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Stacey B
09-19-2011, 04:15 PM
We're doing it and I love it but I know the "sunny days" aren't always going to be around. What are some of your experiences? [she types are she is about to run off to the mountains for the afternoon]

JinxieFox
09-19-2011, 06:02 PM
Well, let's see... I homeschool my only (he's 8 1/2; he'll be 9 when I see him next in January) and the biggest challenge is getting him to run around outside or play with his toys. My only gets a little lonely. Heh. When he is here with me (every 4 months), I make every effort to get him to the playground and Youth Center (on base) regularly. The homeschooling part is actually the easy part here. ;) It's getting him out to be in the company of children, which he loves, that takes the most effort and thoughtfulness on my part.

Are you a member of the One is Our Lucky Number (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/group.php?groupid=2) group here on Secular Homeschooling? It doesn't get much action, but everybody there is also homeschooling an only.

Cafdog
09-19-2011, 06:08 PM
Me! I'm homeschooling my 10 year old (and our only child). It was a HUGE decision for DH and me. She's as social as her mother - and I fretted about the social isolation...for both of us! We are 8 weeks into our first year of HS, and I do think the days can get a bit lonely at times. It is still pretty hot here in Central California (high of 97 today - ugh), so we are trapped inside the house with the AC running for part of the day. My daughter is reluctant to play outside without friends over and participates in a indoor sport (fencing) so I've been pretty aggressive about setting up playdates with her pals so she gets the outdoor recess time she misses.

hockeymom
09-19-2011, 06:32 PM
Yep. I can't imagine how other people juggle multiple kids with multiple needs, but I guess having more than one kid is just a different dynamic. No reason to think either is easier or more challenging.

What do you mean by "sunny days", in relation to your child not having siblings?

Lak001
09-19-2011, 10:03 PM
I HS my only child. I do think it is much easier to hs a single child. But she gobbles up all my attention, and still wants more :( How do you deal with that??

ginnyjf
09-19-2011, 10:50 PM
I homeschool an only, my 9-year-old son. He's as introverted as I am so our biggest challenge is making sure we strike a balance so we don't spend all our time holed up in the house, because we could both do that.

Catharsis
09-20-2011, 01:25 AM
My 7 y/o son is an only also. He would love to be out and about with friends everyday. We are still working on getting a good balance in him happy and mom happy.

mommykicksbutt
09-20-2011, 10:47 AM
I have two onlys. I say that because they are 12 years apart. Daughter was 17 when she graduated high school and sonny was 5 and was in kindy. My sister and I were both onlys, we were 10 years apart and had nothing in common. Her earliest memory of me is from when she was in high school and I was in the Navy and came home to visit. Anyway, onlys have a great way of entertaining themselves. When there are sibling playmates that aren't present for one reason or another that is when the complaining occurs that they don't have anything to do and are bored "entertain me!!!!" My sister experiences this with her two boys (8 and 6 years old & in churchy school - poor guys)

hockeymom
09-20-2011, 12:21 PM
Anyway, onlys have a great way of entertaining themselves. When there are sibling playmates that aren't present for one reason or another that is when the complaining occurs that they don't have anything to do and are bored "entertain me!!!!"

With all respect, are you joking? Someone should inform my son about this, apparently.

PetVet
09-20-2011, 03:07 PM
I also have a singleton and find he is great at entertaining himself - inside, outside, house, barn, pets, legos, dirtbike, etc. With my health issues, I was unable to keep him at home before he reached this level of independence, so he attended PS for JK, SK and grade one.

I thought he might be lonesome, so we try to do something with other HSers at least once weekly, he attends an afterschool youth group at our local rec centre for a couple of hours Mon-Fri, he is in more sports then you can shake a stick at, and I schedule playdates with PS friends as often as possible. So far, so good...

skrink
09-20-2011, 05:08 PM
I have an only. That hadn't been the plan, but it's worked out well. She is a challenging kid, and I can't imagine trying to keep up with the needs of another child on top of everything else. She goes back and forth from wanting constant interaction/entertainment to being happy to just do her own thing. I never know which it'll be from one day to the next.

Lak001
09-20-2011, 05:39 PM
Skrink, looks like we both have daughters with very similar personalities! Mine also goes back and forth between wanting unlimited attention, to being happy with all by herself doing something she likes. And I can't guess what she'll be like the next day. :)

I read somewhere that the only children are very attached and bonded to parents, and carry that bond through all their adulthood. I hope that's true.:)

skrink
09-20-2011, 07:52 PM
Yes, Lak001, they sound a lot alike! Keeps you on your toes, for sure.

I do hope the bond lasts. It's a very different relationship, and I think in some ways only kiddos grow up faster because they spend so much time with adults. Particularly hs'd kiddos, of course. I used to be sad about her not having a sibling or two, but shared genes don't guarantee a bond. Neither my husband nor I are close to our sibs.

Lak001
09-20-2011, 08:45 PM
So true about shared genes not guaranteeing a bond. My brother and I have been estranged from a long time. Totally disconnected. It's as bad as not having a sibling. So, yes, I do believe having a sibling won't guarantee a life-time bonding with that sibling. It's all taking a chance, imho.

tamitakesphotos
09-20-2011, 10:45 PM
I'm another one with an only. 7 yr old boy. This is our first year, so I can't pass on sage advice, but we're also loving it. We've found a great local (well, as local as we can get being 15 min down the highway from the nearest suburb) hs group that is keeping us busy. I think we're both making friends! We usually have a couple of activities each week. Plus, I work outside the home a couple days a week, and he comes with me. It's grandma's office, so he's welcome there. It allows him to put his attentions on someone else for a while.

So far so good! I think I'll be knocking on wood, though.

mommykicksbutt
09-21-2011, 07:37 AM
With all respect, are you joking? Someone should inform my son about this, apparently.

Seriously Hockeymom, I'm not joking! Rarely do I ever hear, "I'm bored." For one he already knows that is not my problem, it is his, my job is not to entertain him. By now (he's 14) he knows that if he's bored then he needs to find something to do to entertain himself. Right now his go-to thing is a CAD program on his x-box that allows him to build worlds for others to play in. Before that it was legos and reading. Although he still does those things too as well as an assortment of other things. He is also getting to be very social and is old enough to go out on his own to his friend's homes and to the local youth center. When he was younger and he was "bored" I would get out an assortment of activity things for him to do and leave it to him to decide what to play with. At other times I would engage him with a game like boggle, yahtzee, or tangle. But for the most part he was VERY content to play with his legos and matchbox cars on his own in his room all day. Oh! and we don't watch that mind-numbing light box called television programing. The box only gets turned on about 1-2 times a week to watch a DVD movie. So it's not a babysitter/mind occupier like others I know use it for.

Miss Angela
09-21-2011, 11:37 AM
I too HS an only. She's a wonderful 10 year old (ugh almost 11). My other is a senior in high school. We're doing somewhat well. The local rec. center has a home school gym for 2 hours per week-and there are some kids after school to play with in the neighborhood. But there is structure in her day to complete her school work.

hockeymom
09-21-2011, 12:48 PM
Seriously Hockeymom, I'm not joking! Rarely do I ever hear, "I'm bored." For one he already knows that is not my problem, it is his, my job is not to entertain him. By now (he's 14) he knows that if he's bored then he needs to find something to do to entertain himself. Right now his go-to thing is a CAD program on his x-box that allows him to build worlds for others to play in. Before that it was legos and reading. Although he still does those things too as well as an assortment of other things. He is also getting to be very social and is old enough to go out on his own to his friend's homes and to the local youth center. When he was younger and he was "bored" I would get out an assortment of activity things for him to do and leave it to him to decide what to play with. At other times I would engage him with a game like boggle, yahtzee, or tangle. But for the most part he was VERY content to play with his legos and matchbox cars on his own in his room all day. Oh! and we don't watch that mind-numbing light box called television programing. The box only gets turned on about 1-2 times a week to watch a DVD movie. So it's not a babysitter/mind occupier like others I know use it for.

Lucky you! I imagine it does get easier as they get older, though I'm not holding my breath with my guy! :)

lakshmi
09-21-2011, 06:17 PM
Okay, I feel left out of this thread so I am going to try to connect by saying ... I AM AN ONLY... does that count? Also it might explain a few things... ;)

Stacey B
09-21-2011, 06:50 PM
Sorry I was gone sooo long (at least in board time). What I mean by sunny days is just that it's all going so well right now.

Lakshmi not only do I have an only but I am an only, I just couldn't figure out what to do with more than one ;)

I definitely have the days of being tired of being primary playmate but he's in a once a week enrichment program, we go to an Open Gym with other homeschoolers once a week and usually get together at least once a week more with homeschooling friends. If anything right now I wish we had more down time alone to focus on the learning he wants to do rather than traipsing around the city.

It's nice to know I'm not alone here though.

CAmom
09-22-2011, 06:54 PM
I have an only- 8 year old boy and it's our first year homeschooling. Though based on how it's been the last two months, I should say "I'm the personal chauffeur to my 8 year old while he lives out his extracurricular dreams!"

PetVet
09-22-2011, 08:57 PM
"I'm the personal chauffeur to my 8 year old while he lives out his extracurricular dreams!"

:_lol: love this!

Kateroo
09-23-2011, 02:26 AM
With all respect, are you joking? Someone should inform my son about this, apparently.

I'm very concerned about my ability to homeschool because of this. I have a 5 yr old DS and a 9 month dd. my DS has NO ability to play by himself. None. I hope that he can play a bit more with dd as she gets into toddlerhood, but right now, I'm with you in being the sole playmate for DS. It's exhausting and I can't handle much more playing good guys/bad guys all day!

OrganicFrmGrl
09-23-2011, 09:49 PM
I have an only too! I am in my second yr of hs'ing my 8 y/o ds. I think I have it a little different bc I am also on my 2nd yr in starting an organic farm so, nobody is ever bored. There is always building, land clearing, gardening to do and animals to take care of. The few times the words I'm bored were uttered the wood pile needed splitting! He is also in sports to get him off the farm which he loves!

Night Owl
09-25-2011, 08:09 PM
My son is an only, he is nine. We are starting our third year of home schooling. We are lucky in that he has a good friend who lives right next door. She is great about appearing at the door and asking him to play. We also have him enrolled in an after school program through his martial arts studio and he goes 2-3 days a week, 8 to 12 hours a week. One of his friends from PS, we don't see much anymore, but we have a standing movie night every other Saturday and invite different friends from PS, preK, after school, home school, and the neighborhood. I have a goal of him spending 15 hours a week with other kids and try to met or exceed it.

This year, we are trying to meet more home schoolers and try new activities or else we tend to get stagnant by mid winter. Sadly, it seems like I like the mothers or he likes the kids, or they live a zillion miles away. My son seems somewhat young for his age compared to kids in school, but too sophisticated compared to a lot of home schoolers his age. I'm feeling sorry for myself today.

hockeymom
09-26-2011, 05:46 AM
I'm very concerned about my ability to homeschool because of this. I have a 5 yr old DS and a 9 month dd. my DS has NO ability to play by himself. None. I hope that he can play a bit more with dd as she gets into toddlerhood, but right now, I'm with you in being the sole playmate for DS. It's exhausting and I can't handle much more playing good guys/bad guys all day!

I don't think I'd let that get in the way of your homeschooling plans. Honestly it doesn't bother me at all; sure it can be exhausting but it would be exhausting to deal with multiple kids too, just in a different way. For DS, nothing about his personality/disinterest in playing by himself changed because of homeschooling, he was always that way. I'm thrilled that we are such a close family and that he still wants to hang out with his mama. :)

Cafdog
09-26-2011, 03:17 PM
I have an only- 8 year old boy and it's our first year homeschooling. Though based on how it's been the last two months, I should say "I'm the personal chauffeur to my 8 year old while he lives out his extracurricular dreams!"

Me too! Do you spend hours in the car? Is this a California thing???

OrganicFrmGrl
09-26-2011, 04:44 PM
I thought I was the only one spending hours in the car. I think I live out of it sometimes. In WV everything is so far away so we have to leave so early to get to any practice or game!

Stacey B
09-26-2011, 07:48 PM
So after this last week I feel no need to worry about DS time with other kids, there is just too much to do around here, and he's not even signed up for a class. I just need to start saying no to offers, especially since some of them involve hours on the public bus when dh has the car for work.

Drew Campbell
09-26-2011, 08:49 PM
I have an only. She's much more outgoing than I am, so we've had to work hard to find out-of-the-house opportunities for her. She takes "specials" (art and music) at the local PS, does drama and dance, and is a Girl Scout. She's a challenging kid (sensory issues, some Aspie traits, very bright), but between my wife and me, we're able to keep her engaged...most of the time. ;-)

CAmom
09-26-2011, 11:43 PM
Me too! Do you spend hours in the car? Is this a California thing???

Hours and hours! Between the hours driving and the hours sitting waiting for this or that to finish, I am getting really good at waiting. And I've finished more books in the last two months than I have in the last two years!

My DS is very social and doesn't like to be home much. So he has classes two days a week at the charter umbrella we use, plus fencing lessons 2x a week somewhere else. Add in a park day usually and a field trip once a week and we are car people!

Riceball_Mommy
09-27-2011, 10:21 AM
I have an only as well, and I was an only too. Of course I have some family around me that would want to change my daughter's only status. I do worry about her being social, though she gets to play with her 8-year old twin aunts every weekend, and she tells me she has enough friends because she has them. I am hoping our homeschool group comes up with some activities we can join in for the fall and I'm hoping the spring co-ops are scheduled a bit better for us.

Cafdog
09-27-2011, 03:34 PM
So he has classes two days a week at the charter umbrella we use, plus fencing lessons 2x a week somewhere else.

My kid is a fencer, too. LOL I spend a lot of time sitting in the Cardinal Fencing Club. It's not the best-smelling room I've ever been in. Oy.

mommykicksbutt
09-29-2011, 04:51 AM
We loved fencing. Sonny did it competitively in San Diego (he was the youngest member of the local middle school's team). But now here in the little rural town in Spain that we live in they've never even heard of fencing (isn't that used to pasture live stock?). A closet full of equipment gathering dust now.

CAmom
09-30-2011, 12:39 AM
I'm surprised even in rural Spain that they don't know of fencing. Eduardo Sepulveda is a quite famous Spaniard who won a bunch of world fencing titles. My son's coach trained with him and his name comes up all the time!

Off topic, but I lived in Barcelona for several months, traveled throughout the country quite a bit and always feel a calling to return! Someday I'll get my little apartment back! Should have convinced the husband not to take a job in local government...

Eileen
09-30-2011, 02:53 PM
Not homeschooling an only, but I'm homeschooling only one of my two children. Sort of counts? I do like it. We'd have a hard time if they were both at home. I'd do it if I needed to, but as it stands my younger one is having a really positive PS experience in kindergarten.

Gabriela
09-30-2011, 09:25 PM
I'm an only and first year homeschooling my almost 9yo-only. Definitely not having more. My son participates in a twice weekly arts program - 5 hours x week.
He has a friend from the program that comes over some Saturdays, but that's about it. We don't really have a lot of time in our schedule for more than what we're already doing and,
because of where we live (rural Guatemala), there's not much more I could do for "socialization" anyway.

I don't worry about it because I know what it is to be an only child.
"Lonely" and "alone" are two very different things. Only children learn how to be "alone" happily. They won't surround themselves with people that they don't really like, because they don't need to (if they come from a loving home of course).

I cherish how much I love being with myself, that I am my best friend and that my mind is my favorite playground. Not to say that people with siblings can't feel the same way,
but only-children do get the extra space to develop a relationship with themselves from the very start. There are lots of advantages to being an only!

My son gets along great with adults and has no trouble participating in conversations with my friends, at grown-up parties, or with the many 20-something-yo volunteers that live with us.
He doesn't complain about not being around kids more often. We have a great time together and he is very good at entertaining himself.



Our situation is unique because of where we live, and for all I know, if we were living somewhere else, closer to more "compatible" families, I might make more of an effort to get him together with other kids.
He will probably make us move to a bigger town when he's older and needs a girlfriend (or boyfriend, or both, or whatever).

As an only child myself, I remember finding it much more difficult to get along with other children than with adults.
Especially coming from open-minded, educated, secular parents with really cool friends - getting along with the "other" kids was really hard.
(I really wish I had been homeschooled.)

Anyway, that's me going on too long again...

Glad this group exists!

Stacey B
09-30-2011, 10:31 PM
As an only child myself, I remember finding it much more difficult to get along with other children than with adults.
Especially coming from open-minded, educated, secular parents with really cool friends - getting along with the "other" kids was really hard.

Glad this group exists!

Sound like my childhood, my close friends growing up were the kids of my parent's friends, none of us went to the same schools but still to this day they are the people I am closest to.

mommykicksbutt
10-01-2011, 06:37 AM
I'm surprised even in rural Spain that they don't know of fencing. Eduardo Sepulveda is a quite famous Spaniard who won a bunch of world fencing titles. My son's coach trained with him and his name comes up all the time!

Off topic, but I lived in Barcelona for several months, traveled throughout the country quite a bit and always feel a calling to return! Someday I'll get my little apartment back! Should have convinced the husband not to take a job in local government...

You would think! But seriously, we could do fencing if we were willing to drive the 1 hour 45 minutes each way to Seville and back 3 times a week. Not something I'm willing to do at the moment.

CAmom
10-04-2011, 12:52 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't make that drive either! I have to drive 25 min each way to fencing and it makes me a little nuts. I'm going to the library today to get some audiobooks for us.

zcat
10-06-2011, 02:42 PM
I'm an only and first year homeschooling my almost 9yo-only. Definitely not having more. My son participates in a twice weekly arts program - 5 hours x week.
He has a friend from the program that comes over some Saturdays, but that's about it. We don't really have a lot of time in our schedule for more than what we're already doing and,
because of where we live (rural Guatemala), there's not much more I could do for "socialization" anyway.

I don't worry about it because I know what it is to be an only child.
"Lonely" and "alone" are two very different things. Only children learn how to be "alone" happily. They won't surround themselves with people that they don't really like, because they don't need to (if they come from a loving home of course).

I cherish how much I love being with myself, that I am my best friend and that my mind is my favorite playground. Not to say that people with siblings can't feel the same way,
but only-children do get the extra space to develop a relationship with themselves from the very start. There are lots of advantages to being an only!

My son gets along great with adults and has no trouble participating in conversations with my friends, at grown-up parties, or with the many 20-something-yo volunteers that live with us.
He doesn't complain about not being around kids more often. We have a great time together and he is very good at entertaining himself.



Our situation is unique because of where we live, and for all I know, if we were living somewhere else, closer to more "compatible" families, I might make more of an effort to get him together with other kids.
He will probably make us move to a bigger town when he's older and needs a girlfriend (or boyfriend, or both, or whatever).

As an only child myself, I remember finding it much more difficult to get along with other children than with adults.
Especially coming from open-minded, educated, secular parents with really cool friends - getting along with the "other" kids was really hard.
(I really wish I had been homeschooled.)

Anyway, that's me going on too long again...

Glad this group exists!

My 11 year old dd is very similar.
She seems very content as an only child.

sdvelochick
10-12-2011, 05:59 PM
I'm homeschooling my 7 year old son, my only one. Funny, seems like there area lot of 7 year old onlys being home schooled this year. This is our first year and so far so good. He is very strong willed, and so am I... so that doesn't always work well. But we persist and get our work done and still find time for fun. He takes come classes through the charter school we hs through and he is also active in scouts (not crazy about BS of America as an organization but a lot of his friends do it and his pack is OK with us not being religious). I find most of the time he is happy to play by himself. We get out and ride bikes quite a bit and he just started swimming because he wants to do triathlons.
I definitely think there are pluses and minuses to hs an only , but I think at the end of the day it will be far better than public school!