Why Homeschool Series: Reason #5

The fifth reason we like to homeschool (these are in no particular order) is that we enjoy family togetherness. Being together as a family all the time, every day, is priceless to us. The boys do everything together and get along very well. I have taught them that we are a team and we must always stand up for each other and never, ever take sides with a friend against a family member. Family always comes first. And although the boys may not always be aware of it, I am aware every moment that we are making memories that will last us a lifetime.

I must speak to one of my pet peeves here. Everywhere parents always seem to want to get away from their kids, i.e., “Can’t wait till school starts, can’t wait till their summer vacation’s over, can’t wait till they graduate and get out of the house.” For pete’s sakes, they can’t even wait for them to go to bed at night and don’t look forward to them getting up in the morning. I do not, for a moment, question their love for their children. They love them more than life itself; they just don’t always like them. No doubt their feelings subconsciously filter down to the kids who get the feeling they’re in the way. I read in a forum where parents were fantasizing about where they’d go on a vacation if they could. They named faraway, enchanting, wonderful places, then almost every person added that they didn’t want their kids to come. What an educational opportunity those kids would miss out on. To go to Washington, D.C., New York City, or Italy without the kids?  Oh, maybe their kids would be bored with museums and geographical learning, but that’s where instilling a love of learning comes in. (Refer to this post and this post.)

I have a theory (albeit scientifically unproven, that I know of) that some of the difficult behavior in children that parents want to get away from, actually stems from the children trying to get attention because they know their parents don’t want to be around them. Kind of a ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg’ type of thing, I know. I once observed a mom speaking to a nine-year-old as if he was three, because she thought she was responding to his version of normal. I actually think he acted three because that’s how he was spoken to. Kids aren’t clueless. A little aside here, the best advice I got when I was a new mom and quite scared about it, was from a friend who has spent many years as an elementary school librarian. She told me, “Don’t talk down to kids. They don’t like it.” (Yeah, I can remember hating that when I was a kid myself.)

Let me make clear that I greatly admire those moms who must work away from home and cannot spend as much time with their children as they’d like. I bow down to you. You have immense capacity which I don’t have, and there are angels attending you. You know what is best for your family, just like I know what is best for mine. Which is why I was a little annoyed when a mom I shall call Lisa (name has been changed) said to me, “I know you like to stay home with your kids. I would like to do that too, but I can’t afford it.” Then she promptly resumed her life with a trip to Hawaii and weekends with all her expensive outdoor toys. Now I always say that different families have different dynamics, and maybe Lisa needs those things to help her relax and “fill her bucket”. She could be with her kids more (and I know they mean the world to her), but she doesn’t want to sacrifice the fun things. Hear me now. I do…not…care that she doesn’t want to sacrifice the fun things. But just be honest about it. My family has made huge economical sacrifices for me to stay home with our children. I have set aside a career for the better part of two decades, but my husband and I have willingly done this and feel it’s been the best thing for our family.

The time with our children is so short before they are grown (ask any grandma!) and I do not want to miss out on what I will likely look back on as the greatest years of my life, and I also love spending this time creating great moments and memories for my children as well.

~to be continued~

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