Raising happier homeschool siblings

siblingspmo

The following is a post by contributor Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

“You are so lucky,” the woman said frowning. “My kids can barely be in a room together, and yours are best friends.

“Do you think it’s because you homeschool?”

Sure. She was seeing one of those adorable moments, when my son opened a package of two crackers and gave my daughter one without her even asking.

It was wonderful and sweet. I love those moments.

But maybe if I am being honest, I should tell you about the other moments, the ones I’m not so proud of, the ones that are also probably because of homeschooling, the ones where they pickpickpick, until one of them snaps, and a door gets slammed, a toy gets tossed, or feelings get hurt.

Yes. My children are the best of friends.

And sometimes, they drive each other up a wall.

Because they are together so very much.

They share our little space. They share friends. They share books and toys and Mom’s attention. Three years apart, they share a lot of interests too, which is great … until it isn’t.

It’s a double-edged sword of homeschooling for certain, and lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to helping my kids be happier homeschooling siblings.

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Is homeschooling a big deal?

Is Homeschooling a big deal?

The following is a post by contributor Cheryl Pitt.

It’s that time of year again! It’s the time when hordes of parents ponder, pray, and agonize over whether or not to homeschool.

I can hear the collective sizzling of mental snyapses frying under the weight of the decision. I understand of course. It’s not an easy decision to make, or one to be taken lightly.

I was a teenage mom. I had my first child at 17. When we began homeschooling, I was the ripe old age of 22.

At 22 you think you know everything. Naturally, I wanted to impart all my earthly wisdom to my son. I didn’t agonize much over the decision. Homeschooling was something I felt was right, so I was going to do it! I jumped directly into the deep end of the homeschool pool without much thought.

Now, 13 years later, I’m a little older and wiser…wise enough to wonder what on earth I was thinking. The last few days I’ve been appalled at the prideful and blase way we began our homeschool journey. After all, homeschooling is a big deal. Right?

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What I would tell myself about homeschooling …

rachelpicmo

The following is a guest post by Rachel Turiel of 6512 and Growing.

I’ve been homeschooling two children for three years, which is to say, not much time at all. I’m holding space for a lot to come clear, shake down, shake out, and be revealed in the years to come.

And yet, with each passing semester, I find myself settling deeper, more comfortably, into the vast yet cozy chair of homeschooling, realizing that I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Here is what I’d tell my equally scared and nervous self, starting out on the homeschooling journey three years ago:

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How will you know if your homeschooling has been a success?

jamiemainpicmo

The following is a guest post by Jamie McMillin of Legendary Learning.

Every parent’s fondest hope is that his or her child will be successful in life. We don’t want to brag … but we really do. Right?

I suspect this urge is especially prevalent amongst homeschooling parents, because we have presumed to know better than the official public school system how our children should be educated.

What if we’re wrong? What if the whole thing was a big mistake? The stakes are high. Society is watching, so we really want to prove that we did a good job.

The problem is that the indicators society typically uses to measure accomplishment are not very useful for predicting true success in life. Things like grades, test scores, contests, and college admission are only useful for comparing students to standards picked by society.

But if you think about the people in this world who are truly happy, or who have made the greatest contributions to society, you’ll realize that those people did not do what everybody else expected them to do.

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Negative space and homeschooling

Negative space and homeschooling
The following is a guest post written by Amy Frank of Frankly Journaling the Journey.

The amount of artistic ability I have could easily fit in a thimble – which I wouldn’t be able to draw. When my kids ask me to draw an animal for them, I always persuade them that a rabbit would be best, since I can draw two basic circles on top of each other and add some ears and whiskers and call it done.

But even though I was never able to master any of the actual techniques I learned in art classes, I did understand one or two of the basic concepts, and the one that I found rattling around in my mind recently was the idea of negative space.

If my non-artistic brain understands it correctly, negative space is the space around the actual image in the artwork. It is not meant to be the focus, although clever artists do pay attention to how it affects the composition.

The parallel I draw to my life, though, goes like this: All of the efforts I am putting into raising and educating our children is the main focus of my “art,” and the negative space is everything around us that we are not doing.
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