I used to think moms who home schooled were crazy. Why on earth would a mom want to add more work AND have kids around 24/7?! I also thought homeschooled kids were weird and shy. No way was I ever doing that.
My kids attended Christian school while I worked (when I wasn’t running a class Valentine’s party or taking my turn in the lunch concession stand), and life was pretty good until evening rolled around.
Homework, basketball practice, ballet, guitar lessons, homework, violin lessons, piano lessons, volleyball games, cheerleading, and homework.
And then there were the inevitable science projects which were too hard for the kids to do alone so we basically did it for them.
Teachers occasionally misunderstood my kids (one had a bladder the size of a pea and a first grade Nazi teacher with a low tolerance for bathroom visits), my kids didn’t understand math concepts and got lost in the crowd, and my family scattered multiple directions on a daily basis.
Tired of the rat race, I decided to bring them home. And in our home school experience, I discovered something important about the effects on family life.
1. Your kids adopt your habits
Ok, this can obviously prove detrimental. But my philosophy has always been – who do I want forming my child’s morals and spiritual concepts? Who do I want modeling their behavior? It wasn’t their peers, nor even some teachers. Even with all my human faults, it was me.
Children become like whomever they’re around. If they’re with peers all day, they become like them.
If you are weird, your kids will be weird. If you are caring, your kids will grow to be caring individuals. If you are funny, your kids will develop a delightful sense of humor.
My girls began to think like me, develop the same sense of humor, and value the Word. They enjoyed reading, creative expression, and thinking outside the box.
They developed a regular quiet time with God, and reached out to others beyond their cliques.
They became well-rounded people who forgave and loved.
Your home schooled children will take on many of your character qualities. They will become balanced, well-rounded, Christ-centered individuals if you are!
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior…teach what is good…train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled. ~Titus 2:3-5
2. Your family enjoys evening free time
Instead of homework every night, my girls had time to play, lounge, and participate in evening activities once considered time-wasters. This worked out so well that they made every extra effort to be done with all school work before they did anything else.
Porch sitting, ball playing, and firefly catching. Family bonfires and downtime with neighbor kids. Staying out till 10:00 without worry of term papers.
My girls loved the slower pace of home school life. Homeschooling does require a good bit of planning for mom, but it’s up to mom to protect the extra curricular activities (including home school co-ops).
Protect your family time like you would your best house plant. Handle with care, feed, water, give light. Protect from harsh elements, too much sun, heat, or cold (aka busy-ness), pointless repeated worksheets, and peer over-exposure.
3. Your family develops special bonds
Home schooled kids develop close bonds with one another and also with parents.
My girls and I developed a cultivated fond memories we deeply treasure. We journeyed into the cozy world of imagination through hours spent reading Pride and Prejudice, Little House on the Prairie, and The Chronicles of Narnia. We chuckled over difficult math equations, Science experiments gone bad, and countless Biology terms.
The three of us attended a ladies’ Kay Arthur Precepts Bible class and studied Revelation for two years. We drew chapter pictures and laughed at our renderings. They developed a rapport with the ladies in the class, and learned that godly women could be crazy (and believe me – these women were). Those women developed respect for my girl’s love of the Word.
Whenever one of my girls mentions a homeschool moment, we all experience an, “Ahhhhh” grin-moment. And they’ve already made up their minds to homeschool their own kids because of our rich, positive experience.
If you are hesitant about homeschooling but desire a close-knit family, extending long after the kids leave home, I urge you to pray over homeschooling. I’m certainly do not believe that homeschooling is the only option – my two oldest graduated from Christian School with a good education and an overall positive experience.
And yes – there are definitely pull-your-hair-out days! Know your options – that’s the beauty of tailoring your family needs to fit your situation!
It’s a wonderful thing to have our families under roof, and we only get a small window of opportunity to build close, lifetime relationships.
What has been your experience with homeschooling? Have you found a gentle bonding in the experience?
Ruthie Gray is founder of MTO (Mom Time Out), a Facebook Christian growth and support group for moms desiring to control the temper and parent gracefully. Ruthie is married and has four grown children, 2 grandchildren, and blogs at Rear. Release. Regroup, – capturing joy in the transitions of parenthood.
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