I already mentioned in an earlier homeschool benefit post about being able
to be with our children all the time. I will always cherish the eighteen
years that I have had with each of my children all day long… well sixteen
years until they started working day jobs and going to college, etc. I will
never regret that I spent those years with my children.
Likewise, I will be eternally grateful for the time that my children had
together. It isn’t always easy to have your kids together twenty-four hours
a day, seven days a week. Trust me, I know–for twenty-nine years. However,
my children as adults between the ages of nearly seventeen and thirty-two
now have strong bonds with each other –in large part due to the fact that
they were together all the time.
One of the things that we tried hard not to do in terms of our children’s
relationships with each was to continually rescue them from each other. That
is, always attempting to separate them and always intervening and working
things out for them. They will come out much stronger in relationships with
other people as well as in relationships with each other if we don’t try to
thwart the very nature of homeschooling–that our kids are together. When we
do this, we are not taking advantage of the full benefit of this benefit!
This is not to say that we did not intervene in disputes and problems; we
did. However, we didn’t constantly try to send them apart from each other,
so we would not have the headache of them being together. Instead, we kept
them together in school; we took them to activities together; we grouped
them together in subjects whenever possible; we spent a lot of time
together; and we taught them how to work through difficulties with each
other and with other people.
The siblings-in-homeschooling relationship is one that you can get nowhere
else. Home is where a person is usually himself or herself. While the child
would not treat a friend in a certain way, he or she might be tempted to
treat a sibling in that way. Our children having been together all these
years has given them the opportunity to learn to compromise. They learned
how to put others first. They learned early on that they are going to be
together every day for many years – as my now- thirty-two year old son once
said about this subject, “I figured I better work it out and get along with
them and like them because I was pretty much stuck with them all the time. ”
He says that he decided at a young age that he would rather have fun all the
time then to always be at war with his siblings. And so he learned to work
Siblings are our children’s first friends and hopefully siblings are their
last friends. That is, hopefully, they will be friends for a lifetime.
Homeschooling affords them the opportunity to share life with these
“friends” every day all day long. I am so grateful that my kids have been
together every day for many years.