Dear Homeschool Mom Who is Teaching an Only Child

I’m a Mom to one. I have a loving son with an appetite for all of the attention he can possibly get. After all- he’s always gotten it. As a homeschooling family our days are filled with conversation, interaction, learning, and fun – one on one – without the distractions of any siblings.

I have friends who have told me how amazing it must be to be able to focus on one child, and it is… it really is. I have been beyond thankful for this opportunity, and I have seen my son grow in ways that are blowing me away. There are the challenges though, just as with any other parenting or homeschooling scenario.

If you’re done reading this topic and still in need of more encouraging words, go and see my Encouragement for Homeschool Moms blog post where you can find more strength and reasons to move on with this challenging journey.

Lovingly homeschooling an only child

We (parents to an only child) don’t have other kids to care for and devote attention to. That is a huge reduction in responsibility compared to our multi-child bearing counterparts, but we also don’t have other kids interacting with our child, and distracting them from wanting our constant attention either. It can be all consuming at times to be the sole person satisfying every need and interaction of our child as a parent and teacher. We have to find ways to give ourselves breaks and maintain our sound mind. I often find myself sneaking moments in the day that nurture my own sanity.

Here are some of the moments I grab hold of …

Awesome tips on homeschooling an only child

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Create

Our son will sit and spend at least an hour a week working on an art project. Art is such a relaxing way to decompress from the hectic homeschooling schedule. I will often work on a project simultaneously, which is really good for me. Even when I don’t have an art or craft project in the works, I will create right along with him. I always feel more grounded after being creative. We are admittedly not a “musical” family but we have friends who find their time learning and playing music just as relaxing. If you don’t feel creative or artistic maybe you can find these moments for doing what you love- even if it’s just having a cup of tea and flipping through the pages of a magazine.

Socialize

We work so hard to fight the socialization stigma that comes with homeschooling and often times we find that our kids are so well socialized that it’s not even a concern. What we often forget though is to socialize ourselves! Scheduling playtime for our child can give us some time to connect with other Mom’s and to have some adult conversation. When I can’t make that work then I am sure to find some time to catch up with my friends on the phone. We schedule socialization time for our kids, and we should schedule it for ourselves too!

Screen Time

Upon waking, our son is allowed to watch one of his parent approved shows (typically curriculum related) on Netflix. Yes, we give into the screen time, but it’s valuable time, and I’m ok with admitting that we need it. This is a blissful 30 minutes I have to begin the day and to prepare myself for our activities. Other times we will pick a movie or show that is connected to our learning and make it an event. We make popcorn or have an indoor “picnic” lunch and watch together. It’s o.k. to decompress a bit- and enjoy it!

 
Great advice for homeschooling an only child
 

Playtime

Playing is such an important part of growing and learning. We take play breaks throughout the day. We love boardgames as they provide a satisfying and relaxing time of connectedness for both of us. There are the times our son plays on his own. In those solo playtimes, I check in with myself, and take care of some of the other responsibilities that fall on our shoulders as parents.

Flexibility

Our homeschooling routine is pretty consistent and enjoyable, but flexibility is key for us. We take our schedule day by day and allow for moments/hours/days to slip by at times without touching our “routine.” That has been the most important thing for us. It took me a while to let myself off of the hook, and to realize that even in the moments when I am grabbing hold of my sanity, my child is learning.

We have been teaching our kids since they were born, and we can continue to teach them well, even if all of our expectations aren’t being met in an hour/day/week. We can do this, and continue loving ourselves at the same time. After all, we want the best for our kids, and that includes having a teacher who is relaxed and healthy. We have to provide care for our child’s teacher- especially if it a role we are filling ourselves.

With Love-

Christina

www.classroomtohomeroom.blogspot.com

Christina is a former public school teacher who is detailing her transition from the classroom to homeschooling on her blog.

5 Comments

  1. I loved reading this post. As a former homeschool mom of one son, we did a lot of what you described here. We never found being at home lonely as our son was and still is dry creative. We read a great deal and listened to books on tape as well. We were active with a homeschool group and went on field trips with them every month. It also allowed us to travel extensively. I homeschooled him for 8 years before he went to a traditional high school. He’s now 25 and living in LA, CA and is in the film industry. I’ll always treasure my years with him. It was a true blessing to our family life! God bless you and your son on your homeschool adventure!

  2. I’m not sure my comment went through and I also noticed I’d misspelled my website 🙂 So, I’m posting again.

    I loved reading this post. As a former homeschool mom of one son, we did a lot of what you described here. We never found being at home lonely as our son was and still is dry creative. We read a great deal and listened to books on tape as well. We were active with a homeschool group and went on field trips with them every month. It also allowed us to travel extensively. I homeschooled him for 8 years before he went to a traditional high school. He’s now 25 and living in LA, CA and is in the film industry. I’ll always treasure my years with him. It was a true blessing to our family life! God bless you and your son on your homeschool adventure!

    1. Sounds like such a great time, you spent with your son. This is our 7th year, I don’t know where time has gone, it’s been so fast.

    2. Thanks for the response Joy! I am loving this journey we’re on and hope to look back with years of fond memories as you do! I’m glad the post brought those to the forefront for you. God bless you as well! 🙂

  3. Awesome article! I will have to schedule myself some socialization time soon!

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