Monday, March 28, 2016

Tips for Homeschooling an Only Child

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents
Homeschooling an only child can seem like an easy task, but it actually presents with some interesting challenges. Many programs are designed in such a way that they are best fit for multiple children. Then there's always that pesky childhood socialization question we homeschool parents are always inundated with from nearly everyone we encounter. So, how do I homeschool an only child?


PRODUCTS

I've noticed a lot of products are geared to family or co-op settings, where multiple students would be able to utilize the products-thus saving families money. This is great if you have multiple children, but it's not so great for just one. It's really not great when those products are specifically for multiple students to use and require group type work. Sometimes I can get a group together to use a specific product and we can split the costs, other times I have to play the part of other students. This was easy with Here to Help Teaching where it was sort of designed for multiple student settings. The Sentence or Not Sentence part would be great for families or co-ops, but I had to play the part for us. 
There are times I will use a family plan in lieu of an individual plan. A+ Interactive is a great math program that offers mini classes, individual courses, or family plans that cover unlimited access across all grades. With special needs, our ability level may vary across grades. A set up like A+ Interactive is great since I can go back to an earlier grade anytime I need for a refresher, or go up a grade for more challenge. The individual grades are a great bargain for solo students.

Products like Dynamic Literacy WordBuildOnline work well with our only child status because it's an inexpensive price for as long as needed to complete the chosen level. This way we can take our time, and even spread it across grades if needed.

I try to find products that I can resale if needed or possible, especially if we find it just hasn't worked well with us. Not all vendors allow for resale, so always be sure to check with the copyright before doing so. I want to get the best bang for my buck, and get long use out of everything we use. Since we won't be reusing it in the future, I can often get a premium used price out of anything we sell because it has only been used once. On the flip side, I can also easily buy the score keys or non-consumables and save money by purchasing only the consumables new for several products. 

SOCIALIZATION

Oh this always gets me. My child is super socialized. He can interact with people from all different backgrounds, and that is true socialization. We go out and about all the time, trust me...he's socialized. BUT he's not the best at sharing his toys, and he's a natural born leader preferring to do things his own way. This isn't necessarily a bad set of traits to have-unless you are 10 and your friends want to share your toys. He also LOVES to have his friends over to play the games and such he can't do alone or with me. Sometimes that's exhausting to his friends!
It is a little harder to ensure he has age appropriate interaction. We have to make it a point to invite friends over, go on outings, playdates, etc. But at the same time, it's great to be exposed to others who aren't in your immediate family. So while some may see this as a negative, I see it as a positive. 


TIME


Our school day goes by pretty quickly. There are some days that may take 3 hours, but there are others when it only takes him an hour or just over to complete everything I have had planned for that day. Since I'm only focusing my attention on one child, I can easily help him when needed and we get finished much quicker than we would if there were multiples to keep track of. 


Summary

Basically, homeschooling an only child is AWESOME! You can save money by buying non consumables used and only purchasing the student packs. You can get higher value for your used products since they are used a lot less. You only need to buy 1 of everything, and it's usually really easy to tweak products intended for multiple students. Friends help fill the sibling void, and your child will grow up being a natural leader. And you have more time to devote to teaching, thus you get finished faster than you would otherwise. 

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1 comment:

  1. These are great ideas! Buying one of everything definitely helps the homeschool budget!

    ReplyDelete