In most of the families I know or hear about, the mother does most of the homeschooling.
And most families have a father somewhere in the background of the day-to-day. (Not all, though! For those who manage to homeschool as a single parent, you have my highest regard, and I pray for you in the task before you.)
I have seen this question repeatedly over the years: How can a homeschooling family incorporate the father?
Some of the options available you've probably thought of.
- Let Dad do some of the Read-Alouds in the evening before bed.
- Let Dad do Science experiments on the weekends.
- Let Dad explain Math concepts when your explanations fall flat.
I expect these are fairly obvious (and if not, bonus!).
But is there anything else that a Dad can do?
Here are a few ideas.
Let Dad be "the heavy."
Though I'm not thrilled to admit this, there have been a few times where my husband Phil has had to go to our boys and say, "You will not treat my wife like that." This is not a threat. It is a statement of fact: in his house, it is not okay to treat his wife like that.
This doesn't happen often, but there is a certain absolute authority that Phil projects that the boys don't argue with. I don't think this is a fear thing. Rather, it's a respect that comes from being Dad, that I, as Mom, simply don't have.
Does that make sense? I might describe it as: I have a defender. Or, I am not the court of last resort.
This is really, really helpful. And even if this takes five minutes a few times in all the years of homeschooling, this extra protection that my husband provides me is one of the most helpful things he can do.
And if Dad isn't in the picture?
One mother called the dad of a different family to come and address her children when they were acting up. He was very calm when he arrived.
"What are you guys doing?" he asked. "Look at your Mother. Give her a break."
That changed the whole tone of the day, and the days following.
John and Sarita's oldest daughter
Homeschooling mom to five