SummaryDad’s influence is often key to success in homeschool. How can they be more involved? Jody Boyd shares 6 practical ideas to encourage this pivotal role.
Although homeschooling families differ in their makeup and structure, usually it’s Dad’s work outside the home that funds their lifestyle.
Everything, from curriculum, supplies, field trips, and special projects, relies on the financial backing of the breadwinner. However, this is not the only way dads influence the homeschooling endeavor.
They hold a place of prominence in the family that naturally carries over to homeschooling.
1. Importance of Dad’s Participation
It’s a disservice to dads and the family as a whole to consider their role superficial. Their participation in their children’s education should not be restricted to merely the “fun stuff” or solely the role of “principal.”
Fathers are leaders in their homes and parents who are tasked with the same responsibilities of raising children as mothers are.
Thus, they should be encouraged to take an active role in the entire homeschooling process. They can assist their wives in researching and deciding on a shared educational philosophy and approach, working together to plan goals, choosing curriculum, prioritizing, evaluating, and even helping to organize schedules.
In these ways, dads provide unique gifts and perspectives that bring a natural balance to the family.
2. Benefits of Dad’s Involvement
When dads are involved in homeschooling, they establish a vested interest in their children’s education. They are more comfortable with the schooling as a whole, and they are more inclined to interact with their kids. Dads also have a special way of keeping expectations realistic.
After having been consulted by their wives in making goals, dads feel comfortable to communicate new perspectives and ideas, and they aren’t hesitant to ignore what isn’t working.
3. Ways Dads Can Engage
There are many ways to encourage dads to engage in homeschooling. They hold a wealth of practical skills that will enhance any homeschool. Dads can share their memories and experiences, which in many cases help tie in studies with real life scenarios.
Also, children will benefit from prayer and Bible study time spent with their dads. Moreover, fathers who engage with their children through reading, science experiments, building projects, going for walks, swimming, or any number of other activities not only enrich their children’s lives but their own as well.
4. Recognizing Dad’s Efforts
Whatever the level of Dad’s participation in homeschooling, it is important to recognize his efforts. Fathers are in need of encouragement as much as mothers are. A spirit of thankfulness will go a long way. When their contributions are noticed, and the benefits of their presence are made known to them, dads will be more willing to continue and increase their involvement in the homeschooling effort.
In addition, recognizing dads’ efforts helps us mothers to focus on the big picture. When we feel frustrated, we can turn to “Dad” first, over friends and support groups, to seek sound council. Dads help us keep our end goals in mind when we get lost in the daily chaos.
They aid us in evaluating financial accountability, time invested, and progress. In acknowledging the energy and attention that dads invest in our homeschools, we are blessed with a more relaxed environment and are able to truly enjoy life’s journey.
5. Importance of Both Parents’ Involvement
When dads and moms come together with shared values and goals, a natural support system falls into place. Not only are Dad and Mom able to rely on each other, but the children are able to seek guidance and instruction from both parents equally.
The cohesiveness of the family unit easily extends itself into the homeschooling aspect of life. When children see both parents make their education a priority, they will gravitate toward the same mindset. A well balanced homeschool is a homeschool that thrives.
Dads play a pivotal role in the homeschooling family. Their task should not be reduced to that of financier or confined to caricatures.
Dads should be welcomed and encouraged to be present throughout the entire teaching process, cheered on when they share their unique gifts and talents, and applauded when they step outside of their comfort zone to take on some of the educational work load.
A grateful attitude toward their dedication will go a long way toward easing frustrations and increasing joy in the homeschooling family.
What are some ways your family encourages Dad to increase or continue his involvement within your homeschool?