One of the reasons I love homeschooling is that it fosters good sibling relationships. Brothers and sisters are home, together, all day long during the hours that they are at their best. Older brothers and sisters learn to love and care for their younger siblings, and, in essence, are pre-learning good parenting skills. Younger siblings not only have multiple friends to play with but have models of what it is to work cheerfully, honor parents, and grow in good manners and character. There is plenty of time for youngers to play with youngers, and olders to “hang out” with olders. It is wonderful! I totally disagree that children “need friends their own age” or “friends that are just their own” (in other words, outside of the family). Whatever for? Instead, I encourage our children that other friends (and yes, they do have them!) come and go all through life, but brothers and sisters will, for better or worse, be brothers and sisters all of their lives. That is one reason I believe that the best *gift* you can ever give your child….is a(nother) sibling.
Here is my 8 year old playing a game she made up with her 5 year old sister. Even the die was made from paper! My 8yo enjoyed teaching her sis something new, and my 5yo was happy to get some one-on-one time with one of her big sisters. No one loses in that game!
It is worth the hard work of running a busy household and organizing learning opportunities for each individual child when it stokes the hope they will all be there for one another when that blessed day comes and we are no longer with them. I am thankful, truly thankful, for the chance to foster good relationships between them while they are under our care and guidance.