5 Disadvantages to Only Child Homeschooling

recently shared with you 5 Advantages of Homeschooling an Only Child and I truly think there are many reasons why homeschooling my only child is the right choice for our family.  Some would say that it’s easier with one than with multiples and in some ways that may be very true. In other ways, maybe, not so much. In other ways, there are disadvantages to homeschooling an only child.

5 Disadvantages of Homeschooling an Only Child | Renée at Great Peace #homeschooling #homeschoolmoms #onlychild #ihsnet


I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t share those with you as well. The reality is there are advantages and disadvantages to every homeschooling situation. That’s because life comes with both pros and cons.

But, we can’t allow the disadvantages to hold us in fear and prevent us from doing what we feel in our hearts is the right choice for our children. Can we?

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Five Disadvantages to Only Child Homeschooling

1- No Multiple Child Discounts
When you homeschool an only child, you will find that many classes, field trips, and ticket purchases come with multiple child discounts. You, having an only child, are not eligible for those discounts.

That’s not to say I don’t understand why such discounts are offered, it’s just to say that you may find that your single child bears a greater financial burden than a child in a multiple sibling household when it comes to extracurricular classes and activities.

No Older Sibling Teaching a Younger Sibling
Because you are homeschooling an only child you will find that you are their go to when it comes to learning. Yes, of course, as a homeschool mama you are to oversee the teaching of your child.

But, when there are multiple children the oldest can read to the youngest or they can practice math drills with each other. When your homeschooling an only, that isn’t an option.

Dad can help at times, but the majority of the day learning exercises will fall to you, the homeschooling mom.

Your Expectations May be Skewed
Moms of multiples learn from experience to alter their expectations with each following child. Moms of only children set their expectations for the only child, therefore as the child gets older the expectations may be harder than the child’s ability.

On the one hand you may be appropriately challenging your child, on the other hand you may end up pressuring them to do more than they are able and without having siblings for comparison, you may not know it.

That being said, every child is different, you know your child best, and most often you can adjust as you need to and as you see they have need.

Just be aware that you may need to adjust your expectations if you see your child is struggling.

Only Child Stereotypes
As a homeschooling mom to an only child you will face some specific stereotypical biases.

  • Many will think your child can’t be socialized.
  • Many will think your child is spoiled.
  • They may think that your child is lonely.
  • Or, they might think you are failing your child.

None of these things are true, but many people outside your home may perceive them to be true. Be prepared for some very biased opinions.

You will be Expected to Be the Most Flexible in Your Friend Group
In your homeschooling group of friends you will find that those moms of multiple children who have to be in 5 places at once will expect you to be more flexible with their time.

You do have an advantage here in that you are only having to get one child to various activities while they may be transporting 5 or more to various activities.

On the one hand, you want to be a bit flexible so that you are able to provide social opportunities for your child. On the other hand, remember to set limits.

Your family time, your homeschooling time, is just as important to your family as theirs is to their own. 

Homeschooling an only child is a blessing. Your family unit will be strong and you will rely on each other in ways that can’t be explained to families of multiples. I grew up in a family of 4 siblings so I do understand how multiple child families operate. But, knowing where some of the pitfalls can be can make the decision to move forward with home education a bit easier.

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This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s Things No One Tells You about Homeschooling.

5 Disadvantages to Only Child Homeschooling

6 Replies to “5 Disadvantages to Only Child Homeschooling

  1. Hi Renee…

    So true! The one disadvantage that I’ve seen (this is my first year with only one child homeschooling) is there is no sibling competition (even if Mom is not participating). There was a lot of adjustment in the beginning as my son always wanted to be done first with his school work. Something we didn’t realize until she was gone. At first, and still sometimes now, my son is not as motivated. That is a draw back for sure. Good post!!
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  2. Biggest disadvantage for me is: All day every day we spend just the two of us. I find it hard to fill the long day so I find he spends more time than I’d like watching his favourite shows on Netflix or playing his xbox. It seems we are always battling screen time. He is not one to sit and read for hours or play lego. He will play on his own but not for long he always wants me to play games with him. I tire Of being his only playmate. I know, I sound like I’m seriously whining!When there is a break from his regular activities our days get waay to looonng! How to fill our days with more unstructured play time for him without me having to supervise would be delightful!

    1. I agree it can be tiring being the only playmate of an only child. I will say for me it’s gotten easier as he’s gotten older. He doesn’t need as much play time as he used to and when we do play it’s generally a “play” that is more stimulating to the mind. Like board or card games. I also came to the realization that for my son, screen time isn’t a bad thing. He plays games that are creative like Minecraft. Since he has a desire to become an architect when he grows up I’m seriously OK with screen time that inspires him toward his goal.
      I’ve also noticed that he’s good at self monitoring his play time. He never stays on one activity too long before he opts for something else.
      It’s different with every child of course, but know that as they get older, I’ve found the “playmate” issue becomes less of an issue.

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