Advantages Of Homeschooling Your Only Child
Many parents of single children toy with the idea of homeschooling their child at least once during their child’s tenure at school. The trend of homeschooling is indeed catching on with growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. It is estimated that there are currently two million children coming under the homeschooling program. They are reported to be performing on par with regular schoolchildren at college, universities and at work.
Jessica, parent of an only child who wanted to homeschool her son, gathered a long list of pros and cons from her interactions with other parents who were homeschooling their children. “I wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing. A school is a place where my only child can be with other children. I didn’t want to deny him that. At the same time, the advantages of homeschooling attracted me a great deal,” she says.
Choose Your Pace, Choose Your Subjects
Your only child will have the educational freedom to choose what he wants to learn and in a pace that he finds comfortable. You can customize the syllabus for your child according to his needs and abilities. (check if your state has any restrictive legal requirement in connection with this).
“I find the homeschooling system very supportive of the child and his needs” says Mariam, mother of a seven year old only child. “My daughter Pat loves science. We do science experiments, go on nature walks, explore the environment around us and create our own worksheets. She simply loves doing what we do. She is my one and only and I want to go all out to nurture her interest. I don’t know if any school can nourish her love for science as much as my husband and I do.”
“The morning rush to catch the school bus…it all seems to belong to some distant world now,” smiles Mariam, who has been homeschooling her only child for the past two years. However it may take a little while to really settle down to an “absence of a rigid routine” before you can enjoy this freedom from timetables and rules of an educational institution.
“It does not mean no work gets done; only you take a longer time to explore what works for you and your child. Believe me, it can be a luxury. I love being with my only child in other capacities than just a mother,” adds Mariam. For Zach homeschooling meant greater stability. “We have already moved thrice, across states in the past two years. It has been crazy. Thankfully our child had to contend only with changing neighborhoods and not schools too. Since we were homeschooling our only child, we were able to give greater support to him during this time of upheaval and change.”
Bullying, peer pressure, teasing, competitive feelings are real issues that can mar the experience of a regular school for a child. Particularly for parents of only children, these issues often take nightmarish proportions (and probably rightly so) considering the deep care and protectiveness they offer their child.
Many parents of single children do worry about the adverse affect of wrong peer group at school on their child. Confidence, self-esteem, pride, self respect are qualities that have to be nurtured by the school too and if the school fails in providing a conducive environment, the parents can take the next step of doing the schooling for their child on their own. “Girls, I feel, are more susceptible to peer pressure, teasing and bullying,” says Vincent. “I took my girl out when I found her constantly unhappy or bored at school. Being on her own seems to do her a whole lot of good” he concludes.
In many families, spiritual and religious beliefs are integral to their daily lives. Homeschooling is an option for those families who wish to nurture in their children their spiritual beliefs.
Understanding the child’s needs more closely and being available for them close by is the greatest advantage of homeschooling. This aspect of homeschooling program wins the greatest favor from parents of onlies. The program provides the necessary leisure and opportunity to foster better ties with your child.
It is not just the very young children who benefit from the homeschooling program. “Moving my adolescent into a home schooling program was the best decision ever,” beams Julie. “He was frustrated with the early waking hours, jibes from his friends about his weight, heavy homework schedules and lack of rest. Now three months into homeschooling and his rebelliousness and destructive behavior have reduced drastically,” she concludes.
While homeschooling does have its advantages, it has its downside too. Read on to find the negatives of home schooling your only child.