I am often asked, “Can I homeschool with only one child?”
My immediate answer is absolutely! Yes, you can!
When I am asked about our experience, and I say that we had five children, I also say that when the oldest four had finished homeschooling we were still homeschooling the youngest on his own for two years!
Many parents are concerned that they only have one child of school age and that by home educating them, they will miss out on forming friendships.
There is a perception that those who homeschool have large families.
My research showed this is not the case and that over 50% of families enrolled in our home education program were homeschooling only one child, even though they may have other children who went to school.
Number of children doing home education per family:
- 1 Child: 51%
- 2 Children 31%
- 3 Children 14%
- 4 Children 2%
- 5+ Children 2%
It is interesting to read the statistics for all Australian families.
- There are 977,000 (37%), one-child families, and 1.1 million (42%), two-child families in Australia today.
- There are 395,000 (15%,) three-child families, 103,000 (4%), four-child families and 22,000 (1%,) five-child families in Australia today.
- The number of families with six or more children under the age of 15 and including 16-24-year-old dependent students is 10,000 (0.4%).
So 80% of Australian families have no more that two children. So to only have one child is hardly unusual.
Many choose to home educate because of social issues in the school, whether it be bullying or just general bad behaviour.
Who said our children had to spend 30 hours a week to be socialised? Where is the proof? Where is the evidence?
These are the questions that must be asked of those who may question your decision to home educate with one child.
Home educators who only have one child often attend homeschooling activities or after school groups or make a deliberate effort to get to know other children in their street.
Our one-child families do make an extra effort to go out to meet other families or even do a ‘school’ day in another home once a fortnight.
In our newsletter, families are able to indicate the town or suburb that they live in and an email address, so they can link up with other like minded homeschoolers.
Yes, sometimes we hear that a child is put back in school because the child complained of loneliness. Nevertheless, most families make a special effort to see other families and build friendships. Most children are happy to have a single good friend.
I have always said, “It is better to have a single friend than a hundred acquaintances.”
Most adults only have a handful of close friends. Why do we expect children to have a birthday party with 20 other children? Is not two or three enough?
The homeschooling community is vibrant and strong in Australia. There are many home schooling groups right around the country, which will help you network with other families.
If over 50% of families can do home education with one child, so can you.