The heart of homeschooling is family. The choice to homeschool affects the whole home! It may interrupt naps for little ones, it may change Mom’s availability for toddlers. It means research, planing and teaching for Mom. But what about Dad you may ask?
Dad’s are essential to the homeschool life. Deciding the teach your kids at home is a great honor but a huge undertaking! Not only does it require you invest extra time and money into educating your child, it’s also a huge responsibility.
If you are a two parent house choosing to homeschool, then schooling in your home should be a two parent effort.
Here are a few simple ways Dad can help shoulder the responsibility of homeschool.
1. Pick a Subject for Dad to Teach- This may look like Dad coming home from work and actually teaching the dreaded math lesson but it could be much more casual than that. What are some of Dad’s interests, skills or passions? How can he be intentional about sharing those with the kids in a way that will enhance their education? Does he love golfing? Schedule a once a month Dad and kid trip to the golf course for him to share his knowledge. Is he a musician? Maybe he can teach the kids weekly lessons or take them to lessons. Is he into all things tech? Find a game or app that is educational that Dad can use to introduce the kids to the world of technology. When making your schedule, don’t forget to add Dad lessons in.
2. Research and Planning- The market is full of curriculum options! It’s totally overwhelming. I’m not naturally a researcher but my husband is. When we started this past year I didn’t feel confident enough to sift through our options on my own, so I enlisted the help of my husband. He started reading reviews, blogs and articles on curriculum options! Quickly we selected Abeka’s K5 teacher/student kits, which turned out to be perfect for us. We are already starting this process again for next year. I’m so thankful I don’t have to do it alone.
3. Teaching on “off days” – We are in Virginia so if it snows, the world stops. This winter we had a lot of snow days. One perk of homeschool (kinda) is snow doesn’t slow down our learning plan. We kept up with our lessons with one modification, Dad taught them and Momma took a break. My son loved having Daddy teach him. I loved watching him teach, he brings a whole new level of fun and enthusiasm to the scene that I lack.
4. Homeschool Homework – One thing I’ve found hard to want to do as we’ve embraced the homeschooling life is, extra practice. Our curriculum advises that our boy practice reading aloud the readers he’s going through a few “extra” times a week. This I’ve decided is a great Daddy task! At bedtime Dad gets to hear our kid re-read his book and it’s actually exciting because Dad hasn’t been there for all the in-between lessons so he’s actually amazed at our progress. This makes everyone feel great! So, it’s win, win, win!
5. Field Trips- The great thing about homeschool is school can be anytime! Field trips can be taken on a work Holiday, Saturday or vacation! Once you decide to become a homeschooling family, life becomes about learning together. On Dad’s random day off use it as a chance to explore something new together. Let Dad take the lead on planning an educational outing everyone can enjoy. Take a family hike, visit the zoo, check out a local museum. Get out together and encourage Dad to share what he thinks everyone can learn from this new experience.
We are still in the baby stages of our homeschooling journey, so these are the tiny things that have helped us to share the load but I’m sure we have much more to learn! What are your favorite ways to work as a team or include Dad in school at your home? I’d love to hear them.