No matter how far we stray from the mainstream, my kids are just like any other set of siblings. Within any given hour, I witness a broad range of emotions and actions from my three:
- awe and approval when one child does something especially impressive
- lots of laughter because they are quick to crack each other up
- too much frustration and anger
- jealousy over possessions
- play fighting which typically evolves into true physical aggression
- those sweet quiet times where they work together to achieve a goal
Our unschool day is full of these nonstop sibling interactions. With the exception of Mr.8 hiding in his room listening to audiobooks, the children are together from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. Mr.4 and Mr.8’s twin beds are even pushed together, maximizing their closeness. For us, this is a huge benefit of homeschooling. My children are growing up together rather than being raised by their peers in a classroom setting. I can’t predict the future but I can surely hope these three will always be close and choose to spend their time together.
Mr.8 turned 5 just 10 days after Mr.4 was born, their August birthdays coinciding with the start of the school year. Of course, we had no option but to homeschool due to Mississippi’s oppressive vaccine laws. We had embraced homeschooling although a few doubts still lingered about the future. But, the theory of homeschooling and the reality of having a school-age child was very different for me. Knowing my biggest boy was spending all day long with his tiny baby brother made all the difference, affirming our decision that homeschooling was best for us, regardless of archaic laws dictating where my children were schooled.
With three little ones, our days overflow with the emotions of three very different personalities. I am eternally grateful these emotions are navigated within the confines of our family and our home. I am reminded daily of my mother-in-law telling me that sibling interactions are children’s first peer experiences . . . which is fitting because I couldn’t choose better peers for my kids’ unschool day.