The most wonderful benefit from homeschooling is really knowing who your child is and in turn them really getting to know you. This happens with time.
However, it must be noted that really connecting with your child is not an instant and guaranteed outcome of being with them 24/7. Genuine connection can take place even if you only spend a couple of hours with your kids as long as you are present.
Now, I know for a fact this is easier said than done. A friend of mine whose kids go to school made a remark recently that it must be easy for me to be present because thats my focus- homeschooling. I laughed in response. For one, even homeschool parents have lists running through their heads, just like working parents we can be preoccupied. Sometimes more so because our ‘free’ time is really rare.
Over the years I have practiced three things that ensure I am present with my child. Three things that are tools to connect with him and ways for him to continue to learn. I don’t think it’s realistic to think that you can be present every moment but I do think if you make time to be present, it gets easier.
First, at least once a month I have a ‘date’ with my son. He gets to choose the activity. This month, it was a video game contest. Last month, it was an IMAX movie. Whatever it is, I am on. I take an interest, I tease, I laugh. I am present.
Second, we work on a project together; a common goal. It could be anything. Last year, we worked on making his room the coolest room in the house. That was a year long project and was fodder for tons of lively conversations and idea sharing. Right now, we are working on a bucket list for the summer.
Third and last, I make time every day to snuggle with him. Sometimes we snuggle standing up, as we pass each other. While I hug him close, I whisper in his ear how much I love him. How proud I am. While I hold him, I also practice breathing. Yes, I am present and this one also centers me. Both ensure I am at my best at least part of the time.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Picture By kippster