When most people think of homeschooling, they automatically think of a large family. A family with at least five or six kids and a mom in a denim jumpsuit that has everything organized like a well oiled machine. While that stereotype still exists in some families, homeschoolers come in all shapes and sizes including a large number of families who now homeschool an only child.
Only children are often already thought of as spoiled and shy ( a social stigma that I find quite crazy) so when you add homeschooling into the mix you can often get some odd looks. Family, friends, and even strangers sometimes feel that attending a traditional school is the best option to provide socialization for the only child.
That is most definitely not the case. In this day and time there are numerous options to ensure that your only child is well rounded and has plenty of opportunities for socialization. Here are just a few of those ways:
- Join a sport. My little girl is involved in gymnastics and twice a week she gets to have fun and socialize with kids of all ages. She has even made really good friends with two different little girls who are in different grades.
- Know the Public School Calendar. We don’t necessarily follow the public school calendar, but I do know when the kids will be off of school. You can use this to your advantage and make play dates for your kids on those days. When are the schools in your area off for Spring Break? Maybe you can take a day and have a friend over for a day of fun or a field trip.
- Participate in community programs. Go to story time at the library, go bowling, join a youth center. There are probably a lot of free or low cost activities available in your area.
- Join a Co-op. There are numerous co-ops around that range from park day get togethers and field trips, to teaching full academic courses. Co-ops are as diverse as homeschoolers so it may take a little while to find one that suits you, but many find them very useful. If you can’t find a group that fits your needs, you can always make one.
- Get to know your neighbors. In this day and time people seem to be very to themselves, help your child make friend and socialize by meeting your neighbors and playing with the kids in the neighborhood after they get out of school.
- Go to the park or find another free activity in your area. Unfortunately,there are not too many kids in our area, but there is a park close by. By going to the park my little girl has the opportunity to play and meet a variety of different kids, some we get to see over and over and others she only plays with once or twice.
While homeschooling may not be for everybody, please don’t think that just because you have an only child that you are unable to do it. Keep in mind that day after day in traditional public school the kids are constantly told to stop talking that school is for learning not socializing. In every day life your child is introduced to a variety of different people, with a little effort you can make sure that there are plenty of opportunities for your only child to socialize. Yes, you can homeschool an only child. Katie blogs at Daily Life http://daytodayvirtualschooling.blogspot.com/ where she talks about homeschooling, her little one’s gymnastics, and caring for her grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.