Homeschooling: When Daddy Teaches
I snapped this picture of my husband and son today. (I’m a horrible photographer by the way. They both look like they’re asleep.) My son was working on math...specifically temperature and reading thermometers. To an outsider looking in, this picture probably doesn’t show much. But there is more here than meets the eye. One of the things that has been important to me as a mom and home educator is that my husband not be viewed as merely the “financier” of our home. Does his job, by God’s grace, provide income for our home and enable me to stay at home? Yes, absolutely! But my husband wears so many other hats, I can barely keep up with them. Can you say counselor, mechanic, plumber, picture hanger, spider killer, prayer warrior, bodyguard, etc.? Though it is not his primary role in our home, it is a blessing when my husband jumps into the academic teaching waters with me (he’s saved me from drowning a few times). Here are a few things I’ve noticed when daddy gets to teach the children:
- It shows our children that their father has a vested interest in their learning and that “school” is not just an afterthought for him at the end of the day. I am with the children more, so naturally I do the bulk of the academic instruction, but our children should never feel that daddy doesn’t care about what they are learning because he does not teach them as often. Be it an hour a day or an hour a week, my husband’s input in teaching and training our children is invaluable.
- When daddy teaches, I get a break! Yes, world, the mommy needs a break every once in awhile. Our children are 12, 6 and 4 years old. That means we have a 6th grader, a 1st grader and a preschooler. Some days, trying to juggle teaching all three, leaves my mind a jumbled mess. It is not the easiest of feats to jump from Pre-Algebra, to phonics, to matching letters, to Botany then to Play-Doh. My hubby jumping in and teaching one child is a welcome relief.
- I gain a different perspective and learn lessons in humility and patience when my husband teaches. I am a nerd and an introvert. I am also very particular about how things should be done. Turning over the wheel of our homeschool day to my husband has taught me a lot about myself. One of the first things that I had to accept is that mommy and daddy have two entirely different teaching styles. And you know what? That’s okay! There is no need for me to be impatient or judgmental. We’re both working towards the same goal. Sometimes the children need a change in presentation. The picture you see above of my son doing math; he was having a really good time and when his lessons were done he told the entire family, “That was fun!” Wouldn’t trade that response for anything.
Despite the message that the world gives (even to homeschoolers) that “you can do anything if you just believe in yourself,” I’ve come to the conclusion that I would have crashed and burned soon after starting homeschooling if my husband hadn’t been supporting our family every step of the way. My belief in myself and my abilities are simply not enough to educate my children and lead them in truth. It requires a lot of prayer and relying on the Lord for help. My husband’s faith and leadership in our home is also a critical component in making sure things go well. Not all homeschool families are the same and our views on who does what may vary, but for us, when daddy teaches in our home, we all reap the benefits.