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The Best Part of Homeschooling
Do you know what the best part of homeschooling is?
Is it the ability to tailor a child’s education to their needs? Or the ability to tailor a curriculum plan to a certain worldview? What about the opportunity to educate at an advanced pace if desired, to graduate early and get a head start on college? Or the ability to provide a safe place to learn where it’s okay to make mistakes and ask silly questions in order to foster a true love of learning?
All of these things are wonderful benefits, but to me, they aren’t the absolute best part.
The best part, which can also be the most challenging part sometimes, is the ability to spend so much time with my children, building relationships with them, getting to know them.
And that’s not to say that this is not without its difficult moments. Both of my teen girls have experienced normal teen friction with their parents, and my son has been flat out mad at me sometimes. The people we spend the most time with are the ones that can most easily annoy us. But it’s all worth it.
My Kids Know Me, And I Know Them
My kids know all of my faults. Of course, as a teenager, I could have pointed out my parents faults, too. But my kids get to see mine up close and personal in a way that I never did. They see how frustrated I get when I fail, how much I struggle with my weaknesses, and how human and imperfect I am.
On the other hand, my kids can see how much I truly deeply care, how hard I work, and how important they are to me–every time I have to humbly apologize, or work extra hard to make something right or pull off something that’s important to them.
And of course, that works the other way around, too. I can tell you how each of them communicates best, what makes them feel loved or unloved, what kinds of things they value most, and what their insecurities and strengths are. And it’s this close-knit camaraderie that I’m going to miss most when they are grown and gone, I can tell you that now!
My Kids Confide In Me
For whatever reason, it was hard for me to open up to my parents when I was a teenager. Truth be told, it’s still hard for me to be vulnerable with anyone but a select few people. And I can’t tell you how much it makes my heart sing with gladness that my kids confide in me.
And if this were not so, I would have missed sharing so many hopes and dreams and fears with them.
I would have not been privy to first crushes and first disappointments. I would not have been able to help my 14 year old through a tricky situation with a friend who broke her trust if she had not come to me for help. I would not be sharing silly grins and giggles with my 17 year old as she recounts sweet conversations with her boyfriend, or having conversations about if/when/how to know you’ve met your future husband.
And also, if they didn’t confide in me, I couldn’t know when I had let them down, or what things *I* need to work on in our relationship. And it would be more difficult for me to reciprocate without pushing them away.
I Get to Witness All The Best Things Firsthand
I’ve been blessed to watch my kids grow into some pretty great people. =) My 11 year old is still pretty young, but my 17 year old is nearly an adult, and the 14 year old isn’t far behind!
This past year has brought some pretty great things, and I’ve had a front row seat. Catie started taking dual credit courses at the nearby junior college, and I watched her tackle this new arena with confidence, earning a 4.0, 11 college hours, and two achievement awards. Last summer, she also tackled her first job which was at a Baptist summer camp, where she also met a guy who later became her first boyfriend. =) And these are just a few of the things I’ve shared with only one of my kids in the past year.
And as we go through all these experiences, the good ones, (and the bad ones,) we do it together. They talk to me, they share embarrassing things, funny things, and personal things. I listen, I counsel, we laugh, we cry, we share.
I love this part of my life.
It sounds sappy and cheesy, but it’s true: there are things I’d like to improve or change, but I love this part of my life. This has been the biggest blessing of homeschooling, and one that I never anticipated. I’m so glad I have this time with these little people before they move out on their own. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
How has homeschooling blessed you and your family?
Many other moms are sharing how homeschooling means so much more than academics to their family, and how it has influenced their relationships, parenting decisions, or life perspectives. To read more about homeschooling beyond academics, hop over to Beyond Homeschooling at iHomeschool Network and browse the links.