If you've homeschooled long, you've probably heard the comment: "Oh, I could never spend that much time with my kids. I don't know how you do it."
Well, here's a secret many parents have discovered: homeschooling can actually help your relationship with your kids. It can help their relationship with one another. It can help your family grow closer.
How could that possibly be? I can't speak for other curriculum companies, but family bonding is a core value in Sonlight. We designed the curriculum approach itself to help families grow closer. We don't just want to help students succeed academically. We also want to help build families.
That's just one reason why the heart of Sonlight is reading together. Sure, I did math and science, handwriting and spelling with my children. But when I think about our homeschool, the main image I remember is cuddling on the couch to share a book.
So, how does Sonlight, with all its great books, build families?
First, time shared reading together can help fill up children's "love tanks." If you're familiar with the Five Love Languages, you're automatically hitting two of the five during school time – quality time and physical touch!
Sonlight mom Sue E says that her daughters' friendship started once she pulled her oldest from public school to use Sonlight at home.
Reading together also builds a common family culture. You'll develop inside jokes about characters and your kids might start referencing your shared stories in play and at the dinner table. You get to express emotion alongside your children, whether you shed a tear at the end of a poignant work, or you all cry because you're laughing so hard at a funny part.
Reading together fosters conversation. I remember lively discussions about our books during dinner and car trips. We talked about why a character did this, and whether we agreed with that. As my children grew older, we found we enjoyed deep conversations more and more often. What a gift!
Literature-based homeschooling also gives the non-teaching spouse an easy way to get involved. My husband John loved being able to participate in our homeschool through reading out loud. It gave him a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with our kids on a regular basis. Many other dads have discovered the same in their own families.
Lest you think I'm exaggerating about how Sonlight helps families grow close, I wanted to share from others on this very issue. When I searched for Sonlighter quotes about families growing closer, I was overwhelmed at how many I found. Here is just a small sample:
- "Sonlight gives me the opportunity to stop, slow down and get lots of snuggle and one-on-one time with our blessings!" –Sara G of New London, OH
- "Some of our most cherished family memories are those in which we spend an evening listening to dad read some of our favorite Read-Alouds." –Kathy R of Farmington, MI
- "Homeschooling with Sonlight has allowed my husband and I to form a bond with our children that we were missing out on before." – Devaney L of Silverhill, AL
- "After homeschooling with Sonlight for eight years, my girls [pictured above] are officially best friends." -–Sue E of La Crosse, WI
Homeschooling with Sonlight let my husband and I build the family culture we wanted. I will always be grateful for that. Has Sonlight helped your family grow closer, too?
Blessings to you and yours,