One thing I've always felt to be pretty important when home schooling an only child is to get out and get involved in the community. Maybe some kiddos are generally content to be home-bodies. But this one here in my house is a social butterfly who thrives on interacting with others. But I believe even if you have a natural home-body, its important to get them involved regularly in a group setting. Get online and search out your local homeschool groups and go meet them. In addition there is sports, music, dance, 4H, scouts, volunteering, speech and debate . . .
You certainly do not have to go join everything that you find and have something scheduled every day of the week. Balance is important. I have been guilty of that - even as recently as this past holiday season. If you have a quiet kiddo who prefers to be at home, probably just one or two activities is sufficient. My kiddo wants to do everything. So its easy to find ourselves over-scheduled. This is probably why this blog has been so neglected.
I'll list some things we've been involved in - homeschool park days (an absolute must), sports (soccer, baseball, and now football), Cub Scouts (soon to be Boy Scouts), homeschool PE class, Krav Maga class, volunteering at our local food bank, church activities, music lessons, and other homeschool group activities...
Of course we don't do all these things at once. Many of these are seasonal or only done occasionally. Krav Maga has taken the place of the PE class for now. And I have to say, sometimes you have to go create opportunities. We have never gotten involved in martial arts, as much as he wanted to, because of the other activities already taking up our evenings. But another homeschool mom asked at a couple of different places if they'd be willing to offer a day-time class for homeschoolers, and now there is a Krav Maga class we can fit into our schedule. My husband has started a conversation with another studio closer to where we live that may be willing to do the same in the future. So if you don't find what you are looking for, start talking to people that may be able to open those doors.
I wanted to put this out there because I fear many folks may be hesitant to consider homeschooling an only child for fear they may be isolated and lonely. But that certainly does not have to be the case. Depending on where you live, it may be a bit more challenging to find group activities or even to find the other homeschoolers out there. But from what I'm seeing on the various online communities and in my own local community, home schooling is something more and more people are doing. So I know they are out there even in your smaller communities. And it is so worth it to make the effort to find them.
You can start with online groups and often from there you'll find people local to you that may lead you to some groups in your area. There are pages and groups on Facebook and Yahoo, and the SCM board I have mentioned before, that are good places to start if you haven't found local groups yet. And you may have to start with the traditional "after-school" activities and see if you find some fellow homeschoolers there. But don't let having an only child keep you from home schooling if that is something you feel may be best for them for whatever reason. There are plenty of opportunities out there in every community for socializing. The main thing is to be involved in community, and you're good to go.