Homeschooling can be a hard, lonely journey. You don’t have to go it alone. Let me equip you with 6 ways to get Dad involved in homeschooling. Having your husband’s encouragement and support can transform your homeschool!
Some days you are absolutely fed up with your students and at a loss for what to do. The rub: the students are your kids.
Regular teachers can chalk up their frustrations to bad curriculum, a bad bunch of students, or an off-year.
Curriculum problem? Well, you picked it. Bad students? Well, you birthed them. (Or, picked them – either way, they are yours.) Off-year? Yeah, we moms get those too. The problem is that these aren’t some random kids – they are our kids.
So what is a mom to do? First, remember that when Jesus sent the disciples out to minister, he sent them in sets of two! You and your husband are a team in raising your children. As the stay at home parent, you may have the bulk of the teaching responsibilities, but you are still a team with your husband.
The key to having a successful and JOYFUL homeschool is to get Dad involved in homeschool as an essential part of the team.
#1 Plan Together for Your Homeschool: Each Year/Each Semester
The first step to getting Dad involved in homeschooling is to involve him in the planning. No, you don’t need to go over every lesson plan with your husband. You don’t have time for that.
Instead, plan a parent conference together. Go over your goals for homeschooling – academically, socially, spiritually. Focus on the big picture goals that you feel God has for your family.
Take the time to go over the curriculum and other activities to make sure you are on the same page. Your husband might have ideas to make things run more smoothly. Or, he might point out that you are planning too much. (Ahem.)
Going over your homeschool plan for the year with your husband has two main blessings. First, you can both grow in confidence with regard to what your children will be learning for the year.
As homeschool parents, there is always this fear that we are short-changing our children. There is always a nagging fear that they might be missing out on something important. Going over the year together helps to build your confidence as a team in what you are doing in your homeschool.
#2 Make Your Husband a Homeschool Team Member
The second blessing that comes from going over your homeschool plans with your husband is that it makes him feel like a team member, rather than an outsider. Make him a member of the Team in order to get Dad involved in homeschooling.
Mom, you don’t have to be a lone ranger! Being a lone-ranger does have its benefits. You get to do what you want to do. You get to try and hide your fears and hide your flaws.
Inviting Dad to be involved in your homeschool team can be a bit scary. As homeschool moms, we often have to defend our choice to homeschool to family, friends, and strangers. We don’t want to have to defend it within our own home.
Yet, if we let down our defenses, our spouse might be able to help us be better home educators and help us solve some of our struggles.
#3 Choose the Right Attitude with Your Husband
When our husbands come home from work, we are often worn out. We are exhausted from the teenager who isn’t motivated, the child that won’t focus, or the kid that refuses to get their work done in a timely fashion.
When asked about our day, our first response is not usually about a victory or accomplishment, but rather to vent about the behavior challenges of the day.
Granted each school is tough. We are not just learning about each subject, but our children are also learning perseverance and developing a good character.
Yet, we tend to take the mundane parts of our day for granted. We don’t celebrate that we completed a math lesson. We don’t celebrate that we got some reading done.
We don’t celebrate that mistakes were made and learned from. We just see the ways that our Norman Rockwell version of a homeschool day didn’t quite live up to our expectations.
No, here is the kicker. Most men are wired to be fixers. When we complain to them about our day, they want to help us fix the problem. We may say that the problem is that the kids are not behaving or won’t listen. What do our husbands hear? My wife is not happy.
Happy wife, happy life. Have you heard this old adage? Our husbands may be 100% on board with homeschooling, but if we are complaining everyday… they might begin to question if homeschooling is the right choice.
God has wired them to want to fix things to make you happy. Be careful about what you communicate that needs fixing!
Are you a chronic complainer? Complaining is a habit. A key to getting Dad involved in homeschooling is to stop complaining. If there are things that need to change in your homeschool, stop complaining and make the change.
#4 Make your Husband the Homeschool Principal
We wear many hats as homeschool mamas: we are the math teacher, the science teacher, and the reading teacher. When you are a homeschool mom, you are also the school nurse, lunch worker, and custodian. It can be tiring doing all the things and being all the things.
Keeping all of our students focused and on track keeps our days busy. One of the biggest struggles is getting our children to meet deadlines and have urgency in their work. When it is just homeschool, they feel like they can push work off until the next day and the next…
Learning to meet a deadline is a VITAL life lesson. Unfortunately, when your students are acting up, it doesn’t do much good to send a note home with them!
So, what is a homeschool mom to do when her kids won’t listen to her anymore? When her kids don’t take her deadlines seriously?? Enter, Dad – homeschool principal.
Your husband wants to be your hero, most of the time he just doesn’t know how. Get Dad involved in homeschooling by enlisting him as your hero – the Principal, a.k.a. The Enforcer.
Each week my middle school and high school student complete a weekly to-do sheet. For each day they list exactly what has to happen for each subject. They have to write it not just for me to understand, but clearly for Dad to understand.
Then, Dad goes over what has been accomplished and what hasn’t been accomplished. Dad doesn’t have to be able to teach the particular subject to be able to coach your students on how to manage their time and set deadlines for them.
Expect what you Inspect – During our current season, we are upping the game. Each night, we have a nightly daily report to Dad of what has been accomplished for the day. Each child has to show their dad their assignment sheets and a physical copy of the actual work.
Dad doesn’t actually have to grade the work, but he needs to see the math problems on the sheet. Dad doesn’t need to be a math expert to help with this. He just provides valuable accountability for meeting the deadline. Plus, he can comment on the neatness of the work too!
Face it, we live in a world where if it matters to men – it matters to kids. Dad’s voice carries weight. When Dad demonstrates that doing the work is important, kids know that it is important. Especially our sons need to hear another man demonstrate to them the value of school and hard work.
#5 Get Dad Involved in Homeschooling by Roping Him into Teaching
Nothing demonstrates the importance of learning more to your children than having Dad teach something. Now teaching might not be your thing. Many adults get nervous helping with homework, but there is always something that Dad can teach.
When your children are younger, encourage them to re-read for Dad an early reader or a passage that they have read several times to you during the day. Build a pattern of wanting to impress Daddy what they have learned and to earn Dad’s praise. Plus, bonus reading practice!
Dad can help with addition and subtraction too. Get Dad involved in those early math years.
When your kids hit harder math, don’t stop. Let them explain it to you and teach you. This helps our kids dig deeper and really learn a concept when they have to explain it to someone else. Be the guinea pig for them to practice on.
Go online together and watch a video of someone else explaining the concept. When Dad models being a life-long learner and the vulnerability of seeking out an answer, our children will definitely have the courage to be life-long learners too!
Every Dad has something they can teach. Maybe Dad is great at making cookies. Maybe Dad is great at computers.
Maybe Dad is not into book learning but knows all kinds of practical skills. Kids need to learn how to change a tire and how to fix things. They need to learn how to fix a toilet. They need to learn how to pay bills. They need to learn all kinds of life skills – boys and girls.
Maybe Dad loves football. Every fall can be football lessons with Dad. Put Dad in charge of gym class.
When I went to public school, we had to learn the rules and how to play a variety of different sports. Have Dad teach all the rules for football. Explain the plays that are going on during the game. When the umpires whistle blows, explain what happened to your kids.
Who knows, Daddy’s girl may grow up to coach football. (My husband would love it if one of his kids could get the Chargers to the Superbowl!!)
#6 Get Dad Involved in Homeschooling as Your Spiritual Leader
In the tyranny of the urgent in homeschooling, it can be easy to focus exclusively on academic learning. Enlist your husband’s help to keep your family accountable in growing relationships with Jesus. Get Dad involved in homeschool as your Spiritual Leader.
Dad doesn’t have to be a Bible expert to be a spiritual leader for the home. Have Dad pray a prayer of blessing over your children’s day before he leaves for work for the day. This is an easy, but powerful way for Dad to influence the tone for the house for the day.
When Dad is reviewing the work for the day, he can encourage the children to do their work as unto the Lord.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
We homeschool not just for academic reasons but for spiritual reasons. Enlist Dad to speak to your children’s behavior in spiritual terms. Are they growing in the gifts of the spirit in how they treat their siblings and their mother? Are they growing in their ability to serve others? Are they spending time daily in God’s word?
#7 Get Dad Involved by Getting Him Connect with Other Dads
Just as homeschooling is lonely for mom, it can be lonely for dad as well. Get Dad involved in homeschooling by helping him make connections. Getting Dad connected with other homeschooling dads gives him a chance to talk to other dads about the unique challenges of homeschooling.
He can learn from other dads what role they play in each of their homeschools. They can talk about how to support their wives. They can discover that there are other families just like theirs and that this homeschooling journey doesn’t have to be scary and lonely.
Homeschooling isn’t just a mom thing, but it is a family thing. When you get your husband to connect with others at your homeschool co-op or with other homeschooling families, it can strengthen their commitment to homeschooling. Intentionally make friends not just with other homeschool moms, but with the whole family.
Parenting & Homeschooling Takes a Team
Homeschooling is a marathon. There will be many challenges and joys along the way. Just like everything else in life, God created you and your husband to be a team. We know that successful parenting requires teamwork. Successful homeschooling requires teamwork too!
In Exodus 17, the Israelites were attacked by the Amalekites. During the battle, Moses lifted up the staff of the Lord. As long as Moses lifted up the staff, the Israelites were winning. When he lowered his hands, they started to lose. Ultimately, Aaron and Hur helped Moses hold up his hands. In the end, God defeated the Amalekites.
Dear fellow homeschool mom, you don’t have to do this alone. Let your husband hold up your hands. Get your husband involved in your homeschool, so that together you can see God win the battle!