The boys and I just started a new book. We've been reading over our lunch hour almost ever day this summer. It's a tradition I plan to keep going for the rest of the year. Right now we are reading: "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler."
In this book, two children, a brother and a sister, run away to live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The story is written by a woman we have yet to meet, Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler. In chapter 3, the two children, Claudia and James, begin to work together as a team. Mrs. Frankweiler describes the moment when this began and then she explains that it is rare that this teamwork feeling occurs at the same time in the same people. But here is the end of her description of that event that made me break out my highlighter, ".--especially a brother and a sister who had always spent more time with activities than they had with each other."
We don't do a lot of activities in our house. And we don't do any activities that our boys can't be together. They play flag football, but are on the same team. We go to a small church so that they are even in the same Sunday school. They even choose the same classes for Co-Op each season, and that is by their choice! We don't do summer camp that would separate our boys for a week, let alone separate them from us for a week. Our boys have had LOTS of time to spend together. Lots of time to bond as a team and realize that bond.
When my husband gathers us together, he calls, "OK Team!" We are a four-person team. We are a four-chorded strand. Our activities do not take us away from each other, but instead we choose activities that tighten our chord and maintain our bond. I remember when our oldest son went with his Daddy to work for Bring Your Child to Work Day. Our youngest was not old enough to meet Big Dog's work required age, so he stayed home with me. When our oldest (Big Mac) came home he said, "Mommy, they separated us by age! Isn't that weird?" It made me laugh because to a child from the public school it is only natural to be separated by age group. But for our homeschooling lifestyle, we are with children and adults of all ages at lots of different times. Being separated is NOT natural for us at all. And I like it just that way!