Kim,KimR wrote:I am starting CTG with my ds(11) this year. I have two boys but my older ds(19) is no longer living at home. You could say that younger ds is being raised as an only child. This is our first year homeschooling and were both excited!
My question is, are there others out there with an only child? I've noticed that most families that post on here have two or more, which means the siblings can play together. My concern is ds getting lonely for other kids his age to hang out with. He basically only has mom to entertain him during the day.
During the school year, all of his friends are in school. He is friends with another boy that homeschools, but schedule conflicts don't always allow them to get together. We are joining a homeschool co-op, but that only meets twice a month. He is involved in other activities; Scouts, a choral group, etc. These all meet at night.
What do you single child families do so your child doesn't get bored and lonely for other kids? Thanks
Our family is very similar to yours, and my ds (10) is soon to be the only one left at home. We are about to begin our 3rd year with MFW. I know there are moms of "onlies" using MFW, as well. (Heather?)
Homeschooling one child is easier in some ways, but it is also more difficult in some ways. My ds is an extremely social child -- I think those "caboose" kids tend to be. Here are some of my experiences:
1. I spend all morning "with" my child. He doesn't crave siblings or age-mates as much as he craves just having "somebody" to talk to. I don't try to do housework or other things during those 4 hours (unless it works out, but it's not in my plan).
2. He needs to do "loud" things in frequent bursts throughout the day. A quiet household can seem like an endless monotony to ds. He plays me a song on the piano every hour or so. We have videos from the library around lunchtime or in the afternoon. We sing a hymn and/or a fun song every morning. We have a lot of things we like on CD. We have fun with the MFW games, play math games, etc. We "try" to go out on nature walks & bike rides (Minnesota isn't the easiest for that!).
3. I always allow ds to be off school at the same time as the neighborhood kids. I actually ask him "which school" he wants to match, as there are so many different schedules. Last year, no matter what schoolwork wasn't done, he was "off school" at 3:30 just like the neighborhood kids -- those kids may not have finished everything at their school but still get home at 3:30. (There is an occasional exception - I'll call that "homework" or "detention" LOL!) So there are usually kids at our door at 3:30 & they know he is just as available as anyone else. One friend even gets dropped off at our house by his schoolbus on occasion.
4. When I choose "social" activities for ds, I make sure they fulfill that goal. Some co-ops and other groups have a classroom feel or an individual family focus, but I look for a group feel. I looked for kids interacting with one another.
5. I set up days for ds to spend with family members on occasion. He does a downtown field trip with my sister when she visits every fall. He's gardened with my other sister. He's had a "fun day" with his Godmother. We've went to lunch with dad. He's even spent several days with grandparents in the country or fishing with his Godfather -- a luxury that homeschoolers can enjoy :o)
6. I know a homeschool mom of an only child down our street. She said he was lonely but they now realize that he really learned a lot about himself during those years. She said that in elementary school, they schooled all morning, took a long walk or bike ride at lunch, & he spent most of his afternoons in his backyard studying nature or in his basement building things.
Anyways, when he got to 6th or 7th grade, she did start "teen Fridays" and invited all the homeschoolers in our town to her home on Fridays. It started out as a board game night, with only a few attendees. It progressed to a different activity every Friday with his parents chaperoning. Now they are full-grown high schoolers & do many things together. It's been wonderful to watch.