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I've been homeschooling my ds who is 6 1/2 and an only child so far. Sometimes it feels great, and sometimes it feels so hard to give him enough social interaction (although we are very busy and have at least one activity with other kids but usually several per day). perhaps that would still be a challenge even if he went to school, since we live in a neighborhood where both parents mostly work so after school we would still need to make lots of playdates, etc. But I wanted to ask, do other homeschoolers of onlies struggle with this, how do they deal with it, and how fully and successfully do they feel they are meeting the social needs of their child? Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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I don't see it as a disadvantage... many of my son's close friends are in school (kindy age) but we tend to keep ourselves busy most of the day and by the time I am pooped, his friends are out of school and we can arrange to hang out. We have homeschool-type activities usually at least 3 days a week with other homeschool kids (violin, horseback riding, science-type class) and while he hasn't formed friendships with many of the kids in these classes yet, he still enjoys getting out and about. When we're home and he's alone with me, we both really thrive on the togetherness. He often tells me "I like it when it's just you and me walking in the woods mommy" and so on. He loves the one on one time to get my attention and do crafts and read as much as he loves being with his buddies. I think it's a good life skill to learn to keep yourself engaged when you are alone, and I also think our whole family benefits from the close bond he and I have and continue to form.<br><br>
He'll often ask what time it is and is it time for his friends to be home from school yet, but I don't see that as being "lonely", just anxious to see his pals on certain days and trying to grasp time.<br><br>
It sounds to me like you're doing the right thing, have you asked your son how he feels about it?
 

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My son is an only child, he's eight years old. One thing I needed to realize is his need for social interaction is much lower than mine. He's much more introverted then I am. He has some social delays because of his ADHD, so I want his social interactions to be positive, especially after his experiences in school last year.<br><br>
We have him enrolled in an after school program three days a week. It is through the place where he does martial arts and is very structured. He goes from 2pm until 6pm. He's with other kids and adults in a well run, well supervised environment. He's made a best friend there and he's learning to deal with other kids in a safe place. He sometimes goes to camp there during vacations. It also allows me to work and have a bit of free time to myself.<br><br>
When we started home schooling in September, my goal was for him to have 15 hours of interaction with other kids a week. Most weeks, it's easily double that. He does some structured activities at the private school he use to attend, he goes for music class and science enrichment. He does a social skills class every other week and a home school play group on alternate weeks.<br><br>
Other than that he sees his friends from public school on weekends and after school and plays with the kids in the neighborhood. Recently, he seems more choosy about who he hangs out with. We don't know that many people who home school. That's something I'd like to change.
 

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I have an only dd age 11. We have homeschooled since she was 5 except for this year. This year she attended school half-time and homeschooled the rest. I think socially, hanging out with friends and having fun, is significantly easier when we homeschool full-time. She has many great friends who homeschool. Her best friend is from the neighborhood and attends school (a different one from my daughter).<br><br>
My daughter would like to experience learning with other academically inclined enthusiastic learners. We've had trouble finding that community, but it appears it is difficult in or out of school! School has the group doing the same thing, but lacks enthusiasm. Homeschooling seems to have lots of enthusiasm but it is tough getting several people doing the same things at the same time. LOL<br><br>
I see my friends with several kids struggling to meet their differing needs. Sometimes siblings provide great support for each other, sometimes they fight and cause complete chaos. There are positives and negatives to every family and/or educational situation. However, we have found homeschooling an only to have more positives for us.
 

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I wonder about this often. We have no homeschool groups but we have a playground nearby and see kids there. Still theri lives revolve around school.<br>
Of late I find myself wondering if it would be possible to attend school without feeling compelled to do homework or pass tests or even have perfect attendance ... and if it were possible, would it meet our needs?
 

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My ds was an only child for 8 years and has never been to school. I found that as long as I keep him busy and we do interesting things together, he is happy. I read somewhere that young kids really want to spend most of their time with their parents, and I believe it's true.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Mostly just subbing as my DD is only 3.5, but will definitely be an only that is homeschooled. The fact that she's an only is something that I do worry about some in terms of homeschooling.
 

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My DS is 7 and an unschooling only. It really isn't a problem for us. We do about 2 things a week with other homeschoolers. He isn't really social but does enjoy other kids. If he wants friends over we call and make plans...if not we hang out together.
 

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This has been a point of frustration for us because DD is VERY extroverted. No idea where she gets it from (I'm definitely an introvert, and while DH is more outgoing than me, he pretty much is, too). She's enrolled in an enrichement program one day a week, has swimming lessons twice a week, and gets out and plays with the neighbor kids many afternoons and weekends. One little boy in particular she gets on very well with, and she's been going over to his house for an hour or two after he's home from school or on the weekend most days she gets the chance (i.e., every day except swim lessons and when we or they have other things to do on the weekend). He's not an only, but his siblings are all much older than him (he's 5 and the next youngest is a teenager). Some of the other neighbor kids can be problematic (an 8 yo. girl who can be a bit of a bully and gets made when DD chooses to play with other kids, and some boys who individually play well but when they get together tend to gang up and leave DD the odd one out.) I also try to get together with a friend whose boys I've babysat a lot (one of them is my future son-in-law, according to DD, lol). Also her stepbrothers are over about one weekend a month, and usually spend at least a few hours paying her some attention (they're 11 and 13 so have understandably limited patience for that).<br><br>
We have other friends I'd like to see more often, but I can also only handle so much socializing myself. The biggest challenge has been to strike that balance. Hopefully we'll be adding to our family soon and that will ease things a bit--though the age gap is probably going to bring its own set of issues. Short of adopting a pseudo-twin for her (and even that might not work, my sis who's closest in age and was in the same grade and I were like oil and water, we just didn't mix much outside the crazy salad of home life and didn't really socialize with each other much), I don't think there's much to be done about it.
 
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