Challenges of Homeschooling an Only Child

by Megan Mora Fuentes

When you think of a homeschooling family do you automatically picture a large, busy household or an only child? It’s a common stereotype that homeschool families have lots of–or at least multiple–kids. But the beauty of homeschooling is that you can be called to be the homeschooling parent of any number of kids. 

As a homeschooling parent of an only child, you might be in a minority in your homeschool community, and you’ll face a different set of challenges than a homeschooling parent of many. However, you’ll find blessings and richness in your small homeschool that you’ll never find if you rule out or get discouraged by the idea of homeschooling your single child. 

Check out this Homeschool Living for tips, encouragement, and ideas on one-on-one homeschooling.

What are the benefits of parenting an only child?

One of the most obvious benefits of homeschooling an only child is a teacher-to-student ratio. You just can’t beat that 1: 1 when it comes to focusing on a lesson or exploring a new interest.

In her blog Ben and Me, this homeschool mother of one shares the many ways that “homeschooling an only child rocks!” From increased flexibility, plenty of quality time to even–sometimes–lower costs, there are a ton of benefits in one-on-one homeschooling.

While there are certainly plenty of easily quantifiable benefits to homeschooling one child–fewer curriculum decisions, less planning and teaching time required, and fewer supplies and extra-curricular necessities to purchase, to name a few–some of the greatest benefits are the intangibles. The relationships you can forge and strengthen, sometimes even from the sheer necessity of having two or three people to participate in an activity, might be something you take for granted when so much of your time is spent together. 

In this blog post, a homeschool mom shares how homeschooling her only child has shaped her teaching method and perspective, allowing her to be an active learner alongside her child and creating a family culture of enthusiastic learning.

It’s not realistic to say that homeschooling only children doesn’t come with unique challenges. Every homeschooling situation has advantages and disadvantages. Being aware of hurdles you’ll likely encounter and situations you’ll have to make peace with can go a long way toward helping you make decisions in homeschooling your only child.

What is an only child’s life like?

It might seem redundant to offer a list of ideas for how to spend one-on-one time with your child when all of your time together is one-on-one, but it can be eye-opening to see how many activities and moments you might take for granted are the same moments that other families might struggle to find time for. It’s also good to remember to set aside time for an activity outside of your general routine.

If you’re homeschooling an older child, you might be looking for ways to engage your teen in productive and appropriate social activities. Check out this list of homeschool high school social opportunities.

Why homeschool your only child?

Quiver Is Full, Even with an Only Child!

In the end, whether you homeschool one child or a houseful, your family has a place in the homeschool community. All homeschooling parents have their own reasons for homeschooling, but the core concepts of being able to tailor education to your child’s specific needs, foster a love of learning, and focus on what matters most are benefits that are available to homeschooling families of all shapes and sizes. If you’re exploring homeschooling your only child and looking for more information and encouragement, check out these five reasons for homeschooling

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