates, and activities.  DS is also taking online classes - not totally unschooly but he loves it.  During the summer ds attends camps, extra classes etc.  The winter is our 'home' time.


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Old 02-14-2011, 05:04 AM
 
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DD won't be an only much longer, but has been until now. We've homeschooled from the beginning. I was in college when she was a toddler, and she went to an in-home care provider from 1-2 1/2, then to the on-campus childcare center my last semester. After that she was home. In K she started an enrichment program that's 1 day/wk, which gave her a social outlet, plus we have a LOT of neighbor kids with whom she likes to play--the school bus pulling up down the street is major incentive for her to finish her schoolwork if she's dragging her feet!

 


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Old 02-14-2011, 07:16 PM
 
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We've been homeschooling our only dd, age 12, for the past 7 years.  It has been great!  I find that hs'ing an only is easier than what my friend's deal with balancing the needs of multiple kids.  I've also met several other homeschooling 'only' families.  I was concerned about it when we started, but now it is totally a non-issue.

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