When the Older Serves the Younger

Many of us are homeschooling more than one child and might be familiar with this. We have the one that struggles to get through the day and the one that takes the day by the horns and wrangles it! What warms my heart is when that wrangler comes down and says "Mom/Dad, how can I help?" For a brief moment, the chaos is shattered. Yes, this is the same child that stole the other one's breakfast. This is the same child that you had to pull off of the other one. This is the same child that put flour instead of sugar in the other one's cereal...you forget that for just a moment. I'll give you a better take on it.
I am right handed and all three of my kids are left-handed. Yes, the struggle is just that real at times. I was helping my middle daughter with penmanship and I was struggling because it was right hand over left hand. My oldest daughter comes to me and says "Mom, I know I'm not a grown up, but can I try?" I smiled and said yes because I was getting frustrated. Not only did they get the work done, the mood of the whole house changed!
If you have older ones, you would be doing yourself a great disservice by not letting them help with the younger ones. It's not a mutiny, attempted anarchy, or a hostile takeover bid. They genuinely want to help and make things a little bit more manageable for you and for their siblings. It doesn't have to be anything big, but if they can and actually want to...let them help. And more importantly, please don't allow yourself to feel down or defeated because they may get a different result.
It's okay if they help them understand greater than or less than by using cookies and a hungry stuffed alligator who eats the person's cookies who has the most! It's okay if they turn addition and subtraction problems into a lightsaber fight with Lego people! As long as they get it, just let it go! (By the way--don't ask!)
While this may be rare or seem like a dream, should you ever come across it, please nurture it. Having a heart to help is something that so many grow up without having. It definitely makes for some great memories and even better relationships. At the end of the day, Mom and Dad are still the rockstars that they always were and you always will be! Remember...you're a family and that's just one more thing to love about each other!


I am a married mother of three girls from Memphis, Tennessee. I have been homeschooling since 2008, and I have worked in many different facets of education from daycare to college as a childcare worker, tutor, teacher's assistant, college and career advisor, financial aid counselor, and administrator. In addition to homeschooling, I also do homeschool consulting and tutoring. I am a member of the Crossroads Baptist Church where I serve in the choir, nursery, and King's Daughters ministries. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, writing, and creating educational materials such as lesson plans, books and board games.

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