While some fathers are the principle teachers in the homeschool, more
often, it's the mom doing most of the teaching and actual homeschooling. What
are some of the things a father and husband can do to help the homeschooling
process go smoothly?
My own husband has always been very supportive of me and the children's
homeschooling, but because of time constraints, he has not been involved so
much with the actual day-to-day homeschooling. He does work hard to provide
for our family's needs so that I can stay home and homeschool my children! He
also is our number one encourager and provoker of good homeschooling habits.
We have always given him nightly or weekly reports of what we've been
accomplishing in our homeschooling and it has given the children an
opportunity to "review" what they've learned, too. He has been a
wonderful example to the children as well, as an adult who enjoys learning and
growing in knowledge.
When we were just beginning to "formally" homeschool, all the
children were young and sometimes I'd have a rough day. His coming home in the
evenings would be all I needed to encourage me that tomorrow was yet another
day, a fresh start! He would hug me and listen to me without jumping in to
criticize me or tell me I was over-reacting, etc. After I was all talked out,
either he would have some calm, encouraging suggestions, or he would express
confidence in my ability to find a solution to my problems. Often just talking
it out would be all the help I needed! Other times, he would suggest I take
the next day off and let him work some with the children in the evening.
Sometimes we ALL needed the day off!
Once a week he would watch and play with the younger kids so I could go off
to the library alone and "regroup" and have an opportunity to expand
my own education. He would pick up meals and bring them home, or grill out
dinner for me. Not every night, but often enough that I had a break. It wasn't
always easy to homeschool with four young children, but with his support and
help in the other practical matters, it went very well and we all enjoyed it!
Years later, we added two new members to our family in the period of 20
months. It was challenging for me to care for two babies as well as check over
all the lessons that the older four did each day. One of the ways William
helped me was by offering to cover the math for me. He'd check the work each
night and help the children if they needed help. He also would listen to the
young readers read aloud and encourage them. He made it a point also to watch
and take care of the babies so I could work independently with my younger
grades when they needed it. And, he personally saw to it that the bedtime
routines were accomplished promptly at 8:00 p.m. so that I could get some rest
in the evenings!
As our teens have matured and gone on to mostly independent studies,
William has taken on more responsibility in supervising their studies and
suggesting new research topics. This has especially been helpful in
homeschooling our teenage son, who also works in our family business and
spends a great deal of time with his dad. My older son has "answered
to" William for years now for getting his work done well and on time and
this has helped me out so much!
Even if a homeschooling father has almost no free time to help in
homeschooling or even to spend with the family, (which would be a hard thing,
indeed) if he can give his wife the love, support and encouragement in a
*visible* form, that can be enough to help her homeschool alone joyfully!
He can also see to it that he and his wife have time alone to nourish their
own relationship. A mom needs to be reminded of the fact that she is not
*just* a mother and teacher, but that she is an individual as well. She needs
to be taken out from time to time, with just a tiny handbag instead of a huge
diaper bag! Even if a couple is on a strict budget there are plenty of fun
things couples can do that don't cost a lot of money. These days we have
teenagers and "built-in" babysitters for our younger two and it's
easier for us to go out, but for years we had a weekly "date night"
when we would put the children to bed and then enjoy some quiet time alone
together just at home. One of the best gifts parents can give their children
is a happy marriage!
Homeschooling at its best is a lifestyle that involves the WHOLE family.
If you feel your homeschool needs more "teamwork", prayerfully
discuss problem areas and trust God to provide wisdom! We believe that God has
given Christian husbands and wives to each other to function as a team, in
parenting and homeschooling-- in mutual respect and honor, totally sold out
and committed to the Lord, each contributing special gifts and wisdom and
thereby working efficiently and effectively to further not only His will in
their homeschooling, but their whole lives, and in the kingdom of God!
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit
publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the
copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the
publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high
school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their
homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information,
please join us on the Christian Homeschool
Fellowship Message Board.
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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."