One of the reasons I love homeschooling is the sibling relationships that I see being nurtured. This wasn't an original reason we chose to homeschool but one of those benefits that we've seen before our own eyes. I see this with all the homeschool families around us as well. I'm not saying that if the older kids were not home all the time they wouldn't love their younger siblings but there is a definite difference that happens when the family unit is together all the time. Here are just a few of my observations.
1.)The older ones get to know their younger siblings better because they are not away from them for 6+ hours a day. B.W. is probably Lovebirds favorite person after mommy. And I'm sure that when she is done nursing big brother will slip into that top spot quickly. If B.W. was a little older we know that he could totally handle watching all of his siblings.
2.) Age is not a factor. Whenever I hear the words homeschool kids and unsocialized I always laugh. This has not been our experience at all! I love how our kids will make friends with just about anybody. They can also carry on a conversation with any age including adults. When I've been around kids who are not with their siblings through out the day it appears that age does play a factor. I don't hear my kids say, "That is for babies." or "They are too little to play with." We have had friends over before and have heard this. I loved B.W.'s response. "Well lets play with the little ones for a little bit to make them happy and then we'll play something else." I wondered if as my kids got into those teen years if age might become a factor. By the teens I've seen who are homeschooled it won't be. I love seeing a 6th grader be totally accepted by a 12th grader at co-op. Age is just not a factor. In adult life it's not a factor so why should it be as a kid. You don't ever say, "Sorry, I only have friends who are between the ages of 40 and 45." Well I hope you don't!
3.) They are great friends. Believe me, my kids can definitely get on each others nerves and fight with each other. There are always going to be personality clashes. It's natural. But in the end my kids do love one another and miss each other terribly when someone is missing. They also know that in the end family relationships are the most important. They see Prince Charming and I have close relationships with our siblings as an example. At times when the older ones are fighting with each other I talk about how I have many friendships but with time some of those fizzle out but the ones I know will always be there are the friendships with my sisters and same goes for Prince Charming and his brothers.
Seeing our kids become best friends with their siblings wasn't a reason we chose to homeschool but has definitely now jumped high up on the list of why we continue to choose to.