Often when I am talking to people I don’t know very well (and sometimes even people I thought knew me fairly well :P) I am often asked questions concerning large families and home-schooling as though I am a martyr or silent sufferer and that they are willing to listen to all my woes. So I thought I would put down the most frequent and annoying questions and answer them as I see fit – and yes, I really mean all I say… ;)
Do you like being the eldest of a large family?
Let me be honest. Being the eldest of eight isn’t always fun. There can be a lot of noise, mess, and if someone catches the flu, you can count us out of all social events for the next two to three months while it takes down the entire family, usually end on end – one at a time… :P But the benefits of a large family far outweigh any amount of disadvantages. For one thing, in a home of ten people, love is more than abundant. Sometimes if I am over everything and just about to break down in tears of frustration, all I have to do is look at my younger siblings and see their adoring eyes watching me, confident that I can handle all and every circumstance. My heart melts every time and I quick prayer for meekness and patience (NOW!) and try again. Little Annie has just learned to call us older ones by name. She often goes around the living area calling out, “Emmie! Emmie!” And then she flashes me an adorable toothy smile. She and Rose (as well as the others) look to me every day for advice, for praise and for love.
Let me say right here a special note for those who have younger siblings. You don’t have to be a big brother or sister – you get to be a big brother or sister. It is such a privilege. Don’t ever underestimate the influence you have on their lives. They adore you. They want to be with you. They want to be like you in every way they can. To them, you are the ultimate role model. Don’t let them down. Include them wherever you can and remember that the choices you make will affect them, even if you are unaware of it. Friends come and go if life, but until death comes, you will always have your siblings. Make effort to become best friends with them.
Don’t you wish you could go to school?
Do you like being home schooled?
I love it! And there are several reasons for that. :)
1. This is a personal thing, but it could apply to anyone. I am a natural follower. Unless it comes to a point of moral standings, I am pretty happy to do what people want me to. I can only imagine what might have happened if I wasn’t at home where Mum and Dad faithfully trained me to choose the right way, and shielded me from the world’s forceful influence.
2. I love the way home-schooling hones in on your strengths, but allows opportunity to improve on your weaknesses. I was an early reader, and well and truly advanced in my literary skills. When it came to Algebra, however, I had to restart the book three times before it ‘clicked’. But I have been able to work at that at my own pace and master it.
3. I also love how home-schooling makes learning a family affair. We do zoology all together as well as reading and other subjects like art and music and we love discussing our discoveries and competing to see who gets the most nuts at quiz time. ;) :P
How do you cook for ten every night?
My response to this usually runs along the lines of, “We’re used to it. I don’t understand how you cook for two every night!” Peeling a dozen potatoes is normal. Ordering two kilos of one kind of meat is an every shopping trip experience, and having three rows of plates all lined up for easy dishing is absolutely essential. I like to remind people that there are no twins I our family. We all came along one at a time, and so it was a slow increase in number. An extra potato or carrot every three or four years or so…
Home-schooling… does that mean you get to do what you want when you want?
Umm… no. I get a variation of this question a lot from other kids. They seem to be worried that I will miss out on the joys of maths, or essays, or science. It’s kind of them to be so considerate, but I hasten to assure them that it is not so. :)
Those are the questions that come to mind right now, but there are plenty of them out there.
God bless you – have a great week.