Are you teaching an Only? You’re not alone! When we returned to our homeschool community, I was surprised by the increased number of families with only one child. Being accustom to large homeschool families, I am happy there are more of us “onlys” to support each other. Like the mothers of many, mothers of only children have our own special challenges with teaching, curriculum, and administrative duties to name a few.
Teaching an Only:
Teaching an Only has its pros and cons. The child has the undivided attention of mom (or dad) which means more time can be spent on the his favorite subject or the subject he struggles with the most. However, having an Only means you are the teacher and playmate. Any games that are played during school hours will be played with the parent which can be a pro or a con.
Curriculum for an Only:
Curriculum for an Only is not a challenge since most curriculum is designed for the use of one child. Printing worksheets for one child is less expensive than printing for multiple children. Some subjects may have group projects, which becomes a challenge when there is only one. I improvise by either being KJ’s partner or skipping it entirely.
Administrative Duties for an Only:
There are administrative duties involved with homeschooling whether we like it or not. Some states have minimum requirements for homeschoolers, while others require more. In my home state, we are only required to provide a Letter of Intent to the local school board. No matter what your state’s homeschool laws are, it is wise to keep detailed records. Maintain a list of curriculum used, books read, field trips, attendance, grades, and copies of any worksheets/tests and written compositions. Should there be any question related to your child’s education you will be prepared.
Attendance records and gradebooks are designed for multiples for use in a traditional classroom setting making them impractical for the homeschool of one. Because I have not found a gradebook for one child, I created one – complete with space to list curriculum, related field trips, and notes. I can print one for each subject, and keep up with resources used. Everything in one place for each subject. Keeping up with the administrative duties daily or weekly will reduce the end-of-the-year scramble. Get your specially designed gradebook here.
Homeschooling an only child is not without its challenges, but it can be done and done well. I improvise when necessary, attend field trips that are relevant to our school, and utilize our local libraries, including special events/classes to enhance KJ’s education.
If you believe you are called to homeschool your only child, but are hesitant, know that you are not alone- the Only Community is on the rise.