How To Help Dads Be Involved In HomeschoolingLeah Courtney
In many of the homeschooling families I know, the mother does the work of homeschooling, and the dads are not involved or have minimal involvement. Although many homeschooling moms say they’d like to have their husbands more involved, it doesn’t seem to happen much of the time. Why is this? Is there a reason dads sometimes relinquish responsibility when it comes to homeschooling? And is there a way that we moms can help our husbands be more involved in our homeschooling?
Dads feel uninformed.
Often it’s mom who is researching teaching methods, picking our curricula, and planning fun field trips. Dad can easily feel left out of the loop. And when he feels as if he doesn’t know anything, he can be tempted to back off and let mom handle it.
There are several ways to help Dad feel more informed about the homeschooling process. My husband and I like to go to homeschool conventions as a couple. When my husband has a chance to sit through workshops or walk around the vendor hall and learn more about resources and curricula, he feels as if he at least knows what I’m talking about when I discuss our schooling.
He also often has good input after he’s been a part of a convention or read homeschooling books. Having a little background knowledge can help dads want to step in and be involved in the schooling.
Dads are a last resort.
There are many times that a decision about homeschooling does need to be made quickly. And sometimes Mom falls into the habit of just making all of the decisions herself. When this happens, some dads will back off and let moms handle it. They might feel as if they aren’t really needed to make the decisions.
Taking time to discuss decisions with our husbands can help them to feel involved. There have been a few times that I waited and explained an issue to my husband and asked for his input, and he had some good insights.
Dads have a little distance because they are often not home or with the kids all day long. Because of this, they can think more clearly and contribute to the discussion from a different perspective. Take time to get Dad’s opinion.
Moms are the primary teacher.
Because we as moms are with the kids for most of the homeschooling day, we become the ones that they automatically come to for all school questions. If they need help in solving a problem, writing an essay, or answering a discussion question, they come to us. Dads, who are often gone all day, can feel as if their input isn’t really needed, as if they don’t need to answer questions or help kids with schoolwork because that’s what mom does.
When Dad is home for a day off or after work in the afternoon, I try to make a point of sending the kids to him for some answers or some help. It’s true that he explains things differently than I do. And sometimes it’s hard for me to let go and let him help. But encouraging kids to get help and answers from dad helps them to see him as actively involved. And it helps Dad to feel as if he’s a part of homeschooling.
Helping Dad to be involved in homeschooling is important. He can have great insights about homeschool methods and curricula. He can help kids solve problems because he looks at them from a different perspective. It’s great to have a mom and dad team that are approaching homeschooling together.