During my homeschool years, I used to spend about 20 hours a day with my kids. I was always doing something with them or for them – helping them, teaching them, listening to them, cooking for them, driving them places…..I probably know more about them than they know about themselves – and I’m sure you can say the same.
But what would you say if I asked you – “How well do your kids know YOU?” “Do they know your favorite color? Food? Movie?”….. How about your favorite hobby? Or what you were like as a kid? Do u tell them stories about YOUR childhood? Or show them what makes you happy, or what makes you laugh or cry? …… Or do you just teach, and listen to and serve THEM all day long?
Homeschooling is not just about teaching academics, but about nurturing the relationships you have with your children – and a healthy relationship always has two sides. Remember – you are NOT a servant, but a parent who should eventually become a friend to your children when they are older. Start to work on that relationship now. Here are a couple of things you can do:
1) Tell them stories about your childhood – stories about things that made you happy and things that made you sad.
2) Sometimes, when you all go out, do some things that YOU want to do, and DON’T allow them to complain.
3) Play the “how well do you know me” game. Let each of your children get a sheet of writing paper. Then ask them some of the questions from paragraph #2 (above), and add your own questions as well – to see how many they get correct. Give them a score. Now play it again, and let them ask the questions about themselves.
Just because you and I are ALWAYS together with them, it doesn’t mean we are spending quality time with them. Let them see you as a PERSON – not a machine.