anyone hsing an only child or start in H.S.?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000
anyone hsing an only child or start in H.S.?
6
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 11:27am

Hello everyone,

I have been tossing around the idea of allowing my 15 yo dd to attend cyberschool for a few years now.  First off, the schools in our area are much less than desirable.  Horrible scores on everything, lots of drugs, gangs, etc....  They are opening a new STEM school, an my dd will be attending that.  It is supposed to be a great school once they work all the kinks out, and it is much smaller than the current high school. However, my daughter hates science, and that's what this is based on.  She basically is only attending this to get out of the awful regular H.S.  My dd is a truly fantastic, kind hearted, well behaved, play by the rules kind of teen, and I hope she stays that way.  However, in H.S., this can be detrimental socially, and that seems to be what is happening to her.  She is 100% against any kind of smoking, drinking, and sex (thank God!).  I could not be happier about this, but she is slowly becoming socially isolated, because it seems everyone has fallen headfirst into all of these activities.  She is not into sports, so that cannot be her saving grace.  Last year, I was starting to see her become more and more unhappy and less confident.  I just don't see why she should be in a situation where her confidence is taking a nosedive just because she's not fitting in with the average (unfortunately) teen behavior.  It doesn't seem like you can be friends with someone who does these things if you don't these days. 

However, my concerns are that first off, she is an only child.  She is very family oriented, and actually quite a homebody, so I don't think she would mind being home during the day.  BUT, I don't want her to become completely isolated socially.  We are in a tiny town that doesn't offer many opportunities for homeschooled or cyberschooled kids.  Yet, she is at an age where she can soon work almost anywhere, so I am figuring that can be a big part of her social network.  Has anyone else started this in H.S.?  How about with an only child?  Any experiences would be great!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 8:05pm

Hi!  Welcome to the board.

I homeschool an only.  He is in first grade.  I did not realize that I homeschooled him before he started school until he actually started school.  He loves it.  We have a strong support community in our network which provides the social experiences he seeks.  Part of it is classes - like soccer, gymnastics, martial arts, etc.  The other part has clubs and competitions - like LEGO, Odyssey of the Mind, Science Olympiad, Spelling Bee, Math Club, Chess Club, etc.  We also have a group that meets once a week for game day.  Once a month someone will organize a field trip and a group will spontaneously form.  You may want to google search to see if there is something within a decent driving distance that might fit your needs.

No help at all for the teen stuff.  Hopefully someone more experienced will pop in.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2013
Mon, 09-02-2013 - 9:39pm

Hi,

I'm homeschooling an only homebody of 13 years old in an area that has limitted opportunity for his interests, consequential he has limitted opportunity to meet kids with his interests. His social well being is a constant concern. Every year has been different for us. The end of this year we have to make the big decission if he will go to highschool.  

Because your dd is 15 years old, what is she saying about taking responsibility for her own education with your guidance? And what would she like to do as interaction with other teens? My son would have preferred to just be home, but we told him if he wanted to be homeschooled he had to choose one social activity and one sports activity (2 things he didn't like). Over the years we tried different sports, different social groups. He has settled for karate and is going 3 evenings a week to a karate club (his will). The social group, although he didn't connect with the kids last year, he had fun. Homeschooling is a way of life and for a homebody those previous "exhausting, draining, boring" social/sports activities, all of a sudden are being looked upon differently, easier to handle.

I'm interested to hear your story/ your decission.

Have fun!

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Tue, 09-03-2013 - 12:26am

I'm not homeschooling an only, but I was a homeschooled only for all of my high school years.  I wouldn't let the "social" aspect hold you back from providing the best possible learning environment for your daughter.  There's nothing wrong with being a homebody or an introvert.  If that's her personality, it's not going to change.  You'll find, though, that she will carve out her own social niche, based on interests and abilities.  My main social outlet was musical things...orchestra at the nearby university and in a couple of other towns, and the friends that I had in those groups.  Remember, friendship doesn't mean "people my own age", so don't discount the social interactions provided by...say...babysitting, or church, or other multi-age activities.

Her emotional health and wellbeing are important, and feeling comfortable with who she is and where she is will help her do better in her education, wherever that education is to be provided.


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2013
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 3:06pm

My 15-year-old son is the only child at home and homeschooled.   He hasn't been around other kids for over a year.  He had to take a break from musical theater that he had been in since he was four because of pain from wearing a scoliosis brace and then from the surgery when the brace didn't work.   I am making him go back to musical theater even though he tells me that he now has social anxiety.  It is the only thing in our small town that he can do with other kids.  We live in a small town where kids are expected to be in sports and because of medical issues my son can't do sports.  Boys in musical theater here are sometimes made fun of and called "artsy" which is a euphemism here for "gay" and that doesn't help.  I told him that he has to do something with other kids and this is the only thing he can do in our area.  He doesn't easily fit in with other teens because his interests are different from theirs and he can't do sports.   He didn't want to be a part of the local homeschool group either.  

After I watched the VMA awards he told me that a lot of kids like that kind of music and he wanted to know why I want to force him to be around other kids who probably like that kind of entertainment and football and want to talk about things he isn't interested in.   He would be happy to be around college age kids who are a little more mature.   

We are going to prepare for CLEP tests so that he can earn college credit.

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 9:33am

Lori, if it's any comfort, my closest friends when I was in high school were college aged.  They shared my musical interests, and our maturity levels were more similar than my age peer group.  It's challenging to provide social outlets for kids that don't necessarily carve out their own social opportunities for themselves.


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2000
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 9:59am

My dd is a perfectionist and very responsible.  I know she would do the work without a problem.  However, she does get easily overwhelmed, and the lack of in person teaching could be an issue....although, the STEM school she is at is taught mainly over a computer anyway.   The only activity she is in is gymnastics 1x a week, and she has taken a break from that because she was not sure how difficult this new school would be.  The gymnastics studio is about 40 minutes away, and on nights when she has a ton of homework, she misses class, and it is EXPENSIVE.  She says she will join activities and get a job if homeschooled, but she doesn't do that now, and I don't know how being cyberschooled will suddenly give her the courage to join an activity without a friend already being in it.  She used to be in with the "popular group" at school when she was younger.  Around middle school, she started to get very annoyed at how mean these girls were to others and even each other.  Ever since she decided to go her own way, she's had trouble finding her niche since the "groups and clicks" were already formed.  I think this has definiteley contributed to her loss of self esteem.  I just hate to worsen it by isolating her.  However, right now the main issue is simply the fact that she is really having trouble finding "good" kids.  I also don't want to lessen the chances of her going to college because she feels awkward ariound peers. So far, she hasn't come home in tears over the STEM school.  She likes the small building.  Her only complaint so far is the fact that she is on the bus for 1 hour each way and she gets motion sickness.  However, it has only been 2 days, so we shall see.