Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homeschool Siblings

Many people are writing, writing, writing about homeschool.  The process, the problems, the resources, the pros and cons.  But few people have written about something that I think is a prime PRO of homeschooling.  My children are friends with each other!
I’m not comparing, bragging, anything!  Just observing.

My kids enjoy one another.  They share some interests and have learned to respect the interests of their sib and to participate in that activity at times.  Look, when other kids are here…FORGET IT!  The boys go hither and the girls go yon.  (well, sort of!)  But when the kids have free time together, they actually enjoy one another’s company!
Their bond has happened inspite of differences in gender, interests, age.  They include one another and share many secrets, inside jokes, and expressions of affection.  They seek one another out for help, advice, humor sharing, lesson help, hold hands, and simply enjoy being together.  They even play together, at times, when friends are over visiting one or both of them.  Maybe it comes from the simple fact that they spend more time together.
Add to this, when one has a friend, that person is also a friend to the other as well.  Now, isn’t that nice?

It wasn’t like that in my family!  We had lines through the rooms, separate everything, and frequent fights.  I firmly believe that it is a homeschool environment that doesn’t create unnatural divisions that has encouraged their friendship.  They have their moments.  They are, after all, very different and very busy.  But, overall the bond between this brother and sister is a wonder to see.
If they were in school, would I see a different story?  Would Elizabeth find it cool ONLY to hang with the 13 year olds?  Would John refuse to every touch anything “girly”, thereby forfeiting his play with his sister?  I can only guess that the division between them would have happened long ago and would be firmly in place at this point.
I heard laughing in the family room the other day.  I walked in to find them pushing the couch across the room, laughing at themselves as they slipped and slid onto the floor.  I walked out of the room with a smile in my heart and on my face, leaving them alone, together.
And I’m not going to kid you, this “perk” of homeschooling is worth everything to me!

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