The Challenges of Homeschooling an Only Child

Lest you think homeschooling an only child is all sunshine and roses (there are some advantages), we do face a few challenges. If you're considering homeschooling your only child, there are a few things you'll want to know before you begin. Let's look at the challenges of homeschooling an only child.

If you're considering homeschooling your only child, there are a few things you'll want to know. Here are a few challenges of homeschooling an only child.

Challenges of homeschooling an only child

Homeschooling an only child is a wonderful experience, most of the time. We have lots of one-on-one time for teaching and learning, but there are a few challenges that we've run into along the way. Here are our top three challenges of homeschooling an only child:

You are your child's mom, teacher, playmate, confidante...

In an only child home, you are everything for your child - his mom, his teacher, and very often his playmate. It can get hard for a mom who likes her quiet time (especially if you're an introvert). It's important to teach your child how to play alone and as they get older, to work independently on their homeschool assignments. It's very easy to stay right at their elbow while homeschooling (after all, there's just one kid to teach), but it's much better to slowly begin teaching them independence.

You can't reuse homeschool curricula

When you are homeschooling an only child you are buying new books and programs every year. You can't save things to use with younger siblings. It's actually more cost-effective to homeschool more than one child! Our solution is to buy used materials when we can and sell what we've finished using.

It's also more difficult to justify expensive programs that are meant for large families. As much as I'd love to use Tapestry of Grace, I just can't justify the expense since I'll only be using it with one child.

You have to deal with people's biases

If you have an only child, people often feel the need to comment on your choice. And if you decide to homeschool you're just giving them even more fuel for their fire! So be prepared with a few (nice!) comments for the thoughtless people who think it's their business to discuss your family size or educational choices.

Another bias I've often dealt with is the myth that I have all this free time since I'm only homeschooling one child. Ha! I might have slightly fewer toys scattered around or less laundry but I have the same 24 hours everyone else has - and they are pretty full! I'm still managing a home, homeschooling, working from home, and all the other tasks that pile up.

TJ's perspective

TJ actually listed many more advantages to being an only child but she does have a few things she dislikes about being an only - there is less social time (since she doesn't have any siblings to play with) and she gets lonely because of it.

Are you homeschooling an only child? What challenges do you face?

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.