Homeschool dads tend to get forgotten or a least left out of the picture a lot in the homeschooling world. Today’s guest post is by Jayson, a homeschool dad who is committed to being an active part of his children’s education.
One of the many reasons, our family chose to homeschool was because we saw a huge deficit in the relationship between myself and my kids.
Since I was raised by a single parent mom and my grandparents, I was severely lacking a decent father role. As I grew up, I wanted to be the kind of dad who was involved.
Due to a series of life circumstances, (bullying and a lack of academic progression being two of them) I saw my own relationship with my kids fading away. After a lot of prayer and thought, my wife and I decided to homeschool. However, I didn’t want my wife to be the only one involved and because I am disabled, I was in the unique position to help more.
I did notice though that majority of the homeschooling world is focused on the mom and kids. When I searched for dad involvement, I found there is very little out there to help dads to be involved in the process. What I did find, though, were many posts from tired, stressed, and overburdened homeschooling moms wanting dads to be involved.
Dads, even if you are working and have a lot of your own stuff to deal with, your kids need you!!! Mom doesn’t just want you to fork over the money for supplies, curriculum, field trips and conferences.
So, homeschool dads, here are 10 ways you can be involved and help improve your relationships with both your kids and the homeschooling world.
10 Ways For Homeschool Dads To Be Involved
1. Have daily conversations: both with the kids and mom. Be excited to hear about what they are learning. Find out if there is a deficit that mom is struggling with that you can help with.
2. Use your own skills: If you are a tradesperson…teach the kids basic skills. If you are a scientist do some really cool science experiments. If you are a crafter/artist…teach them how to. This can be something you can do on a Saturday instead of letting them play video games. (Unless, of course, you are a gamer, then use gaming as a tool too.)
3. Plan to use your time off for outings: I know days off, you probably want to do your own thing but choose a couple days off and go somewhere with the kids…mom can stay home and rest or she can go too. But, make the day yours, be in charge of the planning. See what they are learning and take them somewhere that can augment the learning. This gives you the opportunity to spend time with the kids and shows you are interested in what they are.
4. Pick a subject: Mom is not a know it all…she has weaknesses just like you and I. If there is a subject she needs help with…become the teacher…even if it is for an hour a week.
5. Give mom a break: Mom is always on the go at home especially if she is the stay at home parent and you are working. I know your job can be tiring and stressful but so is running a house, wrangling kids and homeschooling…give mom a break once a week or let her have downtime at night. This gives you the opportunity to do the above things and spend time with the kids.
6. Have fun: teaching doesn’t have to be you sitting down and be in instructor mode. Your car needs a good wash…well, have the kids help and teach them simple things about the car and then turn the hose on them…have a water fight..the only thing you will lose is some wet clothes and your kids will remember dad had fun with them.
7. Teach life skills: I am a proponent of that there are certain things only dad can teach. For example how a lady should be treated. With sons, show them that mom is so important, that she deserves to be treated right. So if you are preparing to take mom out for a date night…go through the steps with them, from proper dressing (how to tie a tie for example) to making a reservation. With your daughters, take them out on a daddy date…teach them that when they get old enough to court/date: how a man should respect them and get them to know them. Also, things like cooking and maintenance in the house…if these are your responsibilities then include the kids.
8. Be a voice: Have a say in the curriculum or activities your kids are doing. Don’t leave it up to mom to make all the decisions. Join groups; share your opinions, ask questions. Go to the group events if you can; let them know you are interested and maybe they can plan things on weekends so other dads can go. Reach out to other dads; let them know you are actively seeking to be part of things. Maybe it will help them do the same.
9. Be a support: Help mom organize the school year and the school space. A lot of homeschooling moms like to share, blog, vlog, pin and otherwise seek support or give support to others. Why can’t homeschool dads? Show others how you are involved. Make videos or take pictures for mom.
10. Above all else: Remember you are their dad; you have the privilege and responsibility to mould your kids. By taking the time to be invested in your kids’ schooling; you are showing them that you love and care for them. Your wife will be grateful and know she is not alone.
Jayson is a stay at home dad, who is disabled and has the opportunity to be invested in his kids’ homeschooling for 5 years. He runs the blog known as The Invested Dad and has a facebook page by the same name.