When we first made the decision to homeschool the images in our minds were idyllic. For sure this setup would strengthen family bonds. Mommy sitting with our daughter reading books and doing fun craft projects.
At the end of a long day daddy comes home and we all eat a happy healthy dinner together. Notice daddy wasn’t even in the homeschooling part of this picture. How was this going to bring our family closer together if it didn’t include all of us?
Very quickly we came to see that daddy wanted to be a bigger part of this journey. He wanted more than to just come home and hear about all the fun and the learning. He wanted to experience it too. If homeschooling is supposed to strengthen family bonds then why was he feeling so disconnected and left out?
We were at fault really. We were both products of the public school system so that was the model we mimicked. Everyone goes their separate ways during the day and connects over the dining table. Nothing wrong with that but it’s not what we wanted.
We had to figure out what was ideal for us. And with my husband’s job it was going to take some thought to come up with a homeschool plan that worked for our family.
A Flexible Homeschool Schedule
Nobody said your homeschool had to run 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. With my husband’s job he was able to mix things up and take each Wednesday off.
With that weekday off we can do several things together as a family without the weekend rush. This is the day we plan field trips or anything special we all want to do as a family and has really helped in strengthening our family bond.
In the early days of our homeschool it was known as “daddy/daughter day”. My husband would take our daughter on adventures across the state just the two of them. It was a great time for them and helped to create the strong father / daughter bond they have today.
Getting to Know Your Children
When you homeschool you really get to know your child. Like really know them. You know your child anyway as a parent but homeschooling can unlock some things you might not notice if someone else were teaching your child.
This is a good thing and part of what makes homeschooling work for you and your child. You learn what makes them tick. Their strengths and their weaknesses. And that can help you pick the right learning system for them and also help them through some tough challenges.
You also talk a lot which is key in the bonding process. Through homeschooling I’ve learned my daughter is a perfectionist and very competitive. These things don’t come across in everyday play and games with her friends but her schoolwork is another story.
It’s been a challenge helping her through her fears of failure but it’s something we can work on each day in homeschool.
You Can Learn New Things Together
Then there’s all the cool stuff you can learn together as a family. I personally would not try and learn everything extracurricular our daughter is doing but it can be fun to pick one or two of those things to learn as a family.
Last year we took swimming courses as a family. Currently are working on learning a foreign language. Our daughter has a thing for foreign languages so she’s been putting her toe in as many as she can. We’re letting her go at her own pace but that means she’s got four of them going on now.
That’s kind of a lot and I’m not sure how that will play out in terms of fluency but as a family we are learning Russian together. We have the most opportunity to use this particular language in our every day life and as hard as it is this it’s a great family project.
Did you know learning a new language can boost your memory, help you be a better multitasker, and help you and your family appreciate other cultures? So sit down and pick out your next adventure.
Homeschool Fitness is Family Fitness
Mom (or dad) how many times have you said you need to exercise? Well your children need some exercise too. So make it a family affair. This is another great way to bond as a family.
Get into bike riding together. Take swimming lessons together (we did). Enjoy a workout video together. Or just a simple walk where the kids can ride their bikes.
Pick a time of day when everyone can participate. It doesn’t have to be every day of the week or even every other day. Just some special time where the whole family breaks a sweat on a regular basis.
The nature of homeschooling creates an environment where the family spends a lot of time together. In that time you learn more about each other and seek out activities, adventures, and events you can do together.
You get to know one another better and work through issues as a family. This can help you strengthen the family bond that will keep you close as your children grow and move on with their lives.
For a limited time, you can download your free copy of Putting Together Family Routines. This 29-page ebook is designed to help you easily and smoothly keep things running well at your house!
Kemi Quinn lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she homeschools her preteen daughter. She loves cooking, gardening, and learning languages with her family. She loves to help you organize your household routines over at Homemaking Organized. You can also catch her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
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