The best thing about homeschool isn’t the incredible high academic standards, the fluency of several languages (for my kids, anyway), the amount of free time the kids have, the respectful behaviour of the kids, but it’s how it strengthens the bond between the children and the parents.
Whenever I come home from work all 3 of my kids, without fail, come running to me, give me a quick hug. I never did that to my parents.
We have so much fun together, it’s hard to describe. It’s the small things. We often give each other high fives as we go past one another, we go swimming together, go for runs together, I wrestle with all 3 of the kids (amazing exercise), often have paper-ball fights – the last time we got in trouble as we destroyed a glass vase.
Small things matter a lot more to homeschooled kids, because they don’t have 100’s of other kids to put them on a high all day. The kids have always bought me presents, really thoughtful ones even if I’ve been a bit slack myself. And once a week they cook my wife and I a gourmet 3-course meal.
My youngest daughter, Sabeen’s favourite pastime is lying down hugging me, while I ask her questions that she knows the answers of!?
Yes, the kids are innocent, but I think they should remain that way for at least a few more years.
I’ll often go on about how amazing a maths and physics teacher I am, and that they’re just lucky they’ve got me. They respond by telling me how they’re child geniuses and everyone thinks I’m a great teacher just because I got lucky by having them as kids! They also love rubbing in the fact that I got rejected from Oxford the first time I applied. It’s all good fun, and the kind of innocent humour I want my kids to develop – and unfortunately not the kind that I suspect they would be exposed to at school.
The youngest, Sabeen, runs to the front door to say goodbye every time I leave the house, and asks me to stay. She’s 8. The last time I left to play squash she told me “Don’t worry, if you don’t win, you’ll still be my champion”. That’s the deepest thing she’s ever said to me. A really daddy’s girl.
When I come back from squash they’re interested in whether I won – they will tell me how I’m getting old when I have a losing streak! I mean they really take an interest in my life, in part because they have so much time.
It’s not all rosy of course. We’re in the same house a lot of the time. I lose my temper, so do the kids – and the kids do argue with each other over silly things. But that’s around 10% of the time. The other 90% is just incredible.
We are already very close friends with the kids, and I think that homeschool has played a key role in facilitating that. I suspect and hope that when adults, we’ll remain best buddies because of these homeschool years where we’ve really connected…