Tuesday 8 October 2013

Dad's Helping Hand in our Homeschool

Years ago when I first started home educating there was a move within the home school community that Dad is the head of the house and therefore should be in charge of your home school. There was also a silent expectation that he aught to be doing A to Z within your home school.  I lived with such guilt, condemnation and confusion during this time. Paul didn't do even 5% of what was on the prescribed list. How could he ? He was up and out the home by 7am to be at work. Due to the physical demands of his job came home utterly exhausted.  I was so relieved when the mentor of our home school group broached this topic and said enough is enough.  Your husband works all day providing for you and your family.  He has entrusted the education of your children to you, stop with this craziness. There is no way under the sun that he can hold down full time employment and home educate your children.

As I thought about this weeks topic the following scripture kept coming to mind: Proverbs 31:11
  • The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her (KJV)
  • The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely  (AMP)
  • Her husband has full confidence in her (NIV)
  • Her husband trusts her without reserve, (MSG)
Once we had prayed and come into agreement that this is what God wanted for our family Paul trusted me to research.  He trusted that I would equip myself to do the best I could possible do with the resources we have available for our family. He did not and does not micro manage our home school.  He quietly watches from the sidelines and encourages me when I loose sight of the bigger picture. More often than not this is a self esteem issue more than a home educating one. There has been once or twice he has stepped in and said enough you need to rest but other than that he trusts me to do what is best for our family in the homeschool front.  This is not to say we never talk about it, we do. If it's to do with academics he trusts me to choose and decide. If anything extra comes up I bring to the table we discuss, make a decision and it's up to me to follow through. He is not a man of many words but I know he is there if I need him all I need to do is ask.

My Assistant
We each have different strengths and abilities and we are both willing to bring what ever is needed at the time to accomplish the greater good for our family.  For us that means he is the bread winner in our home and I do the educating.  I don't like doing dissections and am not hands on but he is.  When ever we need to dissect something he is happy to do that.  I have had no Latin instruction so he helps with the pronunciations of that and teaches me. There have been times I have come unstuck with a question in a book and he has had the answer. He is my perfect counter balance and he completes me even in our home school. I am not technically minded, he is so he teaches that when the children want to know.  He is a hands on learner and is willing to help our children no matter what. 

Paul's Thoughts
What it means to be a home school Dad
Home-schooling is becoming increasingly popular as for some the pendulum swings away from institutionalised teaching. It appears that there are several reasons to home-school ranging from children being bullied, one on one teaching, instilling one’s moral values into one’s own children etc. Many parents find themselves at loggerheads with other family members who perhaps feel threatened by the unknown aspects of home-schooling or they may feel the resistance to change which is a perfectly normal human emotion. It is necessary to be supportive in this instance.
When a family does decide to embark on a home-school journey it is critically important for the parents to be in total agreement about everything that it encompasses. There will always be Government or State requirements to meet, agreement on what study material to use, it will mean that there is potentially one less income in the home (in a culture where the mother is expected to work). In short it is a tremendous commitment and not to be taken lightly. It is therefore vital that I as the Father encompass all that it entails to be united in our home-schooling journey.
In my role I do not do the actual day to day teaching however I read stories (normally curriculum related) on a daily basis. I will assist in certain scientific aspects of the work. Being involved in animal related work (as a Zookeeper) I have access to many interesting nature related topics.
It is imperative for me to be “on the same page” as my spouse concerning the direction we take in our schooling as well as philosophies and spiritual beliefs and support in the day to day running of things. I need to be a stable and mature personality for her to lean on during difficult times and be a permanent foundation for her and our children.

Paul recently started a blog {Bush Tales by Paul} where he intends to share about creation from a Zoo keepers' perspective.
Practical ways for Dad to be involved
  • Discussion to help clarrify goals, direction and approach for your homeschool
  • Encouragement when your wife feels overwhelmed. Acknowledge that your wife is doing a great job.
  • Support and understanding.
  • Instructing the children in areas the wife has no experience in. For example car maintenance, be a guest teacher in an area that a child is struggling.  Sometimes you have a different perspective that can be the key to unlocking understanding in the student.
  • Spiritual accountability especially if a student is having a personal struggle in some area. 
  • Be a listening support for your wife
  • Take the children out for a while to allow your wife some time on her own.
  • Take your wife on a date.

Help for Homeschool Dads: I'm Married to a Homeschool Mom!

At the end of it we all need to realise that each and every family is different and what is good for one family is not necessarily a good fit for another family. You need to find your comfortable place and go with that rather than try to be what other people expect of your family.  



This post is part of the Homeschool Help series brought to you by a group of homeschool Mom's from around the globe.  Do not forget to visit and read their inspirational insight.

This week


  1. Agreed. I have seen this same trend where you feel guilty if your husband is not teaching. It is a bit ridiculous.

  2. Your husband has the coolest job!
    It sounds like you guys are a great team. I'm sure your compassionate words about performing the roles that work in your family will speak to many people who may be struggling with how things "should" look.

  3. What fantastic team work. Our family also works like this. My husband is my greatest support and cheerleader and it is a joy to have him home part of our day for the girls to show off their knowledge or ask him for help because they want to, not because he is the "teacher" for that.

    1. I agree. It's about relationship and what works best for your family

  4. That was a really encouraging read Chareen and Paul. Thank you!

  5. well written. I love that you included both perspectives and practical how-to's. :)

  6. I loved this post! We are in a similar situation with my husband being absolutely beat when he comes home from work (he works a extra-long night shift). He does trust me but I sometimes lose sight of how wonderful that trust is. Thank you! BTW A zoo keeper sounds like a really fun job! (I worked at an aquarium in high school and during college and it was so much fun, although sometimes stinky and always tiring!)


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