One of the jokes that my husband sometimes hears at work is about what parent-teacher conferences must look like in our family. While we initially found this amusing, it really made me realize that those jokes came out of a belief by his co-workers that Eric wasn’t really part of our homeschooling.
Instead of seeing him as an active member of our homeschooling efforts, they just assumed that he had more of a role that put him outside of our homeschooling. After thinking about that for some time, I realized that it might not have been far from accurate. I was the one planning the curriculum, creating lesson plans, and doing all the teaching. He was left with only the opportunity to ask what the kids had learned that day as casual dinner conversation.
I decided that it was important for all of us 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 become more involved in our homeschooling.
How to Help Dad Get More Involved in Homeschooling
Have Dad Teach One of Your Subjects (All the Time or At Least a Few Times a Week)
An excellent way to help get Dad involved in homeschooling is to have him responsible for teaching one 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 that have been written by Mom or from a curriculum provider.
If it seems like too much to teach one whole subject, there might be just portions of a subject that he could tackle. In our house, I have very little patience for involved science experiments. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for me to ask Eric to set up and complete the experiment with the kids. 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 our kids. These have typically been handled on a one-on-one basis with Eric and just one child at a time.
One source of those types of projects for us has been through 4-H. Thanks to our 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 electrical projects, woodworking, or furniture making.
Schedule Solo Adventures or Field Trips
It can be fun for Dad and kids when they go on a field trip or educational adventure 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 kids love to do together is visit the library and then go out for a small ice cream. This is something they do once every week or two. It’s a special time for them to find books to read during school and for pleasure. Plus it also gives me a chance to have some time alone at home, which helps me to refresh and be a better member of our family.
Assist with planning and curriculum choices
I was shocked when I asked my husband to help me decide on a science curriculum 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. I was surprised at how seriously he took researching our choices.
After that, I decided to consult with him about more 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. He also went with me to a large homeschooling conference where he helped to make even more decisions.
What are some ways that you have worked to get Dad involved in your family’s homeschooling?
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