It was about a year and a half ago, when we decided to homeschool my daughter, now almost 3. At the time, we knew we’d start at preschool age and get in a few months to a year before adding to our family.
Life has completely tipped upside down since then, after losing our twin boys at 20 weeks into my pregnancy. We’re in the middle of an international adoption but even that is uncertain at the moment.
For now, Bella is an only child with no siblings in the near future. Although this wasn’t our plan, I’ve decided to work with it as best I can. Having her at home with me offers more time to bond and for me to share those little moments that go by so fast. We chose to homeschool since the preschools in our areas aren’t impressive, and we do it mostly by ourselves with no co-op near us. We do have friends that are homeschooling their children that we occasionally get together with, but for most days it’s simply Bella and I at home or out taking “field trips” to nearby farms, zoo’s museums, etc.
When we started homeschooling last month, there were the fears and worries I’ve read from almost every homeschool parent at some point:
- “Can I teach my own child?”
- “Will they learn to socialize?”
- “How will I know they’re learning?”
- “What methods do I use?”
Beyond that for me was wondering if it was ok to homeschool an only child. When I get on other blogs, I see moms who teach their 3, 4, 5+ children and understand that socialization happens with them, they all end up working with each other in different areas. With Bella, it’s just her and I. This makes for at times a harder scenario when she needs to learn to work on her own but I’m right there, but then it’s much easier to help her learn with no other distractions.
As a former preschool teacher, I took many ideas I used in my own classroom, and quite a few of the saved materials, and incorporated them into setting up a classroom for Bella in our playroom.
We’ve incorporated a curriculum with Before Five in a Row, or BFIAR, that is more language and literature based. It starts from age 2 all the way through high school, although we aren’t sure if we’ll homeschool past elementary and possibly middle. This curriculum takes classic children’s books and offers craft, science, simple math, and discussion ideas that can be simplified or added onto for younger or older children. I love it because it’s very much a preschool program – lots of learning, exploring, and teaching about the world we live in. It adds in motor skills but that isn’t the focus.
To make some of that weigh a little less on me, I try to plan playdates and outings as much as I can. Her dad and I take her to all kinds of things on the weekends. It gets a bit tough to schedule all of this with school, work, and home, but we have managed so far. I have a sitter who comes 3 mornings a week so that I can work, and then in the afternoon we have preschool. We have homeschool 2-3 days a week, I keep it the same amount of days as we’d have sent her to a public preschool.
I’d love to know if there are any other moms who homeschool just one child and what you do during the weeks with socializing. How do you feel about the amount of one on one time your child gets with you?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our homeschooling mom in Texas, Diana Stone.
The image used in this post is credited to the author.