September 29, 2013

Strengthening the Sibling Bonds through Homeschooling~Guest Post by EHM

Today I have another guest post treat to share with you! Here is a great post about the benefits of homeschooling in relation to the bonds between siblings...brought to you by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom!
***
Strengthening the Sibling Bonds Through Homeschooling

If you are like me you sometimes get the comments around your activities or at the park that since your children are homeschooled they are not getting enough social interaction and that they will become anti-social or something along those lines. I know that I try to ignore those comments because I know better. I also know that family is important too. To me, homeschooling has actually brought my family closer together, especially Beck and Elizabeth.

It may be true that as homeschoolers my children do not have all the friends that brick and mortar school children will, but there are other ways that I compensate to afford them the opportunity to make friends. These range from park days, to sports, our co-op round-ups, and to other activities that those same children are all doing. And then there is the one thing that everyone else neglects: they have each other. Beck and Elizabeth are not only classmates and siblings, but they are also the best of friends.

Every child deserves to have as many friends as they want and should be able to choose them. That is a good philosophy, but we all know that children have a knack for finding and developing friendship with almost any other child they meet. I know that Beck wears his heart on his sleeve most of the time. This is even true when he is at the park because he loves to just play and have fun. I do worry that someday he will get hurt, but each and every time he plays with someone else at the park he has fun. They play this or that, or even just run around playing some game. The bottom-line is he is interacting with the other children. I see no evidence that he is isolated from other children and is antisocial. It is even better too because I see a lot of other children out there that will not share their toys or even playground equipment. Beck just rolls with it and finds something else to play with or on. I am proud of him in those moments because he has the skills to see what is happening and just move on.

Elizabeth on the other hand is not as open with others and tends to be shy in nature, but when her best friend, her brother, is around you will find them both playing with others. They also look for other children to play with them. They do not care about the typical boundaries either. They love to play with and try to make friends with children older and younger then themselves, but they do have some conditions, they must be having fun. This is always inspiring to see that when they are together they love to play with others too, and they always seem to find a way to share. So I guess having your brother or sister as a best friend makes it easier to make other friends then, since children feel they can be more open with each other in small groups? This might not be the case with every sibling pair, but with Beck and Elizabeth it is usually the norm.

Another big thing is that since Beck and Elizabeth are siblings they do not get to go home to separate places, besides being fortunate to have their own rooms for those rare occasions that they want to play or color or do an art project by themselves. They have learned to respect each other enough to see when the other needs a little space. Sometimes they need to be reminded that they are brother and sister and should not just do what one wants, but as their sibling bond strengthens with each day; they are becoming each other’s best friend more and more and learning to read each other. As brother and sister they are already close, so when school time starts they do tend to help each other out too. This helps me when they are helping each other out too because I find I am not being run ragged at those times. Since their sibling bond is so strong they are also each other’s sounding board. There have been times when my husband or I have noticed that they have gone unexpectedly silent so we go check on them. Sometimes they are getting trouble, but more than likely we will find them sitting on one of their beds reading a story to each other, or building a Lego construct together or playing a video game together. And sometimes when we go looking to see why it has gotten so quiet we will find them simply playing nicely and quietly together, having a blast and only annoyed because dad came into the room and stepped on or knocked something over on accident. I am just glad their sibling bond is so strong that they will also protect each other.

Now do not get me wrong and think that everything is peachy-keen all the time. There are most definitely times where one or the other just needs to play by themselves or read their own book or just simply does not want to do what the other wants to. This used to be video games for Beck, but now Elizabeth likes the occasional video game too. Conversely Elizabeth loves to play with her dolls, princesses in particular, so Beck is always finding ways for his Star Wars Clone Troopers to guard the party or have his ninja turtles crash the party and fight off the bad guys. Let’s just say that when your children are best friends and play together a lot there will most definitely be days that are better than others. But as in any friendship, it will have its ups and downs. It has been my experience that as Beck and Elizabeth grow closer they are also learning how to interact and respect each other and that translates into how they act around other people out there.

So, no matter the ages, I have found that in my family and other homeschooling families that I know personally, the children all have a stronger bond with their siblings then some of the other families we are friends with. I do not know the true reasons why, but I do know that in our family Beck and Elizabeth are the best of friends and I would not want it any other way.

****

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Jill of Enchanted Homeschooling Mom is the homeschooling mother of 2 awesome children (Beck and Elizabeth), a loving wife, who brings readers along on her family’s homeschooling journey in their rural setting. She enjoys blogging about everything related to her homeschooling experience, from the daily happenings of Beck and Elizabeth, to the adventures in nature around them, to her family’s 4 rescue dogs, to just about anything that makes their homeschooling journey magical. Jill also takes the time to create printables for her homeschool classroom that she provides at her EHM Member’s Only Website. She has a wide variety of printables, curriculums, unit studies, and holiday related items that everyone is sure to find educational, useful, fun, and appropriate. You can follow with Jill’s magical homeschooling journey at enchantedhomeschooling.org, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.