We talk a lot about a mom's role in homeschooling, but what about a dad's? Today seven other homeschool bloggers and I share our stories around the question: How does your husband help with homeschooling?
Although it changes from season to season, here's some general ways that it plays out in our home:
1) He's a servant leader.
If he is home and available, he helps out whenever and however I need him. He does everything from helping a child proofread a writing assignment to occasionally entertaining our three-year-old if the kids and I are engrossed in another activity.
2) He finds random interesting and engaging content to share with the kids.
Somehow a topic is always more interesting when it's explained as a video on daddy's iPad. He has a knack for finding cool educational stuff to share with them, which I love.
3) He indirectly teaches the kids the importance of hard work and doing a job well.
My hubby is one of those self-made type of guys who can teach himself pretty much anything. And he works really hard at whatever he does. He's always our go-to example of the importance of doing our best and giving 100 percent effort. I'm so grateful for this!
4) He offers a second perspective on a topic.
As our kids grow and change, he's awesome for giving advice on ways to make our school the best it can be. He obviously knows our kids well and he is just far enough removed from the daily classroom interactions, which means that he offers a (very educated) outsiders' opinion.
5) He is our school's final authority (outside of God of course).
Every homeschool mama needs someone to back them in a classroom. If a child is being especially onery (and my husband is working from home for the day and is semi-available), I send the child downstairs to the principal's office to “discuss a matter.” Often just the threat of being sent to our principal's office is enough to keep them in line.
6) He is my back-up tutor for tough subjects.
Right now we don't have a ton of difficult subject matter to understand because the kids are still fairly young. But with high school two years away, I know the days of “mom-has-no-clue-about-what-the-assignment-says” are coming. Especially in chemistry and math (shudder).
7) He co-teaches Bible time with me (depending on his schedule).
As the head of our home I would love for him to take this over completely, but practically speaking, his schedule doesn't allow for this to happen. So when he is here and able, he joins us for morning Bible time. He often helps me research Bible verses, and in the past has been known to teach our family about a specific Bible topic.
But the number one way he helps out?
He's got my back and he trusts me.
He listens to me and we regularly pray over whatever may be going on. He supports me 100 percent in however I feel the Lord leading our homeschool. I know that this is not true for every homeschool mom, so I am especially grateful for this!
How Do Other Husbands Help With Homeschooling?
I think the first thing you'll notice is that there's no one right answer.
Just like every mom teaches her children in a unique way, every dad can connect and relate to his kids and their homeschooling efforts in their own special way.
Here's how others have their husband help with homeschooling:
From Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom:
“I'm responsible for 90% of our homeschooling in our family, but my husband is always available if I need someone to bounce ideas off of. There's been times where I've just been stuck on how to deal with a problem and I talk it over with him, and he has that perfectly obvious piece of advice I hadn't thought of. My husband is also a big history buff and enjoys watching videos on youtube, so he'll find us fun videos to watch with our history from time to time.”
From Kalista at When We're at Home:
“My husband loves science. He also loves making a mess. So it was only natural that he would take over teaching science (and doing all of the messy experiments that come with it). On Saturday mornings he gets the kids up and they go over their lesson and do a fun activity together. It's probably one of their favourite times of the week!”
From Jamie at The Unlikely Homeschool:
“While my husband doesn't always feel comfortable in the traditional teaching role, over the years, he has found opportunities to use his gifts to teach in unconventional ways. As a graphic artist, he has designed worksheets, maps, and other helpful illustrations for school projects. He has also found many interesting and educational youtube videos that he thought our kids might like. Recently, when I felt ill-equipped to teach a Lego Education science unit, he stepped in to do the building portion in the evenings with the kids which not only took a school subject off my plate, but also afforded me a quiet night ‘off.' Perhaps his most helpful responsibility has been that of an encouraging cheerleader. Our kids are always anxious to rehash the school day to him at dinner. He provides a listening ear, lots of questions and comments, and an opportunity for the kids to unknowingly review all that they have learned throughout the day.”
From Karen at Living Unabridged:
“My husband is my “expert in residence” (he has an education degree). He's my sounding board, my encourager, and my relief when the day has gotten away from me. The fact that he loves to cook has always been a bonus. Sometimes making supper is just a bridge too far at the end of a homeschool day. A dad who is willing to cook or bring home take-out can bless his homeschooling wife even if he doesn't do much of the academic stuff.
Now that our oldest child is almost ready to start high school, my husband has started taking over some of her academics. For instance, he oversees and explains her Algebra studies. My daughter and I have a much happier relationship when I'm not the one making her do math!
My husband is artistic and creative. He involves the kids in his side business (board game design) and he's taught the kids various art techniques that I didn't know anything about.
A husband who is always willing to pitch in no matter what is needed (change a diaper, listen to a phonics lesson, explain an algebra concept, send mom to take an hour nap) is worth his weight in gold.”
Kaylene at This Outnumbered Mama:
“My older boys' biological dad helps to support homeschooling by helping to cover some curriculum costs, and offering to help Mr. C with “homework” over his weekend with the boys if we get behind.The most helpful thing that he does by far is being supportive of homeschooling because without that it would be a battle and headache. My fiance helps teach lessons when I'm not feeling well, and will entertain the younger boys while I work with Mr. C on something that requires focus. He also tackles most of the experiments.. I'm not a science girl!”
From Caitlin at My Little Poppies:
“My husband has a crazy schedule and works long and unpredictable hours, including frequent weekends. I have a child who, much like his father, is go-go-go all of the time. That means that we are frequently doing some sort of school 7 days per week. I love when my husband is home because he will slip into the homeschooling role and he does it quite well. I enjoy the break, and I love watching the two of them work together. They often work on STEM related projects, math, and lots of science experiments. I probably do 95 percent of the homeschooling, but when he's home he's giving 100 percent.”
From Renee at Great Peace Academy:
“My husband is a great supporter of homeschooling. His #1 goal is to provide appropriate income to care for the needs of his family without having a second income, including having funds to provide for a comprehensive education. He acts as a sounding board for me and disciplinarian when needed and fully considers himself to the the “Principal” of our school. Only recently, has he had to take on a more formal role of educational overseer as I have had to be away for a family emergency, so he has managed the schooling lesson plans and made sure the daily goals are met, which is generally a role that has only fallen to me.”
What ways does your husband help with homeschooling? Although none of our husbands are perfect (just like we aren't perfect), let's celebrate and honor the ways that they make our homeschooling possible!
This post is part of the iHomeschool Network's “Ask the Experts” series.