As a first year homeschooler, I have done a ridiculous amount of research on what it’s like to homeschool your children. There was one piece of advice I kept hearing and reading over and over again, “Homeschooling is about the relationship with your children.”
Blogs I read said it was the first priority when starting to homeschool, speakers talked about how all lessons stemmed from this one important thing: your relationship, and it was the first thing out of people’s mouths when I mentioned homeschooling. Over and over again people would say to me things like, “I could never homeschool, my children and I butt heads.” It was one of the reasons I never thought I could homeschool!
At first, I really didn’t know what people meant when they said that it was about the relationship with my children. I quickly learned that it meant that homeschooling would strengthen my relationship with my son, that had gone to school 5 days a week since he was 3 years old.
In the short two months that we have been homeschooling I have noticed how much I have changed. I have noticed how much he has changed. I have noticed how different our relationship is. There is a trust between us that wasn’t there before. There is an emotional bond that is brand new.
I find I am more patient with him. Something I was very worried about. I am always praying for patience, and when God put homeschooling in my heart I fought it because I did not feel I could be patient enough to teach my own children. That seems crazy to say now. I could be patient with 180 teenagers but not two of my own children? But it is a worry not only I have. It is a worry that many people voice to me when I mention that I am homeschooling. And it is valid because homeschooling changes your relationship with your children.
TV shows, commercials, and even strangers make jokes about the horrors of summer vacation. Oh no, a WHOLE summer with your children! They joke about the excitement of sending your children BACK to school. Yay, no more dealing with your children during the day!
A great example of this is when I went back-to-school shopping at Old Navy. If you have ever been in line at Old Navy with two kids you want to scream at the brilliant marketing person who put every single kid-impulse item available in the isle while you wait! Candy, toys, games, videos… I said “no” more times than I did during that entire day just in the 5 minutes waiting to pay. When I approached the counter the first thing the sales person said to me was, “Can’t wait for school to start, huh?” I wanted to yell, “No! I hate your kid-impulse item isle!!!!” But instead I responded, “No break for me, I homeschool.”
When did it become socially acceptable for us to want to get rid of our children for hours and hours during the day? When did it become a running joke? I am no different though. I bought into this social norm. My son went to preschool at 2 years old. I looked forward to the hours I had with just my daughter. I laughed at the TV sitcoms when the parents struggled to find enough summer camps to fill the endless days. What I realized was that this was what all those bloggers and speakers were talking about. Changing that relationship.
Homeschooling changes the dynamics of your home. I am learning more and more about my son every day! I love answering his questions, seeing what makes him excited to learn, and watching him rise to challenges. He shares his emotions, fears, and excitement with me in ways he never did before.
I am blown away by the difference in our relationship already!