Are you a dad looking for ways to realistically participate in the Homeschool Process? Here are seven basic Homeschooling tips for Dads that will keep you involved in the education of your children and supporting your wife without being overwhelmed.
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Homeschooling typically involves one parent staying home to educate the children while the other works a job to provide for the family. In the majority of homeschooling families, the dad works and the mom is the homeschool teacher. For most families, this scenario works well, but it does present a set of challenges for the homeschool dad.
Realistic Homeschooling Tips for Dads
I could point you to lots of homeschool articles suggesting that dad teach a subject or two in the homeschool, provide all of the daily discipline when he gets home from work, and play an active role in everything from choosing the curriculum used to administering tests and quizzes. That simply is not realistic for most working dads.
Honestly, as a mom, I really don’t want all of that, especially in a large family homeschool. My husband is always teaching my kids through life experience on the weekends as we do projects, so I don’t need him to add an additional subject. If all of the discipline decisions had to wait until my husband came home from work, honestly, I would forget about most of the issues that needed to be addressed that day. Finally, I love my husband’s input, but I would not want anyone choosing the curriculum that I will have to teach from.
There are, however, some things my husband, and other homeschool dads like him can do to make the homeschooling process easier.
Your wife may not need you involved in every single aspect of the homeschool day, but she certainly would like you to be available when she needs encouragement, or just needs a sounding board to process things out loud.
You may not be there all day long for the ins and outs of the homeschooling day, but when you get home and your wife and kids want to share with you, be interested in what they have to say.
- Ask your children about their day.
- Ask your wife how things went today.
- Ask if there is anything you can help with.
- Ask for highlights from what the kids learned today or this week.
Set the tone.
Have a positive attitude when discussing homeschooling with your children and with others in front of your children. The view of homeschooling you communicate sets the bar for how your children view homeschooling and, ultimately, how receptive they will be to it.
Your opinion will also have a huge impact of whether your children are proud or embarrassed to be homeschoolers. If you seem unsure or dodge the question when you are asked about your kids’ schooling, your children will pick up on that.
Even if you aren’t there, be aware of how things are going in your homeschool. Ask from time to time if your children are struggling with anything. Know what grade your kids are in. (This will help when people ask.)
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Support your wife’s decisions.
For the majority of the day, your wife is at home with the children educating and parenting them. She will be making decisions daily that she will not have time to call and consult you about. Inevitably, your children will come to you to act as mediator about some decision your wife has made or consequence she has handed out. Don’t fall for it! Support her decisions and back her up.
Give your wife a break.
If you and your wife have agreed to homeschool your children, clearly, both you and your wife love your children and care about them very much. If your wife is staying home to teach your kids while you work, she will most certainly need a break from those little people she pours herself into all day. The break doesn’t have to be huge. You may suggest some of these small self-care practices that take 15 minutes or less.
Acknowledge the value of the work your wife is doing.
Homeschooling is no small task. It is exhausting, but the benefits are limitless. Homeschooling can have lasting effects not only on the current generation, but on generations to come. Express to your wife the lasting value of her work. There is no need for a homeschooling mom to ever struggle with her own significance. She is raising the next generation.