Many think we are strange for having a large family, then they think we plum lost our minds because we chose to homeschool them all! I don’t know what brought you to this post today, but I’m hoping I can cement in your mind why homeschooling is best for large families.
I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you it’s all bliss. My kids still have days they don’t want to do school, and they bicker and argue. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed and some days its a full moon. But the good days make it all worth the work.
I have eight children ages 19-6mo old. I’ve been homeschooling for 15 years now. I’ve found that homeschooling meshes nicely with our large family. I never intended to homeschool, I actually thought people were crazy to consider such an option. God just laughed and pointed me in the right direction, because homeschooling is perfect for our family.
Homeschool Allows for Individualized Education and Unique Interests
We are a team.
I do have to set boundaries on what activities we participate in, but it creates a form of unity I don’t think we would have found otherwise. We work together as one unit, not 10 separate units. Each child may have their own separate school work, but we keep our extra curricular activities to a minimum. And those that we choose to participate in are supported by the family as a whole.
Being military our extra curricular activities change, but I try to keep things as consistent as possible. We are a 4-H family. We found that it covers many different interests so everyone can find something they love. It is a nation wide program, so we find a good club every time we move. And it gives the kids a sense of similarity so the shock of moving isn’t so hard.
This means, not only do we participate in projects together, but we support each other in individual projects. We cheer each other on, we sacrifice our time for others events, and we work together to finish projects.
Pursuing Unique Interests as a Family
Each can grow in their own area.
As mentioned above, I am very well aware that each child is unique with their own giftings.
Homeschooling allows us to focus in on those giftings and grow, but it also gives us lots of opportunity to be challenged in our weak areas. When there are ten separate personalities under one roof, there’s lots of character teaching opportunities.
The world doesn’t revolve around one child.
In a large family, each child gets their opportunity to shine. But this also means that each child has to take a turn at not being in the spotlight.
My kids aren’t divided up into grades, each section having their own activities. No, they all share in each others struggles and successes. The older ones help tutor the younger ones, they have to take time to encourage and support each other. There is no time or space for the family to rotate around one child’s schedule.
Built in Responsibility
My kids are assigned a buddy. The older buddy helps the little buddy get dressed, brush their teeth, help with schoolwork, etc. It’s so easy to let the teenagers get caught up in their busy lives that they have no part in the family unit. But I find that being part of the family daily activities grounds them and gives them skills they will need to become successful adults.
They are important and needed to keep the house functioning. Each person contributes to this family machine. I would like to tell you it’s a well-oiled machine, but life is bumpy. Everyone has a chore to keep daily tasks moving, plus weekly and monthly chores so that nothing becomes overwhelming.
I don’t miss out on them growing up
I love watching them learn new things and I get to be there to notice that spark of interest and feed it. My absolute favorite part of homeschooling is watching their curiosity turn into a life long passion. I don’t miss out on those educational milestones and I get to be a key part in feeding that passion. It’s also such a blessing to see everyone else get excited for their sibling as they discover a new hobby or skill.
All of these things are nourished in a homeschool setting. They aren’t separated, spending all their time with only their age group, and participating in their personal projects without family involvement.
We are together, living this life side by side. My kids can relate to all age groups, can appreciate other peoples interests, and know how to sacrifice their time for another.
Homeschooling has blessed our large family.