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Hi, I’m Melinda from the J6 Journey, our family blog. Today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite reasons for homeschooling. I did not realize how important homeschooling was to us until I saw how my children have been able to spend quality time with their grandparents. I always knew we would homeschool, in part because I was homeschooled and it was a great experience for me. Many of the reasons that this blog party will cover, including the flexibility homeschooling brings, are my favorite reasons for homeschooling, but this one stands out the most to me right now.
When my oldest 3 kids were 6 ½ yrs old, 3 ½ yrs old, and 6 months old, my mom became ill with cancer (our youngest wasn’t born until 6 years later). If my children were not homeschooled, they would not have been able to spend time with their Gramma and learn from her while she was still healthy. My mom taught my oldest some geography and helped him improve his handwriting. But, she passed away 14 months after she was diagnosed. During her illness, my children would come with me when I took care of her and visited with her and my dad. Because homeschooling is so flexible, I was able to change our routines in order to accommodate this crisis.
My dad also became ill and passed away 17 months after my mom did. Again, my children were able to learn life lessons of diligence, kindness, compassion, and love by watching me help my dad grieve, move from one apartment to another, and reestablish himself, at least for a little while. If they had not been home with me, they would not have had that opportunity. My dad also took the time to share educational computer games with the kids. I will be forever grateful that homeschooling allowed for these special relationships to develop while they could.
When my oldest was 7, my father-in-law suggested that he could help our homeschooling by teaching my son all about the Bible. They started by meeting weekly and talking about the Bible over a meal together. This practice has continued for my other son and daughter in turn. We now live 1,600 miles away from my in-laws, but every week, without fail, 3 of my kids get on FaceTime to do Bible class with Grandpa. It’s a highlight of their week!
Because my children are home with me all the time, I have had to take them with me to appointments or leave them with a sitter when they were younger. When we lived near my in-laws, my mother-in-law had numerous opportunities to have Gramma time with the kids. If we didn’t homeschool, Grandma wouldn’t get as many chances to hang out with the kids and learn who they are. She also has helped out sometimes with the actual instruction and taught my oldest sign language.
Homeschooling has brought our extended family together in so many unique ways. Many life lessons have been learned through living daily with each other. Lessons like compassion and empathy for all ages have built character into our children. It would be much harder to find time to instill these values in our kids if they were not with us most of the time. Therefore, I love the freedom of homeschooling and the ability to shift priorities according to our season of life.