The following post is from Angie of Many Little Blessings:
One of the jokes at my husband’s work is when his coworkers ask him what a parent-teacher conference looks like in our family. While this was initially amusing, it really made me realize that those jokes came out of an assumption that his co-workers believed that separated my husband from our homeschooling.
Instead of seeing my husband as an active member of our homeschool, it was assumed that he had more of a role that was on the periphery of our homeschooling. And then it hit me then that it might not have been far from accurate. I was the one planning the curriculum, creating plans, and carrying out the teaching. He was left only the opportunity to ask what the kids had learned that day as casual dinner conversation.
I decided that it was important for me, for him, and for our children to make sure that he was a more active member of our homeschooling, at least as much as his work permitted. If you have been feeling like I felt, then you might use some of these ideas that we’ve tried to help my husband be more involved in our homeschooling.
Have him teach one subject.
A great way to help involve Dad in homeschooling is to have him responsible for teaching one school subject, if that is something he would be interested in. This might mean that he plans and teaches a subject or that he teaches from already prepared lesson plans.
If it seems like too much to teach one entire subject, there might be just portions of a subject that he could tackle. In our house, I have very little patience for intricate science experiments. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for me to ask my husband to set up and complete the experiment with the children. This works for us because it is already an area that he enjoys and he has more patience for detailed instructions than I do.
Plan special hands on projects.
Another thing that we’ve tried at our house that has been met with a lot of enthusiasm was to have my husband work on specific, short term hands on projects with the children, typically on a one-0n-one basis. One source of those types of projects for us has been through 4-H. Thanks to those 4-H projects, the children have each been able to have very special hands-on instruction from my husband in areas that are outside of my expertise, such as woodworking and electrical projects.
Schedule solo excursions or field trips.
It can be fun for Dad and kids when they go on a field trip or educational excursion without Mom. If Dad is a nature lover, this might mean hikes for a nature study. If Dad loves history, it might mean a trip to a historical society or history museum.
One of the things that my husband and children love to do together is visit the library and then out for a small ice cream. This is something they do once every week or two, and it’s a special time for them to find books to read during school and for pleasure. (It also gives me a chance to have some time alone at home.)
Assist with curriculum choices.
I was shocked when I asked my husband to help me make a science curriculum choice and he actually got excited. He admitted that while he hadn’t thought he would have wanted to help, he actually enjoyed researching options with me to make a decision together. After that, I decided to consult with him about many of our curriculum choices, and he was happy to be involved each time. Even though he works full time, he felt like this gave him a real say in what we were doing at home.
What are some ways that you have worked to get Dad involved in your family’s homeschooling?
|Angie, a domestically-challenged writer and artist, is a homeschooling mom to three children. She writes about everything that happens in their lives between all the loads of laundry at Many Little Blessings. She is also the founder of The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Mothers Online, and Just a Tiny Owl.|