Home Education and the “socialising” of siblings.

I recently met with a  friend who has just about finished her long career in home educating her children, though of course she is still a mother.

In passing she commented on the way my children were playing together and how they get on well. I nodded, adding “most of the time.” She said her four daughters were also close and this had been greatly enhanced by removing them from school and having them educated and playing together so that they actually grew up together.

This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about how siblings grow together in a home education setting. More than one HE mother has talked of a change she has seen in her children once they are out of the separation imposed by school. Dare we suggest that actually being around their own brothers and sisters of different ages “socialises” them?

The way life works for most people means that however close we may have been to friends at school, they aren’t the people around in later life. For good families sibling support is very much part of life. Siblings who are used to sharing with one another and being together are surely more likely to be close into adulthood.

One thing Dr Ray Guarendi says is that as parents get older and less energetic it’s good to know that younger children have older siblings for all that rough and tumble. It’s also good to know that, if they are brought up together and share every day life together, that when they are adults they will be close and – I hope – will be there for each other.

But it’s more than that. The fact that they are around each other on a daily basis means they share, not just stuff but friendships and so their lives are not (artificially) separated in any way.

Their natural closeness is reassuring in a time when so many families have such terrible problems and when we too, as a family, face some tough times.


10 responses to “Home Education and the “socialising” of siblings.

  1. That’s nice!
    I wish Joseph could have a sibling sometime soon; someone to play with. He’d really enjoy it. He is 23 months and I am still in lactational amenorrhoea…*sigh* !

    God bless

  2. I am so thankful for the closeness that my boys have – closeness that would not be possible if they were not being educated at home. Especially for children on “the autistic spectrum” – and in learning to be close and communicate with each other, they have learned how to have relationships with others… I know that they will be there for each other, God-willing, as they grow into adulthood. Siblings are such a gift. I’m three years older than my brother, but 9 and 13 years older than my sisters – still I’m close with all of them. I think that homeschooling kept us close, despite our ages… 🙂

    • Nonna, that’s a lovely witness, especially as you were HEd yourself. I think it’s especially important for mother’s in our situation or similar, knowing that no matter what happens to us – they have each other.

  3. I have said many times to Steve that no one would ever consider telling a family with two children that they are depriving their children of socialisation. it is my strong belief that socialisation happens in the family and between siblings more so than anywhere else.

    • Mine too Therese.
      I’ve seen a great deal of damage done to sibling relationships because they are split up all day at school and then split up all evening doing separate homework in seperate rooms.

      • Our 5th and 6th children were only 16 months apart. Because of having the older 4, they were always called the babies and had a relationship that was possibly similar to twins. When Tom (number 5) went off to school he suddenly started fighting with Amelia a lot. They didn’t have that special bond that they had had before school.

        Now after 3 years at home, I am seeing the bond renewed. They don’t have the closeness they had as pre schoolers but it is much much stronger than it was when they were at school.

  4. Lovely post, Mum6kids. My two girls are absolutely and totally there for each other, and I’m so glad because some day I won’t be there for them and they’ll still have each other.

    • That is so important.
      It’s funny isn’t it, how so many people think we HE because we want to hang on to the children, when in reality we want them to grow interdependant with their siblings so they don’t have to face any crisis alone.

  5. Having said that I know a few HEers with one child; and their way around this is to make sure their children form good relationships with the extended family and of course the HE group.
    This way they grow up together.

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