My wife has been working tirelessly all day. Her job is the most important job in the world (if you ask me). The pay is lousy, but the long terms rewards and benefits are priceless. The hours are unrealistic, but my wife labors just the same, day in and day out, with a smile on her face and love pouring from her hands and heart.
My wife is a mother! If that were not enough to make any grown man tired with complete exhaustion, my wife is also a homeschool educator.
Now let me add on the layers of extra awesomeness. We have six beautiful, wonderful, slightly rambunctious kiddos - each packaged with different strengths, weakness, and passions.
I get tired just typing about how great my wife is and the task she has worked on most of the day. She has been preparing for the upcoming homeschool year. She reminds me that she always gets nervous as she prepares for a new year. I remind her that she always does a great job.
This year Little Red is being added to mix. Red's strawberry blonde hair is a testament to her passion and drive. Add in a healthy dose of 5 year oldness and wait for the fireworks to began. I predict that my wife and I will either have the smartest kindergartener in the world or I will need to hug my wife after long, demanding days with her newest student. I am preparing myself for both!
And if you thoughts that was insane, Little Man will turn two this in October. Terrible twos and potty training on top of it all! My wife is Wonder Woman.
I started sharing about how great my wife is (I think she is great by the way), and I forgot about the title of this post. Focus! Focus! Focus!
I have believed the lies
I might not be parent who sits at the cool craft tables all day, but for goodness sake, I am apart of this family. I proudly wear the badge of homeschool dad.
Now if truth be told, I have not always worn my badge with honor, but maybe a few more years under my belt has helped me mature a bit.
I have struggled with being a homeschool dad, because I have bought into many of the lies that homeschool dads believe.
Which lies do you believe?
Disclaimer: I want to apologize for any generalization that indicates Moms cannot be the income earner of the family and Dads are not able to be the primary homeschool educator. I know that my statement is not always true for all homeschooling families, but generally true for many homeschooling families.
Lie #1: If Dad does not sit at the craft table all day with the kiddos, then he is not a home educator.
We need to get real people. If your family homeschools, both parents should have been educating the kiddos before the kiddos were even "school" age.
Nothing magical happens now that your 5 or 6 years old starts sitting at the cool craft table (or any other preferred place of studying, schooling, "lifing"). Hey Dad! You don't get to check out just because your child is schooling. You are still an educator, because whether you claimed to be or not, you have always been one.
For example, one day I went to the bank to pick up a $25 box box of pennies. I brought the box home and asked my kiddos if they want to buy a share of my treasure. We spent the afternoon looking for pre 1982 pennies (higher content copper) and found some other treasures along the way - like some wheat pennies and some foreign currency.
Everyone who paid to buy a share received an equal potion of the treasure - ECONOMICS. We sure did user a lot of MATH that day. We also dabbled with WEIGHT to determine which 1982 pennies were made with more copper.
I am an educator because I am Dad. It does not matter where I am (or where my wife is physically located) when we educate. Honestly, a lot of our education takes place around our dinner table at meal times.
I am an educator because I love my kids and I am best equipped to prepare them for most of the challenges they will face in life.
Lie #2: Since my wife is the primary school educator she should make all of the decisions about the materials and curriculum we use.
I have learned over the years that my wife wants me to engage in thoughtful conversations about the materials we use to homeschool. We have an understanding that she drives the decisions (because she will be primarily teaching the courses and topics), but we also agree that we should both be onboard about the decision.
I can't be onboard if my mind is wandering while she shares about her 40 hours of research. I can't be onboard if my thoughts drift after a long day of work. Self check! She has been busting it all day.
These decisions that happen a few times a year will impact the remainder of the year. I must be present.
Hey Dad! If you want to earn the right to express concern about the cost of homeschooling curriculum, then love your wife enough to join her in the beginning stages of the process (when she starts picking out the curriculum).
Lie #3: Since my wife is the primary school educator, then I do not have any daily responsibilities with my child's schooling.
Being a kind and respective parent to your children's teacher is a first great step. Tell your child's teacher how great a job she is doing. As a parent, ask her how you can support her. And though not appropriate in a traditional school, tell your child's teacher how beautiful she looks and offer to take her on a date every once in a while.
As a member of the homeschool staff, realize that there are other roles you can assist with.
- Bus Driver - Your kids may need to be driven somewhere.
- Janitor - Your kids are messy and gross. Help clean up after them!
- Principle - Your kids act up and sometimes need correction (hard to believe, but so true).
- Substitute - Your child's teacher may get sick on occasion (even Super Woman) or may just need a short break from her classroom. Be willing to step in and take over for a day - then you will really understand all of the hard work and dedication she points into homeschooling.
You might not have to fill in often, but prepare your heart to fill in when needed.
Hey Dad! You are have unique opportunity to shape the future of your family and children's lives. It is both a great honor and great responsibility.
Be present. Earn your homeschooling badge with honor. And love your family well.
I want to hear from all the homeschooling parents out there:
- What lies have you believed?
- Why did you decide to homeschool?
Thanks for stopping by!