Last year I 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.
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There are disadvantages to only child homeschooling as well. 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 and 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?
Five Disadvantages to Only Child Homeschooling
- 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 children in multiple sibling households 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 in and day out 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 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.
- 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 1 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.
This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s Things No One Tells You about Homeschooling.