Home educating the only child(11 Posts)
Anyone done it? My DD is 3 and I'm 99% certain I'm going to home ed her. For a long time I thought I couldn't because of her status as an only but of course that's just silly.
Unfortunately, no one seems to talk about the particular challenges (I understand the advantage is not having anyone else competing for time and attention) and all of the home educating bloggers seem to have more than one!
So, resources, experiences, anecdota?
I am already in touch with the local home ed community and am lucky enough to have several friends with children DD's age-ish who are starting home ed to at least give it a try. Ironically a couple of them have only children, but there's never time to chat about this stuff when the kids are around.
Anecdotally, the people with a single child do more of the HE meet ups, where those of us with multiples are more hit and miss (because there are layers of social just happening automatically within a family).
THat's it, really.
i have an only, shes 7 in nov, its never been a problem. we know at least 3 other family's with only s.
we tend to go out 3 times a week so that's 2 days to play in her room, do baking, read books ect.
it works for us, we can do what we want on a whim.
I HE my only - he's nearly 15 and we've been doing it for five years.
We started off by going to lots of home ed stuff but do less of that now. Ds prefers community activities (martial arts, drama, science groups etc) and doesn't have much contact with home ed groups now, especially as he's focusing on exams these days. Don't forget you don't have to stick with specific HE arrangements and the usual things like brownies, swimming lessons, sports etc are still available to you. Some schools open up their out of school activities to non-attendees as well so that's worth considering. There are loads of opportunities out there if you look for them.
I expect what ommmward says is true about more meet ups for single children as we probably see more of a need to ensure they meet with other people, whereas in larger families it will seem less urgent.
A lot will depend on where you live and how active the HE network is there. Maybe you could join your local HE people and have a nose around, see what's going on and join in.
I have just one left at home - has been a year now, and with at least another year more. It's different to having 3 or 4, certainly, but rather pleasant
I have friends who are HEing only children - one is 17, one 13. They have great lives - they get the whole of the parents' effort and available money spent on them, rather than having to share with siblings.
Thanks everyone. My angst is probably all wrapped up in the strange societal guilt I feel for having an only in the first place!
Nevermind that I have a brother I never got along with and never talk to now who lives 300 miles away.
Er. 3000 that is. 300 wouldn't be far at all.
I have limited experience, in that my older daughter was "only an only" until she was seven. But we enjoyed it. We did go to tons of activities, partly because it seemed to be what she needed but also because we could! (I am somewhat in awe of parents who can get several children out the door at the same time on a regular basis. What with toddler naptimes and five-year-old meltdowns and various people having colds or needing to go to the dentist or really just not wanting to go out, I am very impressed with the juggling required.)
Aside from parents' needs - e.g. if parents are working or caring for elderly relatives or whatever - an only child who is home educated has the luxury of having her interests followed up immediately and completely. You want to find out about Triceratops? Great, let's go to the library or look it up on the internet right now this very minute, and spend as long on it as you want; there's no one hanging on my sleeve wanting a snack or a story. Your new best friend lives a long walk away from us? That's OK, we can make it a priority to see her regularly if it's important to you. And we can stay for hours at her house if we are invited to do so. You want to sit on the floor painting right now? That's no problem; no toddler is going to come running through the paints. You want to sit and look at the pottery for half an hour in the museum? Fine, I'll wait while you do that. You and your pal want to play in the stream at the nature reserve all afternoon in the rain? All right, I've got my flask and umbrella and book.
It was lovely. I guess you could say she was a bit spoilt, but it seems to have done her no harm.
I think one thing with an only, in school or out of it, is that it is good to give them something they can do without adults, preferably with a group of children they have to 'get on with' on a reasonably regular basis. Not at 3 obviously, maybe not even at 5, but sooner or later it is a good opportunity to learn a set of skills that no amount of focussed adult attention, or time to do whatever you personally find interesting, can provide. Things like sharing and taking turns, dealing with other people's personalities and moods, that kind of stuff.
Brownies, cubs, Sunday school, football team, music group, whatever there is in your area. Your HE community might allow for that kind of opportunity to come naturally, but if it is mostly in the presence of parents, then that is different from being expected to cope without your parent always being there (in your mind at least) to protect and supervise, or even from being with X's parents on playdates etc.
It's also good for a child to know that their parents have a life which doesn't completely revolve around their every whim - of course their needs are paramount, but not perhaps every wish. So, put things into your weekly schedule because you want to do them, not just the absolute necessities of life, but your interests and hobbies. if you could study something as well, then that would model an attitude that learning is a lifelong thing, which will subtly help her to feel it is totally normal to find things interesting and to want to study them.
Hello, mine is the only one whose been H.ed and her siblings are grown up and mostly away now, so almost an only.
If I could say there was any problems it would be her growing precociousness. She has always been a bit like this but it seems to have doubled since H.ed
I think its the closeness to one or both parents over a sustained time, which can be more than a schooled child spends with parents.
This is only our experience though, I'm sure others have different or no problems at all.
I think as long as they are sociable and mix with other children you can keep an even keel. My dd does more activities than when she was at school because the socialising seemed very important to us and her.
Hope this helps a bit
Whoops! Got ill and never came back to the thread. :P
But thanks for all your insights everyone. I'm feeling quite keen on HE right now as DD has suddenly turned a corner from toddler into a pre(home)schooler and wants to learn seemingly everything.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.