Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

OT: Homeschooling an only child

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    OT: Homeschooling an only child

    I know I am in the minority here, but are there any other MP users who have homeschooled an only child? I would love to connect if so. Feel free to private message me if you'd rather do that.

    #2
    Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

    My youngest is 8 years younger and his older brother goes to public school, so he is the only child to homeschool using Memoria Press.
    Miah - married to Warcabbage, 3 boys, BS in social work, AS in Electrical Engineering Technology

    Evulcarrot - 18, freshman in college, Medical Technology , mild autism
    Battlebroccoli - 17, lives with grandma, attends a special high school program part time
    Doomsprout - 10, highly verbal moderate autism, anxiety, motor delays, sensory processing issues - SC 4 with R&S 4

    Comment


      #3
      Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

      I'm homeschooling my "fourth only child". With 9.5 years between my youngest two kids, and with all my olders moved out as adults, my late in life baby is being homeschooled as an only child.

      It is HARD. In many ways, it is harder than when I had my older three at home. Am I pulled in too many directions with an only child? No. Do I *constantly* doubt my homeschooling decision, since he is an only child? Yes, 1000 times yes. every. day.



      Jen
      DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

      DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

      DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

      DS, 11 yrs, 6M: complete!

      All homeschooled.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

        Since my oldest works independently via a public virtual school, I am really homeschooling only one child. I often wonder if I will be able to keep doing it when my oldest is graduated and it is just the 2 of us. I hope so, but it does present many challenges, especially as she gets older and needs more independence from me and more time with friends.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

          Originally posted by Jen in Japan View Post
          I'm homeschooling my "fourth only child". With 9.5 years between my youngest two kids, and with all my olders moved out as adults, my late in life baby is being homeschooled as an only child.

          It is HARD. In many ways, it is harder than when I had my older three at home. Am I pulled in too many directions with an only child? No. Do I *constantly* doubt my homeschooling decision, since he is an only child? Yes, 1000 times yes. every. day.



          Jen
          That's "encouraging" to hear you say that you feel it's hard. I think homeschooling only one has unique challenges (just like homeschooling a large family has lots of challenges). I'm finding the workload to be a pretty full day (we're doing 3A with a cottage school one day a week plus we add in a couple different subjects), but my literal only child needs/wants to interact with other kids. We are involved in extra-curricular and church activities, but it's still tough to find time to work in social time with other kids. We unfortunately don't have neighborhood kids or live near-by close friends. And we moved only a little over a year ago so we are still making friends and getting settled in our new city.

          klwalukas
          I often wonder if I will be able to keep doing it when my oldest is graduated and it is just the 2 of us. I hope so, but it does present many challenges, especially as she gets older and needs more independence from me and more time with friends.
          I wonder if we will be able to do this in the upper grades too. There are many things we like about homeschooling, but I, like many, never set out to homeschool and am always struggling some with the decision. I don't think I know anyone who has homeschooled an only child all the way through. If that person is around here on the forums (or even if you are homeschooling an only child in high school) I'd love to hear from you!

          Comment


            #6
            Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

            Just posted your comment and a link to this thread over on the high school board in hopes of catching some more moms there, as well. <3
            Festina lentē,
            Jessica P

            SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
            @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
            S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
            D · 8th
            D · 5th
            S · 2nd

            Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

            Comment


              #7
              Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

              I'm homeschooling an only child. And like Jen, I continually question myself and my homeschooling decisions. I don't, however, think that we're alone in this! I think as soon as we become moms we start to second-guess ourselves. (Or perhaps I'm just more neurotic than most.

              We also just moved to a new area a few months ago. Because we haven't had a chance to develop local connections just yet, I compromised this year and enrolled DD in some enrichment classes one day a week at a homeschool co-op. It's tough to squeeze class into 4 vs. 5 days each week, however, we school year-round and I think the social opportunities are worth it. DD has other extracurriculars and church for additional time with other kids.

              We plan to continue homeschooling all the way through. This is a plan, of course, and plans change. I realize that. But it's definitely a strong desire. And homeschooling almost feels like a one-way ticket -- as soon as we decided on classical education, found MP, and settled into a plan completely customized for DD's needs and our lifestyle......it would be tough to give that up unless life circumstances made that necessary.

              Next year, as we move into middle school, I'm considering dropping the co-op day and enrolling DD in one or more MPOA classes. I love the idea of the upper-level expertise (teaching Third Form independently makes me quake in my boots) as well as the opportunity to interact with other students.

              Know that there are kindred spirits out there! PM me if you'd ever like to chat more.
              DD 12 - MP6A

              Comment


                #8
                Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                My son is an only child. He attended Kindergarten in the public school, but we have been homeschooling since first grade. He is in ninth grade this year. I think you are right that there are challenges when raising an only child. They are just different challenges. When he was younger, there weren't any siblings to play with so everything fell on me. And he wasn't great at entertaining himself. There are a large number of homeschooling families in our area, and we were able to connect with them. We found families with boys around the same age. They had a lot of the same interests and everything just clicked. Even though we have only known them about six and a half years it feels like we have known them forever. I love that he has more time to connect with them and do all the things he enjoys that he would never have time for if he were in a public school setting.

                We have used some MP products over the years, but last year was our first year doing full MP cores. I love it! I love reading the Iliad, Odyssey, As You Like it, and even studying Latin and Intro to Physics with him. Enjoy is not the word he would use when speaking about school work, but I still have hopes that someday he will appreciate the time and education
                Tina R
                DS-14 (9th grade) -9M, MPOA Intro to Physics

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                  Originally posted by KariE View Post
                  I'm finding the workload to be a pretty full day (we're doing 3A with a cottage school one day a week plus we add in a couple different subjects), but my literal only child needs/wants to interact with other kids. We are involved in extra-curricular and church activities, but it's still tough to find time to work in social time with other kids. We unfortunately don't have neighborhood kids or live near-by close friends. And we moved only a little over a year ago so we are still making friends and getting settled in our new city.

                  Exactly our situation, too. I can fill the days with a quality work load (after all, I'm homeschooling only one child), I can enroll him in activities and church activities, but we are new to the area and here seem to be few children in our neighborhood. In fact, none.

                  Where I struggle is that, having raised three other moderately adjusted adult human beings, I happen to understand the Big Picture all too clearly: I am not raising a "human intellect", I am raising a whole person. In my homeschool-of-one, I cannot provide "community", so the virtues which develop by living in a community get no practice at all. Worse, my son and I are both introverts and quiet. Some days, I realize that it is 7pm, our extrovert hasn't arrived home from work yet (dad), and the house has been completely silent since 2pm. It's... strange. I've often joked about how I'd like to live in a library, but it actually does feel like that some days.


                  I don't have solutions to this, by the way. I wish I did. I, too, think that by middle school, I will begin to enroll him in MPOA classes or other local opportunities. I may not even try to homeschool high school, unless something amazing comes along. My older three kids did all eventually step outside the house to complete their education in high school, so I am not adverse to that. As I say, I am reminded that I am raising an ENTIRE person, not just his intellect. Ironically, HLS, the school we'd all love to emulate, is an "away school", even if we only-in-the-home schoolers use it that way. I think on that often.



                  Jen
                  DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

                  DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                  DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

                  DS, 11 yrs, 6M: complete!

                  All homeschooled.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                    I've got an only (12 years younger than next sibling) here. We're doing fine. We are both introverts. But. We are doing homeschool because we have no choice- i.e. local brick and mortar wouldn't fit socially or academically.

                    We've always taken it one year at a time. We don't lack for social outlets, in fact dd tends to opt out of local homeschool group activities, even though she has friends who will be there. I teach homeschool classes and she participates in sports and music year round. I work afternoons and she comes to work at the library with me 2-3 days a week. She enjoys talking to the librarians and homeschoolers/ afterschoolers who wander through the library. Often, she volunteers when she's finished her studies. DH comes to take her to sports. None of us get home until around 8pm most evenings. DH's schedule varies, so once or twice a week we have lunch together at home.

                    ETA- While we know dd won't ever attend a local PS school, she'll probably do extensive dual credit or maybe a residential school for junior/ senior year.
                    Last edited by bean; 10-05-2017, 08:34 AM.
                    Bean. Long time MP user.

                    DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                      Originally posted by Jen in Japan View Post
                      Exactly our situation, too. I can fill the days with a quality work load (after all, I'm homeschooling only one child), I can enroll him in activities and church activities, but we are new to the area and here seem to be few children in our neighborhood. In fact, none.

                      Where I struggle is that, having raised three other moderately adjusted adult human beings, I happen to understand the Big Picture all too clearly: I am not raising a "human intellect", I am raising a whole person. In my homeschool-of-one, I cannot provide "community", so the virtues which develop by living in a community get no practice at all. Worse, my son and I are both introverts and quiet. Some days, I realize that it is 7pm, our extrovert hasn't arrived home from work yet (dad), and the house has been completely silent since 2pm. It's... strange. I've often joked about how I'd like to live in a library, but it actually does feel like that some days.


                      I don't have solutions to this, by the way. I wish I did. I, too, think that by middle school, I will begin to enroll him in MPOA classes or other local opportunities. I may not even try to homeschool high school, unless something amazing comes along. My older three kids did all eventually step outside the house to complete their education in high school, so I am not adverse to that. As I say, I am reminded that I am raising an ENTIRE person, not just his intellect. Ironically, HLS, the school we'd all love to emulate, is an "away school", even if we only-in-the-home schoolers use it that way. I think on that often.



                      Jen
                      Even though I am not homeschooling an only child, I relate very strongly to the issues presented in this thread. I don't want to minimize the special challenge of homeschooling only one child, though, so I hope it is ok I jump in! Sometimes, to me it just seems like homeschooling is specially suited to large families, even though that must have its own set of difficulties to overcome. It just seems like, when one has a small family, the built-in social opportunities that naturally exist in a large family just aren't there, and life is too lonely on a day to day basis. There is also the issue of large families already having such strong connections with one another by default, that it can be hard for smaller family to know how to fit into that social paradigm, leaving us often on the outside looking in. What Jen said so well: "I cannot provide "community", so the virtues which develop by living in a community get no practice at all," is exactly the problem I have been wrestling with- even though I do have two children. I try to compensate for the fact that my kids are lonely for the companionship of being part of a group, by enrolling them in many activities, but this presents its own set of problems- namely huge expense, and the investment of a huge outlay of time in the evenings and weekends after the long days of schooling. Ironically, this leaves us with almost no time left over for just getting together with friends. Trying to do it all is too exhausting, the burnout is incredible at times.

                      I too am just not sure about high school. I really want to do it, and the social opportunities that are out there are often something better kept away from-!- it just feels like such a dilemma- like two choices, neither of which are going to be great, so which one is "less bad?" I think I have come to accept that the reality of the situation involves making the best of a situation that cannot be fixed or made ideal. But that is life, isn't it? The cross of loneliness is specially burdensome though. I wish there was a solution. I have even considered trying to move to be near a school that would share our values, but it just isn't feasible.
                      Last edited by Girlnumber20; 10-05-2017, 08:51 AM. Reason: clarity
                      DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
                      DS 10, using 5M core

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                        I am also going to ask "permission" to jump in and just offer a word of support, and also a little perspective that I hope will be of help. You are all right in supposing that having a large family provides a lot of activity within the house, more noise, more chances to build character, etc. But as others have mentioned, homeschoiling itself is a lonely road, and one that always presents the worry of, "am I truly helping my kids, or harming them, because of this lifestyle?"

                        Because it is still really hard to convince children their siblings really are their friends. They differ so much in personalities, ages, stages, and interests, that it very often can leave them feeling "alone" - just in a big crowd; does that make sense? And the challenges of taking a whole crew ANYWHERE for an activity often make us just stay at home instead.

                        I think the preteen years are where I have worried the most, especially for my introverted kids. I pray, and pray, and pray for them to have the avenues they need to come out of their shells. So far, God has provided what was truly needed right at the time it was needed, but not without a lot of patience, and a lot of sadness when we had to move away from that.

                        I know you guys with an "only" have a unique situation, and I don't want to detract from that at all. But I think the chances of you guys having a well-adjusted adult emerge from your homeschools are definitely equal to ours!

                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                        DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                        DS, 16
                        DD, 14
                        DD, 12
                        DD, 10
                        DD, 7.5
                        DD, 5.5
                        +DS+
                        DS, 18 months

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                          This is a fun thread. I think everyone can participate, because different comments resonate with each reader.

                          As I sit here in my house, my son is working quietly and diligently on the coveted "independent work". It has been completely quiet in my house for over an hour. Like, so quiet, we can hear each other clear our throats from three rooms away. There are those of you who are now swooning, maybe even turning toward envy at this description.

                          Don't.

                          Having raised my older three in a busy, happy homeschool, I do know what this child is missing. However, I am, for now, content with my decision. I have decided that at age 9 (10 on Monday), he will benefit from the positives of home learning. There will be time, once his character and sense of virtue are more mature, to allow that a more social environment will be the best way to bring about nurturing his whole person, not just his academics. Of course, I do have the benefit of perspective when I look at my 20 Somethings.

                          While this kid is an introvert, he thrives on games and competition. While he is a rule setter (and follower), he will need to learn that not everyone *will* follow the rules. Options like op-op can help with this, but one day a week for a few short (controlled) classes really doesn't allow for a fullness of truth. Very likely he *will* go to some classes away from the house at some point in his secondary education because they will then become the piece that he is lacking. The only real "trick" I have been able to come up with as a homeschooling family is to take each year at at time, determining where and how each child needs to grow toward a completeness of the whole person. Admittedly, I did end up deciding that all of my olders needed to go to "away school" at some point, but each decision was unique to that PERSON. Their ages were different from each other when they left the home learning environment, the reasons behind the decisions were each unique.

                          Sorry! Not to hijack the convo! Would just like to acknowledge that homeschooling an Only has its own challenges. When the house is so silent that you can hear a pin drop, you can also hear the naysaying voices in your head much more clearly, too.



                          Jen
                          DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

                          DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                          DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

                          DS, 11 yrs, 6M: complete!

                          All homeschooled.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                            I do worry about my son's group exposure as an almost only. His brother is a senior this year so we will be alone next year and that worries me in unique ways. His brother and I share a lot of geeky interests and he is the source of a lot of my big person conversations. The youngest is in that 9 year old boy stage of fart jokes and other grossness.

                            As an aside, is this stage just built in to boys? He doesn't get it from other kids his age.

                            Complicating matters for us is that he is on the autism spectrum, what would have been called severe Asperger's before the change, but now occupies a confused spot between level I/II. He also has a severe case of General Anxiety Disorder. Up until recently he couldn't cope with group settings unless they were very controlled, so putting him in public school would have been an act of cruelty. Up until about 6 months ago he had zero interest in other people.

                            This last year he has grown so much emotionally. He wants to be with other kids finally. He goes to OT, PT (he's such a toe walker that the range of motion in his legs is terrible), and hippotherapy speech, all on Monday. He's in orchestra and musical theater weekly. Martial arts monthly through a special needs activity group (they do a lot more activities, but unfortunately most of their stuff is on the same days as the music stuff and he won't give that up.) He's in a special needs baseball program in the spring that he loves. The problem with all those classes are that except for baseball they are all very teacher led, which was great in the past, but now isn't quite enough.

                            Our library runs what amounts to a 2 hour playdate for upper elementary kids every Saturday so I've been thinking of making that part of our week. I just get so tired of going, though, that I hate to commit to another thing.

                            Academically speaking, I find it all too easy to get behind with him. Just having the one seems to make it harder to take skipping a day as seriously as with more. On the otherhand he can't tag team me to avoid work! Without much space competition it is easy to fall into his school stuff spreading over the house.

                            It's both a blessing and a curse to have only him to focus on. I can get him in just the right set up, but I can over focus on it, too.

                            Having only one makes the expense of the cores look a lot more expensive than if I knew I had six more coming along that I would only have to buy the consummables.
                            Miah - married to Warcabbage, 3 boys, BS in social work, AS in Electrical Engineering Technology

                            Evulcarrot - 18, freshman in college, Medical Technology , mild autism
                            Battlebroccoli - 17, lives with grandma, attends a special high school program part time
                            Doomsprout - 10, highly verbal moderate autism, anxiety, motor delays, sensory processing issues - SC 4 with R&S 4

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: OT: Homeschooling an only child

                              Originally posted by Miah View Post
                              It's both a blessing and a curse to have only him to focus on. I can get him in just the right set up, but I can over focus on it, too.

                              This.




                              Miah, your comment on the expense cracked me up. Homeschooling only one now seems downright economical. I find myself "may as well"ing more and more things into my cart since I am buying at only 1/3 my previous rate, but I do understand the sentiment behind your comment.





                              Jen
                              DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

                              DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                              DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

                              DS, 11 yrs, 6M: complete!

                              All homeschooled.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X