Only Child
Homeschooling an only child doesn't have to be an isolating experience. Rather, it is an excellent way to meet the unique and specific interests and needs of your child in a way that is not possible in a school setting. Here are some strategies to keep you and your child engaged, active, challenged, and involved.
Resources
Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo
Only children don’t have to share bedrooms, toys, or the backseat of a car. They don’t have to share allowances, inheritances, or their parents’ attention. But when they get into trouble, they can’t just blame their imaginary friends. In Only Child, twenty-one acclaimed writers tell the truth about life without siblings—the bliss of solitude, the ache of loneliness, and everything in between.

In this unprecedented collection, writers like Judith Thurman, Kathryn Harrison, John Hodgman, and Peter Ho Davies reflect on the single, transforming episode that defined each of them as an only child. For some it came while lurking around the edges of a friend’s boisterous family, longing to be part of the chaos. For others, it came in sterile hospital halls, while single-handedly caring for a parent with cancer. They write about the parents who raised them, from the devoted to the dismissive. They describe what it’s like to be an only child of divorce, an only because of the death of a sibling, an only who reveled in it or an only who didn’t.

In candid, poignant, and often hilarious essays, these authors—including the children of Erica Jong, Alice Walker, and Phyllis Rose—explore a lifetime of onliness. As adults searching for partners, they are faced with the unique challenge of trying to turn a longtime trio into a quartet. In deciding whether to give junior a sib, they weigh the benefits of producing the friend they never had against the fear that they will not know how to divide their love and attention among multiples. As they watch their parents age, they come face-to-face with the onus of being their family’s sole historian.

Whether you’re an only child curious about how your experiences compare to others’, the partner or spouse of an only, a parent pondering whether to stop at one, or someone with siblings who’s always wondered how the other half lives, Only Child offers a look behind the scenes and into the hearts of twenty-one smart and sensitive writers as they reveal the truth about growing up—and being a grown-up—solo.


From the Hardcover edition.
Homeschooling an Only Child
Socialization in the Singular
What’s the minimum number of children required to homeschool successfully? If you’ve ever wondered whether you can homeschool an only child, this podcast is for you! HSLDA President Mike Smith discusses socialization for the only child and how you can home educate well.
Can You Homeschool and Only Child?
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.
Homeschooling an Only Child: The Pros and Cons
Large families make up one of homeschooling’s stereotypes–a line of eight or more children, all following obediently behind Mom and Dad. Those of us who have been homeschooling long know both the truths and the realities of this picture. The truth is that plenty of families, large or small, find a way to make homeschooling work beautifully for them. But what about families who only have one child? Is homeschooling really an option for these parents and children? To find out, let’s take a brief look at the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling an only child.
Homeschooling an Only Child
Looking around at the homeschool families you know in your co-op, support group, or church, you might observe that most consist of more than one child. In fact, a 2006 National Center for Education report found that families with three or more children make up 62% of the homeschool population. If you're one of the few with an only child at home, you may be asking yourself the question, "Can I homeschool my only child?"
Why Homeschooling an Only Child Rocks!
Homeschooling is challenging for multiple reasons. But overall, an only child family is the perfect scenario for homeschooling. If you look back in history, one-on-one tutoring was the preferred method of education. so while there are minor disadvantages, the advantages far outweigh them.
Encouragement from the Other Side
There’s nothing to lift the spirits like having someone come alongside to say, “Keep it up! You can do this!” If homeschooling seems a little daunting today, listen in as Mary Healy and Shannon Healy, a mother and daughter that have completed the home education journey, join host Mike Smith, on Home School Heartbeat.
Homeschooling an Only Child
Two questions are asked with surprisingly equal frequency: "How can I teach more than one child at a time?" and "How can I homeschool my only child?" It is true that the only-child presents his own unique situation to homeschooling. While it may be simpler to prepare and execute lessons for only one student, there are also many educational scenarios in which only one student presents a distinct disadvantage.
The Voice of Experience
When you embark on a new adventure, it’s important to know what’s ahead. If you’re thinking about homeschooling an only child, listen to this podcast. In it, a mother and daughter join host Mike Smith to share their experience with home education for one.
Homeschooling An Only Child - Part 1
"Only" children lack even the fellowship of siblings; therefore, especially if they have a very social personality, friendships must be found outside the home. For better or worse, traditional school is where many children make their friends, an option obviously closed to homeschoolers.
Homeschooling an Only Child
When we made the decision to homeschool, the questions started again. Can you homeschool an only child? How do you homeschool an only child? Don’t you want to send her to public school for socialization? What about friends? This essay addresses these common concerns.
Homeschooling the Only Child
We are a unique breed. The family that has an only child. Look around, most families have 2 0r 3 children. Then in homeschool world we are quite the exception. Even stereotype concludes that homeschooling families mostly have 5, 6 or 10 students. So an only child who is homeschooled is considered strange.
Homeschooling an Only Child
Do you ever feel like every homeschooling family you've met has at least five children? If you have an only child, don't be intimidated--you, too, can homeschool! This podcast features a discussion lead by Mike Smith about the benefits and challenges of homeschooling an only child.
Homeschooling Only Child
I don't have any sisters or brothers, so I can identify with those who are homeschooling an only child. Growing up, well meaning friends and strangers encouraged my single mother to "give" me a brother or sister, saying that I was surely lonely, or destined to become spoiled rotten.
Homeschooling an Only Child
Homeschooling is a great educational option for only children! And despite the concerns about the lonely only and unsocialized homeschoolers, your only child can thrive as a student and as a person when taught at home.
The Education of an Only Child
The Parents Review was a magazine that was sent to parents and teachers of Charlotte Mason's schools and correspondence-type homeschools between about 1890 and 1920. This article, by Clement Parsons, was written in 1901. It does contain some interesting ideas about raising an only child, although many concepts will be dismissed as out-of-touch with contemporary thought on the issue. Thus, it should be read in the context of its time.
Challenges of Homeschooling an Only Child
Your family is simple – mom, dad, child. Homeschooling an only child has to be simple, right? You can get through all of the daily assignments without having to worry about teaching the other siblings, or bouncing a baby in your lap. This isn’t quite the case. Instead, homeschoolers of an only child face their own unique challenges.
Getting Your Homeschool Out of the House
When you’re homeschooling only one child, the house can be a little confining some days. The secret of home education, though, is that it can happen anywhere! So where are you going to take your homeschool today? Mike Smith offers a few suggestions in this podcast.
Homeschooling the Single Child
Homeschoolers report that it is sometimes more difficult to homeschool one child versus two or more children. Many parents report that it is easy to place too much pressure on a single child, as the child is the sole focus of the parent’s day. Clashes may also arise between a parent and a single homeschooler as they are together for a large part of the day. Both parents and single homeschooled children report that they sometimes feel smothered by each other. Some children also feel lonely.
Homeschooling Only One with Donna C
This website is a clearing house of resources, gathered to help those with one student on their homeschooling journey, as well as the new homeschooler.
Homeschooling an Only Child
Do you homeschool an only child? Despite the horrific stereotypes, educating your singleton at home is a great option. Enjoy this youtube video presented by Jimmie Lanley, describing these stereotypes and countering them.
Blogs about Homeschooling an Only Child
A Net in Time Schooling
A homeschool mom and her only son share their homeschooling adventure.
I Am a Princess, All Girls Are
This lovely blog chronicles the journey of a grandmother homeschooling a single granddaughter.
Ozark Ramblings
This blog chronicles the joys of raising and homeschooling an only son.
A Learning Journey
This homeschooling journey is shared by a mom who is homeschooling her only child.
Cabin in the Woods
Diane Knect is homeschooling an only child. Share her experiences with raising her daughter Grace in a homeschooling small family.
Our Homeschool Reviews
This blog shares the experience of homeschooling an only child.
Our Journey
Jenni Ryan shares resources and life experiences about raising a single child and homeschooling.
A Dining Room Education
Rhonda Clark blogs about life homeschooling an only child.
Ben and Me
Marcy shares her life with her son Ben, an adopted only child, who she is homeschooling.
Support for Those Homeschooling a Single Child
Only One Child Homeschooling
Are you homeschooling an only child? Or perhaps your other children are grown (or infants) and there's just one whom you homeschool? Or are your other children in public or private school and there's just one at home during the day? Is there such a large age gap between your children that each child feels like an only? Then this group is for you. All homeschoolers are welcome: new, old, school-at-homers, and unschoolers.
HomeSchooling Singletons
Homeschooling families with singletons have issues that are very unique. Join in to offer support and encouragement to other single child homeschooling families.
CM for One
CM for One (CMfor1) is a message board for families home educating an only child and using the Charlotte Mason Method.
Homeschooling Your One And Only
This group is for parents who are currently (or are considering) homeschooling their only child.
Home-Schooling the Only Child
Homeschooling an only child can be quite challenging at times. This group is open to anyone for support, enrouragement and ideas for those who choose the home-schooling road for you and your child. Although they are based in NC, anyone can join for support. They have a database that you can access to see who is in your state to get together with.
North Texas Homeschoolers of 1
If you live in the North Texas area and homeschool just one child, this is the group for you. Discuss all that makes this a great situation and exchange information.
Homeschooling Only One
HOO = Homeschooling Only One. Where a family's a family, no matter how small!© Homeschooling offers special challenges (as well as blessings) to those who have only one student. Find help and camaraderie here! We are a group of Christian homeschoolers, but have open arms to anyone who is in the same boat--homeschooling an only, a firstborn, secondborn, grandchild, etc.
Onlies-HS
This list is dedicated to families homeschooling only-children. These families have unique socialization issues and must often be super-creative in their solutions. Join this list if you are homeschooling a wonderful Only.
HOOville
Homeschooling offers special challenges (as well as blessings) to those who have only one student. Find help and camaraderie in "HOOville." HOO = Homeschooling Only One.
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Featured Resources

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A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way that will allow families to quickly maximize the opportuni...
A Reason For® Reading
A Reason For® Reading offers a series of over 100 Leveled Readers that provide small increases in difficulty from level to level. These colorful books feature Scripture stories and Christian value themes. Story Guides include high-frequency words, teaching ideas, discussion questions, and much more.
Great Lodges of the National Parks: The Companion Book to the PBS Television Series
Stand amid soaring Douglas fir in the great hall of Glacier Park Lodge or sit in the setting sun and gaze into the Grand Canyon at El Tovar. This beautiful gift book will transport you to the majestic lodges of our national parks to relive the glory of past vacations or plan adventures anew. This book and the PBS television series of the same title (to air in spring 2002) take armchair travelers into these architectural wonders and explore the surrounding natural beauty of our national parks. Lo...
The Well-Ordered Home: Organizing Techniques for Inviting Serenity into Your Life
Organizing the home is one of those desirable and beneficial activities that remain elusive for many. This practical guide explains the many benefits - physical, emotional, and spiritual - of an organized home and shows how to attain them. Breaking down the process into 50 steps, the author uses her own experiences as a psychologist and professional home organizer to help readers clear away not only the physical clutter but the psychological blocks that encourage it and hinder organization. She ...
Noah Webster's Reading Handbook
This is the historic text (originally called the Blue-Backed Speller) that has been updated to teach phonics/beginning reading. The blends and words in this reader are arranged to correlate with the sequence in which the special phonics sounds are taught. This reader is an invaluable teaching tool for children who need extra practice in the application of phonics rules. Find out more here.