Written by Diana Stone of Diana Wrote
All homeschool days are unique – but ours are perhaps even more so than most. My daughter Bella is 5, and an unexpected only child. While so many of us (with good reason) scoff at the constant mention of socialization and homeschool, that issue bears a little more weight around here.
As a military family, we’ve watched many good friends move, while sharing memories with our families hundreds of miles away. I do think about my daughter’s relationships, both close and fleeting.
This fall, I struggled with the decision to homeschool just Bella.
In my mind, I’d always planned to homeschool with little ones underfoot, a baby strapped to me, laundry piling up. I work really well under pressure; even as a teacher I loved being busy and having a large classroom. Faced with a very independent learner, I felt helpless to know how to go about focusing all my effort on one.
In our case, we decided to use the “village” mentality where family and friends couldn’t be.
I enrolled my daughter in an hourly class on our military post for a few hours each week. What started as a fill in between sitters who came to our home, became a stable and loving environment.
Bella plays alongside children younger and older than her, with several teachers that love her and support us homeschooling. Several of the children in her class are also being homeschooled – and are only children.
This fall we joined a Girl Scout troop that is just for homeschooling families. Almost every week there is a meeting or activity where the girls run outside, learn to make different crafts, and memorize songs and pledges.
At home, we use a very relaxed schedule for learning with the Memoria Press curriculum. It’s classically based, and we’re slowly working through the Kindergarten year. She was past the Pre-K, so we went with Kindergarten and know we’ll probably be working through it next year as well.
In Texas, she isn’t required to be in school until the age of 6, so we’re not in a hurry.
Our mornings have lots of playtime, running errands, and reading. Two times a week Bella goes to her hourly class in the mornings so I can work from home.
The afternoons are spent outside, on walks, doing crafts, and having her help me start dinner and do simple chores. This is also the time for our Girl Scout meetings or a sport she’s involved in for that season.
In the evenings, she spends time with Daddy caring for our animals – we have a lizard and hamster that she and my husband love to watch and play with.
At bedtime, we snuggle up and read anything from Frog and Toad, in which she can sound out blends, to Little House in the Big Woods. I’m teaching her to listen and make pictures in her mind from the words and not depend so much on pictures.
Slowly, all of us are beginning to adjust to a homeschool life with an only child. As I navigate how much to push, when to leave her be, and how to balance my time with her and encouraging her to spend time on her own, she also finds her own way both at home and with others that bring new experiences to her life.
It’s not always easy, it wasn’t my ideal plan, and our homeschooling is off to a much different start than I imagined. But in the midst of pain and struggling to find a new way of life, there is joy in watching my daughter learn alongside me.
We walk this homeschool road together, and make it ours alone.
Are you also homeschooling one child?
How things have changed: