Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Family

F is for Family
By most of society's standards, having 5 children means that we have a large family. While the number of people living in this house might be higher than the average and some days it feels like I have all the family I can handle with just Robb and the small people, in my mind we don't have a large family at all.

Both Robb and I have lost our parents - my dad passed away in 1999 and my mom in 2005. Robb's dad passed away in 2003 and he just lost his mom this past December. We each have one brother. While we are relationally close to our siblings, they both live a few hours away and we don't get to see them or our nieces as often as we would like. Because of this, I'm glad that my children have a lot of siblings so they can have a lot of family support when they're all grown up.

One of the reasons we began homeschooling was because I couldn't stand leaving The Boy every day at the sitter's house while I was teaching. Yes, it was entirely selfish on my part; I'm okay with that. I love being with my children all day, every day. I'm not saying there aren't days when I need to get away for a little bit (even if it's just in the shower by myself), but the thought of sending them away to let someone else indoctrinate teach them for 6-8 hours a day makes me sad.

One of the benefits I'm hoping to see from choosing to homeschool my children is for them to have a close relationship with their siblings, as well as with Robb and me. I wish I could say that they always get along and never bicker or fuss with each other, but that just isn't true. They have their moments when they drive each other crazy. But they also really seem to enjoy spending time with each other. I love listening in to their conversations. They seem to always have some inside joke that can send them into fits of giggles. The Boy might not always appreciate having 4 little sisters (and he lets us know this on a regular basis), but he won't let anybody else bother them. There have been a few times when another child has tried to bully one of the girls at the park or playground, and The Boy will make sure that child knows not to bully HIS sisters.

Would my children be this close if I sent them to school every day? Possibly, but I really don't know. I think that learning together every day provides them an opportunity to get to know each other better.

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