Avoiding a Child-Centered Home 

Falling into the trap of a child-centered home is a genuine concern for any parent, especially the parent of a homeschooled only child. With our child being such a large focus in our lives, how do we maintain the proper authority in our home? We make sure her responsibilities at home increase as she grows in maturity and capability. We set the example of serving others by reaching out to widowed neighbors and sick friends. We model a healthy marriage where we make time for each other as husband and wife, and we remember to put God first above all else.

One-on-One Time with Parents 

Homeschooling already affords valuable quality time between parents and children. When you are homeschooling an only child, that time becomes perhaps even more beneficial. With Mom and Dad as our daughter's main playmates, we are able to focus on specific skills such as sharing and playing fairly.

Once, my husband came in from work and found our daughter and me competing fiercely in a game of Candy Land. Although it's sometimes tempting to let her win, we know that if we let her win every time, she won't know how to lose graciously. We are able to devote much of our time to nurturing her gifts and interests and embedding our values into her heart. Regardless of family size, that's one of the greatest blessings of home education.

Freedom and Flexibility 

Every child is a one-of-a-kind creation of God, and homeschooling gives us the opportunity to focus on the uniqueness of each child. That's another one of the blessings we enjoy regardless of family size—which means families like ours can benefit from homeschooling just as much as anyone.

We cherish our freedom of choice. We choose the curriculum that compliments our child's learning style, the amount of time devoted to a subject, whether our child will learn cursive or Latin, workbooks or manipulatives, and on it goes.

Different Sizes, Same Blessings 

As I've emphasized again and again, the blessings of homeschooling are basically the same regardless of family size. Some of the blessings may show themselves in different ways, and to some extent they may vary in quantity. For example, a family with more children enjoys more built-in opportunities to teach qualities such as cooperation and sharing, while a family with only one child enjoys greater flexibility in choosing curriculum and activities. In both cases, the versatility of homeschooling allows families to customize their approach, take advantage of built-in strengths, and fill in potential areas of weakness. That's the great advantage of homeschooling—it's customizable, flexible, and adaptable to the unique circumstances of your family.

The Journey Is Worth It 

What I want to impress upon you, the parent of an only child wondering about pressing on, is this: the journey is still worth it. It may take some creative thinking on your part, but if God has given you the vision to homeschool your child, nothing is impossible with Him. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).  

Pamela Greer lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and 12-year-old daughter. When the homeschool day is done, she can be found curled up with a good book, hiking in the great outdoors, gardening, or baking. 

This article was originally published in the Mar/Apr 2010 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Sign up now to receive a FREE sample copy! Visit www.HSEmagazine.com today!