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From very early on after my kids were born I thought a lot about homeschooling. I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible because I believe they were given to me for a reason. There will be no other person (well, besides my husband) who will love and accept them the way I do.
There’s no teacher out there who will be more invested in their development and future than I am. This is not because I am an exceptionally smart or patient mom. It’s simply because I am their mother.
I carried them, nurtured them and we built a bond between us that can’t compare to any other.
I’ll be honest: homeschooling seemed like an impossible mountain to climb. But I climbed it anyway, and through it, I built a stronger connection with my kids.
If you’re thinking about homeschooling or just starting out, read my guide to homeschool for overwhelmed beginners. It will get you started in the right direction.
In this post, I will share why homeschooling can build a stronger connection between you and your kids.
Why Homeschooling Built A Stronger Connection With My Kids
I believe making an effort to regularly spend quality time with our children is a crucial part of being a great parent. So when I think about how to be the best parent I can be, I want to find lots of ways to build that strong bond.
One of the most obvious homeschooling advantages is a stronger connection with your kids. Here’s why:
1. I Get To Know Them Well
In homeschooling, the whole point is to provide individualized education. How can you do that unless you intently observe and deeply know your child?
Whether you have one or more children, their needs and personalities may be completely different than yours or, if you’re lucky, totally in line with yours. In order to be able to provide the best environment for learning, you have to know what works with that particular student.
Is he a morning person who is ready to get started early? Is she independent and capable of working mostly alone? Or does she need constant reminders and supervision? Is he naturally great at math but struggles to read? What makes her eyes light up during school? What bores him to death?
In homeschooling, you get to learn the answers to these questions not from a report card or from a teacher, but through your own experience. Your child is a precious treasure you get to open up, understand, discover and guide.
2. I Get To Spend A Ton Of Time With Them
I already mentioned the importance of quality time, but what about quantity time? I believe it’s beneficial for the parent-child relationship to live and work alongside each other. Sure, doing fun stuff together is great bonding, but life is made up of mundane weekdays.
I want to share those with my kids too.
Wouldn’t you want to experience a smile across the room as you both work on something and catch each others’ eyes? Or how about modeling for your kids what you want them to see about motherhood and being a woman?
You spend such a large quantity of time together that they will watch you and learn from you even without any words.
The realization of this used to put such a great responsibility on my shoulders that sometimes I felt like I buckled under the pressures of my failures. However, over time I learned that they need to see the imperfect, the weak and the tired side of me as well. I need to show them honestly that I am human too, in order to gain their trust.
This brings me to my next point.
3. I Get To Gain Their Trust
My children see me in all kinds of situations. I have many opportunities to act right or to act wrong and apologize. During these experiences, they learn to trust me.
When we work through a math problem and they tell me they can’t do it, I always respond with: “I know it’s difficult, but you learned everything you need to solve this and I want you to give it your best.”
Guess what happens next? They usually solve it and I was right. Next time, they remember we have been down that road before and trust me just a tiny bit more.
You gain your child’s trust by reliably doing your job in homeschooling. You have the assignments ready, you are paying full attention to teaching, you correctly size up their abilities and challenge them accordingly.
Sticking to what you promised even when you don’t feel like it earns you trust and respect from your kids because they realize you aren’t just teaching them school, you hold yourself accountable to the same level of responsibility in your homeschooling. (wow, that was a long sentence!)
Every single experience like this is an invisible brick building your relationship stronger.
4. I Get To Share Experiences With Them
Homeschooling makes it possible for us to travel whenever we feel like it. (and have money for it.) While we have 180 days of school to complete just like everybody else, we get to determine how we spread those out for 12 months. This is true for all homeschoolers in general. (this could be you!)
I’m from Hungary and often plane tickets are much cheaper during spring or fall. With homeschooling, I have the privilege to schedule my year in a way that I can take them to Hungary for a month in April or September.
We are also able to go to normally busy places when people are working and kids are in school. For example, we love visiting the zoo, but I don’t do well with crowds and three kids. Guess who else is at the zoo on a Monday morning in March? Yeah, only the zookeepers pretty much.
As you will find, actual homeschooling work is only a small part of the whole day, therefore you often have the luxury to take walks, ride bikes or have a picnic outside. All of these allow parents to spend time connecting with their children.
5. I Get To Make Them A Priority
Homeschooling gave me the flexibility to be able to take breaks when my children or I need it. We are not bound by anybody’s agenda or schedule but our own. Some days we fly through our assignments and are able to do more, so I know I don’t need to stress about progress.
When your student has an off day and a bad attitude, you have the opportunity to stop and help them get to a better place emotionally. Instead of being rushed by time or pressured to finish all assignments, you get to focus on shaping their souls.
They matter way more than the curriculum. The life skills they gain during these challenging times will be forever embedded in their mind.
6. I Get To Watch Them Grow
I realize that every parent can pretty much say the same, whether homeschooling or not. What’s different for homeschooling parents is that we get to see our kids grow in areas where we worked hard together. Kind of like creating something out of nothing.
For example, I can’t describe the joy of seeing my daughter read books to herself fluently. I remember when I taught her the letters, then the sounds and then slowly reading. Some days were rough and it was hard to see the big picture.
But we kept putting one foot in front of the other and she grew into a confident, independent reader.
Same thing with my son, who grew tremendously in his ability to play with his younger brother. When I needed to do math with my daughter, I paid my son 50 cents to babysit the baby, about 1.5 years old at the time. I supervised them of course, but I also allowed him to be responsible for keeping him happy.
I could not believe my eyes by the end of the year when he would play full 30 minutes (and often more) with his baby brother and did a great job keeping him out of the school room!
In both of these examples, lots of mundane weekdays played the biggest part of the progress. They seemed mostly the same, with the same struggles, repeating the same sentences and concepts.
Yet, we were slowly cultivating habits and skills that grew strong in the right environment. And we did it together.
Wouldn’t you want that experience to characterize your parenting?
I hope this article sheds some light on the many ways homeschooling parents spend time with their children and building a strong connection. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but maybe more parents would be capable of homeschooling than they give themselves credit for.
Especially when you see these benefits!
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