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Q: How does homeschooling build a better relationship between the parent and child? I'd like to find some statistics on this -- do you know where I can find them?
A: I can answer your question, but I can not provide statistics. To accurately measure better parental relationships among the diverse homeschool community would be impossible.
For my family, close and loving relationships form the foundation of our homeschool life. My husband and I are willing to sacrifice our time and energy so that our daughters can have the gift of learning in freedom. Because my girls are free to spend as much time as they like pursuing subjects that interest them, they are quite happy. They get plenty of sleep (no early morning bus to catch), have leisurely play-dates and sleepovers with their friends whenever they want, never do homework, and have no peer pressure. Our family activities include skiing, ice skating, roller blading, biking, and camping. We enjoy these activities during the week when there are no crowds and the rates are reduced. Much of our "school work" consists of going to galleries, museums, concerts, and plays. With no school schedule binding us, we travel whenever we want, and we travel often. (Fortunately we also have flexible jobs!)
Homeschooling seems to remove many of the stumbling blocks that traditionally-schooled parents and kids encounter. With no pressure to conform or fit in (a major problem with my kids' schooled friends), there is also no need for rebellion. And as homeschooled kids get older (I have a teen), it actually becomes easier. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but for parents who wish to have a close and loving relationship with their kids, homeschooling is a wonderful choice.
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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.