One of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to develop close relationships between parents and children as well as between siblings.
When children are in a school setting, relationships with teachers and friends compete with loyalty to parents and siblings. School schedules and homework assignments take priority over family time, and children may be taught values that conflict with those taught in their homes.
Having attended public school as a child and teen, this definitely describes my school years.
When families homeschool, they operate as a team. Parents are confidants; and siblings are close friends. Schedules are set according to the family’s needs, and children are taught their parents’ values. This is very true for the way I’ve set up homeschooling for the girls.
At home, the curriculum and activities meet the needs of each daughter – not the needs of a classroom or school system. Both girls are treated as individuals, and are truly known and loved.
I’m able to customize their lessons based on their interests as well as their developmental abilities/skills. The curriculum and schedule is flexible so if something isn’t working, I can modify it to better fit their needs. The goal is to make learning fun and educational…and inspire a love for learning.
Another benefit of homeschooling is that the girls have been able to develop a closer relationship with their grandparents who live 50 miles away.
Another benefit to homeschooling is that children within a family have stronger relationships. There is generally more camaraderie than in siblings who attend school. Since Sophia and Olivia are each other’s primary playmates, deep relationships have been and will continue to be formed and nurtured.
As Sophia’s and Olivia’s teacher, we spend a lot of time together in two main ways – educationally and as a family. This time that we spend together learning, working through any problems, and communicating keeps us all well aware of one another.
Good relationships and communication extends beyond the immediate family. Generally, homeschooled children can easily communicate with people of many ages and from different walks of life. They learn to adjust to the group to whom they are speaking. Because of this, they often comes across as thoughtful and mature.
Gathering together as an extended family brings together people of all ages – from newborns to seniors – giving the girls opportunities to play, talk, and build relationships with others.
Homeschooling has given the girls opportunities to form friendships with people of different ages who live in other countries. They have met and hosted people at our home including two exchange students from Brazil who lived here in the late 1990s; and my friend from Japan who visited here a couple years ago.
The girls also have enjoyed making friends with other homeschoolers as well as children who attend public, private, parochial, and charter schools. This have given them insight into multiple ways that children learn, and introduces them to a wide variety of children.
They have participated in community activities – theater, community ed courses, camps, homeschool swimming lessons, choir, and sports – which introduces them to a diversity of children who have a wide variety of interests.
The girls also have had the opportunity to learn from other adults – whether it is at the homeschool co-op where they take a variety of classes; or through special education/speech therapy. They have developed special friendships with some of the teachers and therapists who have helped them learn and gain new skills.
Homeschooling is represented by strong and varied relationships. As the girls get older, this will continue to be an important area and benefit to homeschooling.