SummaryHow can dads get more involved in schooling at home? Renee Zilio discusses how homeschooling dads can share their knowledge and experience with their kids.
Do you homeschooling mothers ever wonder how Dad can become a bigger part of your homeschool and how to take some of the load off yourself at the same time?
In the case of our family, sometimes my husband Paul helps me out of necessity, and other times he is adding enrichment to our school.
We have been homeschooling for over ten years now, and, to be honest, I never would have made it this far without my husband’s help.
1. The Seasons of Homeschool
There have been those seasons of high risk pregnancies and recovering from childbirth, when, if it wasn’t for Paul, our little school would have shut right down. He stepped up to the plate, and not only did he keep school on track, but the kids have great memories of being taught by their father.
I can still picture him, sitting all the kids down at the kitchen table, as he did laps… encouraging each child, answering questions, assigning work… coffee in hand. I was able to rest and recuperate peacefully knowing he had it all under control.
Those “seasons” are done for us now, and I’ve come to appreciate how much Paul has to offer even when I am operating at my full capacity. Our children are now 4, 9, 13, and 16 years old. This is a prime time for “Dad-style” homeschooling.
2. Picking up the Slack
Truth be told, there are subjects I’m great at teaching… and other subjects… not so much. These other subjects are the ones I struggled with in school myself. History is a great example. I know some of you may be great at remembering all those facts and dates.
However, although I’m a champion at remembering baseball schedules, horse riding lessons, youth group activities, and what I have planned for dinner, I cannot remember what happened 800 years ago.
That’s where my cherished husband comes into our homeschool picture. Unlike me, he has a mind like a vault…literally. He can talk for hours upon hours, bringing to life all the children have learned in their seatwork and tying it all together so the kids feel as if they have actually lived it themselves.
But, here is our little problem:
In the past couple of years, Paul has gone through a career change, which means he is away from home a lot. He is a paramedic, and we live on a remote island in Northern Ontario. When he leaves for work, he is gone for anywhere between two and five days (and nights) at a time. So, what do I do?
I do the best I can with what God has given me. Isn’t that what we all do? When it comes to history, geography, and a couple of other subjects, I must admit I am just “keeping the pots simmering” until he comes back home.
Then, before you know it, the kids are asking him a plethora of questions, and he is more than willing to find his comfy spot on the couch with all the kids gathered around him…listening intently.
3. How can the Dad of your homeschool have a positive impact?
Here are some ideas for how to incorporate your husband into your homeschooling efforts:
- Pray for him. St. Joseph’s intercession is powerful for dads (and us too)!
- Allow Dad to help with the teaching. This sounds basic enough, but if he feels like he may be stepping on toes, he will be less likely to contribute.
- Brainstorm with him. What knowledge and experience has he been yearning to pass on to the next generation?
- Identify and write down your weaknesses as a teacher. We all have them, and they do not diminish our worth as a teaching parent. Admitting this fact is just an exercise in good old fashioned humility.
- Ask him to help. Now that you have jotted down areas you need his help in, don’t be afraid to ask!
- Set up a time of day (or week) for lively discussions or tutoring (Dad style).
- Affirm him. He will probably feel self-conscious at first, so be supportive … even if he’s still a little rough around the edges.
- Thank him for his positive impact and Daddy awesomeness!
Let’s face it friends, homeschooling is tough and often grueling. Sometimes, it feels easy, but a lot of times, we need support and help. God has given husbands and wives to each other, so that together they can glorify Him.
The best way to glorify God as a married couple is to raise our children to be little saints. It’s not only okay to lean on each other, but practical and pleasing to God.
Our husbands have gifts, experience, and knowledge that we simply don’t have.
How does your husband help out with the education of your children?