Have you feared homeschooling because you thought it meant too much togetherness? I mean being together ALL the time can’t be good for a family right? Let’s find out!
*I’m so excited to share this space with my dear friend Emily from Table Life Blog. I hope you enjoy her guest post*
It’s always interesting to hear the concerns of potential homeschoolers. One of those concerns is actually one of the greatest gifts of homeschooling — togetherness and how our kids respond to it.
I get it. Kids have different personalities and sometimes struggle to get along, but hear me out. That’s not a reason to avoid homeschooling. In fact, it’s a good reason to choose the homeschool life. Here’s why:
It’s About Perspective
I recently heard in a sermon that what you view as a problem is actually your harvest, meaning the very thing you’re viewing as a burden is your mission field. It’s your calling.
In the context of homeschooling, that tells me that the challenge of having our children spend so much time together isn’t something to run away from, but something to welcome.
You see, if you want to prepare your kids for the real world, you have to give them real life challenges. Those challenges often come in the form of relationships. So, while you may be completely justified in your concerned that your kids will get sick of being together if homeschooled, think of it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
Siblings Can Be Friends
I have two children, an eleven year-old son and a five year-old daughter. You wouldn’t think they’d have a lot in common or enjoy being together. He is a tweenage boy and she’s all things pink and sparkly. He’s a rule-following big brother, ready to reprimand and apprehend on a moment’s notice. She’s a thrill-seeking, “I’ll show you…” little sister type, but you know what? As I write this, they’re playing together.
That’s because homeschooling isn’t just academics, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle where friendship between siblings happens naturally. It’s a lifestyle that allows siblings several years apart to know each other and appreciate one another, differences and all. All this time together isn’t a nuisance. It’s a blessing.
Getting Along Is Part of Life
For the sake of keeping it real, life with homeschooled children isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There are days when kids are cranky, unmotivated, and frustrated. Personality differences aren’t necessarily appreciated when those days pop up.
Here’s the thing: those days aren’t easy, but there’s value in them. Life is full of challenging, but rewarding relationships that take work. Personality differences and bad days can be ugly, but homeschooling forces our kids to work through them because they’re together so much. After all, getting along isn’t optional in the real world. Why would we suggest it’s optional for our children?
Family time matters
I mentioned earlier that togetherness is one of the greatest gifts of the homeschool life and I believe that wholeheartedly. Families were never meant to be nothing more than a group of people sleeping under the same roof.
Our time together is a gift for us to raise up a generation of men and women who love God and serve Him faithfully.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 says
“And you must love the Lord your god with all of your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
We started homeschooling in 2009 and I’ve observed a lot in these years of lesson planning, library trips, read alouds, and art supplies strewn across the table. One of those observations is how homeschool offers unparalleled opportunity to pursue the charge we’re given in Deuteronomy 6.
You may be thinking, That’s great, but what does it have to do with my kids getting along while homeschooling? Nothing, but that’s the point. One of our greatest commands as parents is to train our children in the ways of the Lord, but there’s no caveat for kids who don’t want to be together.
In closing, there will be times when kids get sick of being together. You can count on it, but it’s a non-issue when it comes to homeschooling. When those days come, give them some time apart by sending them to different areas of your home or encourage them to pursue a hobby that they can enjoy alone. Those times when they don’t get along will come and go if we navigate them well. There’s no reason to let them dictate your choice to homeschool.
Bio: Emily is a Christ follower, minister’s wife, and homeschool mom of two. She offers help and hope for the homeschool journey at tablelifeblog.com. You can also find her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
Tessa W says
I tell my boys if they can’t play politely they can walk away and have some alone time. They have come to view alone time as a blessing rather than a punishment. Well, the older two anyway. I often have to physically enforce (AKA carry him to) alone time and he will fall asleep within minutes. I think it is a great lesson for them to learn hoq to react when they aren’t getting along or feeling overwhelmed or something. My boys are currently 9, 6, 3, and 3 months. They adore each other and it rocks!
Shelly Sangrey says
Yes! I completely agree. Living in a homeschooling houisehold where you’re together far more often than most is challenging- very challenging, at times- but so worth it, and so rewarding!