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Shy Only Child, is Home Schooling a good option for them?

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    Shy Only Child, is Home Schooling a good option for them?

    I am wondering if anyone has experience with an only child who is a little shy, still early elementary school...would homeschooling be a good option for them? What about the concern that the child will not learn to come out of their shell or their comfort zone? Thanks for any advice!!

    #2
    Hello there! And welcome!

    You have an interesting question, and one which has not really come up here on the forum before, so I will be interested to see what other folks have to say as well. I do not share the experience of either being, or having, an only child, so bear that in mind. I will say, a couple of my kids (one in particular) have gone through stages of being great fun at home, but completely hiding in a shell around mommy when we are out among others. I appreciate homeschooling precisely because it does not force them out of their comfort zone too quickly, but rather on their own terms. I have seen that give them greater confidence when they do choose to venture out.

    My oldest would not let anyone hold her, ever. She was very clingy, and we moved a lot in her life, up until about five years ago. So close friendships were often not available. Subsequently, she and I are very close, and now that she is out in the world more, she reads people easily. She has a very good people sense, because she is so picky. My three year old is just like her. They are "old souls." I am glad they do not have to be in school, and I actually worry about them less than I do about my more gregarious ones.

    Just some musings for you....hopefully others will chime in too. Good question.
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

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      #3
      I do not have an only child. But I was one who was quite shy, and I can tell you that all my years in public school did nothing to help me come out of my shell. It wasn't until I was in college and living away from home that I slowly became less shy and a bit more comfortable in my own skin. So though I can't help you with homeschooling a shy only child, I can say that plenty of shy people leave public school still shy in spite of spending the better part of their lives surrounded by peers.

      And remember there are plenty of community based opportunities to help your child meet others and expand their comfort level in much safer (probably more so from his perspective) ways than full day schooling. Sunday school, athletics, classes at the YMCA or community center allow children to engage in activities of interest with like minded children in small chunks of time so comfort levels can grow slowly.
      Brit - Catholic homeschooling mom to 5 - 3 big boys ('01, '03, and '06), daughter ('10 - Down syndrome), and one more boy ('15 - always wound up, and non-stop movement and noise)

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        #4
        I have a shy, "only" child. I put only in quotes because I do have two children, but with a large age gap. My oldest graduated high school (homeschool) in spring 2013, my youngest started K in fall 2013. I think homeschooling is the best option for her. Due to her personality and abilities / struggles I am quite confident she would have fallen through the cracks at school. There will be struggles, but that is true of every situation. In the end, we feel it is worth it. I don't know what the school system is like where you're at, but here it really comes down to we are not willing to sacrifice her education just to put her into a classroom setting.

        As for coming out of their comfort zone, that has more to do with living life than attending school (in my opinion). Experience is the best thing for that, and having an only really can give us an advantage there. We can get school done and go out and do things. In my experience the most valuable things for getting her to come out of her shell and learn some interpersonal skills have been free play with other kids - we found a group that meets a few times a month at local parks - and Tae Kwan Do. We attended a co op for K and 1st, and won't be going back next year. Co ops can be great things, just do your research. If it is run by parent volunteers, classroom control and academic quality can become real issues.

        If you have any specific questions, or if I have not been clear (we just got back from vacation, my mind is a little muddled), please feel free to ask.

        Dawn

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          #5
          Originally posted by mimidough View Post
          I am wondering if anyone has experience with an only child who is a little shy, still early elementary school...would homeschooling be a good option for them? What about the concern that the child will not learn to come out of their shell or their comfort zone? Thanks for any advice!!
          Hello there!

          It's been many moons since I had an only child, but I moderated a panel of homeschooling moms who teach only children, so this video may offer some advice.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRSCEKBlj7w
          Plans for 2022-23

          Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

          DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
          DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
          DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
          DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
          DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
          DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

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            #6
            I have a shy only child that has thrived in the homeschool environment. She gets plenty of social encounters through weekly kid activities (church, swim lessons, play dates, American Heritage girls....) as well as standard activities like errands, field trips, etc. I think all of the one on one contact during homeschooling has helped give her a sense of security and confidence. Some folks assume that a shy kid would become a hermit when homeschooled, but I think it's exactly the opposite. I think she'd be lost in the shuffle in school and her confidence at home has allowed her to academically and socially succeed. I've asked her a few times if she wishes she could head off on the school bus she sees each morning, and the answer is always an emphatic "no way! I love being homeschooled!"

            We just started using MP last week and are really excited about this new path. My only thought about having an only child is that I'd love to connect in person with other MP users! This forum has been a great resource for advice and for knowing there are kindred spirits out there, however. Wish I could make it to the gathering in Louisville this year, but I don't think we'll be able to. I'll cross my fingers for next year!
            DD 15 - MP 9

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