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Homeschooling A Gifted Only Child

homeschooling a gifted only child

There are always challenges and advantages when you’re homeschooling. If you’re homeschooling just one child, you often face unique challenges and concerns. For example, teaching social skills can be more difficult with only one child. 

When your only child is gifted, well, that comes with its own awesome advantages and new concerns. 

Homeschooling A Gifted Only Child

So what’s it really like to homeschool a gifted child? Keep reading to get the scoop on what has made it challenging. Plus, some of our favorite advantages and success stories while homeschooling a gifted only child.

Homeschooling One Child, Not Necessarily An Only Child

A common misconception about homeschooling an only child is that most people think you have only one child. There are many kinds of reasons why you may choose to homeschool a single child, including age gaps and special circumstances. Whatever the reason, homeschooling only one doesn’t mean there’s only one.

Homeschooling A Gifted Only Child

There are lots of reasons a parent might choose homeschooling one child but not the others. Oftentimes these reasons include health concerns for the child or special needs that make traditional schooling less than ideal. Sometimes parents choose to homeschool one child because of special gifts or talents. For example, many elite gymnasts and dancers are homeschooled. 

Sometimes you find yourself homeschooling an only because the other kids have completed their education or there’s a significant age gap between siblings. The bottom line is that homeschooling only one child doesn’t mean that’s your only child and that’s ok too.

Homeschooling A Gifted Only Child

Is It Helpful To Homeschool A Gifted Only Child?

If you’re still deciding whether or not to homeschool your gifted only child, you might have some concerns. There are a lot of myths about homeschooling gifted children and myths about homeschooling an only child too. 

One of the top myths about homeschooling a gifted only child centers around socialization fears. Homeschoolers are not strangers to the socialization argument, but it can be a real concern when you’re homeschooling only one child.

If you’re your child’s only source of socialization throughout the homeschool day, you might have extra concerns about homeschooling a gifted only child. After all, gifted kids can struggle with anxiety, emotional intensity, and existentialism.

So how do you socialize an only child while homeschooling? The easiest way to overcome this hurdle is by teaching your child to interact with people of all ages. Then, take advantage of opportunities to socialize and practice social skills in the community.

Homeschooling A Gifted Only Child

What It’s Really Like To Homeschool A Gifted Child Alone

Homeschooling a gifted child alone can definitely be challenging at times, but there are also lots of amazing successes that come from this unique journey. 

The Struggles

There are a few unique challenges to homeschooling with just one child. For example, homeschooling only one child means I have to be on all day. There are no other kids for her to interact with during a typical homeschool day and there are no other teachers to ask questions.

Sometimes I struggle with the stress of being all the things. I’m her teacher, her mom, her playmate, her sounding board, everything.  At times, wearing all those hats can be difficult. This unique stress is called safe place fatigue and it can be exhausting. Being your child’s everything all the time isn’t always easy. 

Taking time for myself when possible is a really important part of regrouping at the end of a long day or week. It really helps me to prepare for another week of homeschooling my gifted only child.

The Successes

Homeschooling an only child can be great! We have had a lot of challenges, but we have also experienced a lot of amazing successes. Here are some of our favorite things about homeschooling our only child:

  • More one on one time together
  • Less cost means we can do more 
  • Homeschooling an only takes less time
  • Opportunities to build strong relationships

Homeschooling A Gifted Only Child

In the end, homeschooling a gifted only child is not without its challenges, but there are many amazing advantages and opportunities too. I absolutely think that the advantages far outweigh the challenges.

homeschool checklist

This post was written by Jessica Waldock, a longtime reader and friend of Raising Lifelong Learners and the owner of The Waldock Way. Her daughter Emily is one of the most creative and precocious children I know and her giftedness is a part of all they do in their homeschool. 

Jessica has created a free grade level checklist to help parents plan their year that are ideal for parents of asynchronous kiddos. You can take a peek at skills that are typically taught for all grade levels and use these to best plan for your homeschool year (and they are FREE – thanks Jessica!)