It is so important to find ways to involved dad in your homeschool journey. Even little ways can make for a stronger and rewarding homeschooling experience.
Last year, I was coordinating our local graduation and I had a conversation with a mom that still rings in my mind. I was asking if her husband had arrived yet, to line up for the processional and her words to me, shocked and saddened me deeply. With a face full of pride, she replied, “He didn't do one thing in our homeschooling of our daughter, so why should he be given the opportunity to hand her the diploma?”
As it was sinking in, I was feeling rather upset with her insights of her husband not being a part of the homeschooling of their child. I looked at her and said with a soft voice so others wouldn't hear me, “Who paid for the books?” Fearing that I may say more and at the wrong time, I moved on down the line of parents lining up for this special day.
This story is often one that I hear women discussing, but I would love to share with you some insights in my 15 years of homeschooling and knowing that without my husband support, it just couldn't happen.
7 Ways to Involve Dad in Your Homeschool
- Acknowledge His Providing Resources – For most homeschooling families, it is through the husband's providing for the resources and livelihood that allows the mother to stay home to teach her children. If you aren't acknowledging this gift from your husband and letting your children know of his labor of love that allows their homeschooling journey to happen, you should start today! Throw a surprise dinner for him, getting the children involved in the surprise and let him whole heartedly know you appreciate his part in your homeschool. My husband had tears in his eyes the first time we did this for him. I actually fixed a thanksgiving dinner for him and it was in September!
- Discuss Curriculum with Him – Early in our homeschooling journey, I hate to admit that I could have easily became this wife that I just mentioned. Since I was the homeschooling parent, he trusted me in my decision for curriculum. Well, until I blew the budget out of the water and got us in a pickle real fast. It wasn't pretty for a while between us, because he didn't understand the cost of homeschooling and I wasn't sensitive to our limited budget. At the point, out of a bad attitude, I told him that he will be coming with me and making the decisions because he ‘needed to see' how expensive it was to homeschool. Little did I know that my bad attitude was going to be the best thing that happened to our homeschool. This one thing caused my husband to want to listen to me when I talked curriculum and when I was having a hard time deciding on something, I would hand it to him and walk away to the next thing. He would come with the bag of the one that he felt fit us best and he was always right.
- Turn Dinner Time into Discussion Time – During important times in our children's live, self-confidence was an issue. My solution to that was to turn dinner time into discussion time. This was the time my children got to tell daddy all about what they were learning in their lessons or the fun things they did in their free time. I would give suggestions of things to tell daddy if it was needed to get the conversation started but it really helped to remove the stress of lessons from my struggling child and help build the circle of our homeschool to involve dad. We would sometimes play geography, math or history games as well!
- Plan Outings with Him – Many times, we would do our nature walk in the evenings, so we could get exercise and exploring done together. We also plan some of our field trips on the weekend or on his vacation. My husband appreciates it when we include him on some of our fun times, because he often feels left out when cool things happen and he only gets to hear about it.
- Let Him Teach Something – This may not be an option for all men, but my husband loved to help with math any chance he could. When my older children reached high school, I had a newborn in the house. My husband offered to teach their math and I didn't hesitate, although I love higher math as well. It was such a joy for all of us to have him do one of their subjects, even when it took some of our evenings.
- Weekly Recitals – Each week, I would have a time on the weekend where our children would recite their memory work for my husband. He loves to hear them reciting scriptures and quotes from history. My children loved having the praise of their dad for a job well done.
- Yearly Show N Tell – Each year, our children worked hard on a few projects that would be part of a display to showcase some of their work for the year. We would invite friends, who had their own displays to show, add some food and the dads. This has always been something that my husband looks forward to each year because it gives him a good way to see their progress and be part of the relationships we are building with other homeschooling families.
Remember the mother that didn't think her husband deserved to hand her daughter the diploma or even walk on stage with them? Imagine my surprise and joy, when about ten minutes after my ‘soft question', I saw her husband standing next to her in the processional line ready to celebrate together.
I gave her an approving smile and nod, as she needed to know that she made the right decision to involve her husband in the joy of celebrating and sharing the honor of the day, because it is from his labors that the homeschool resources were purchased.
I hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas that will get the dad of your homeschool feeling the part he is meant to play in your home.
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