It was early summer and our family was already thinking about the upcoming school year. Our youngest was ready for kindergarten, and my wife and I were contemplating how we could swing sending our three children to private school. My wife had recently interviewed for a secretary’s position at our kids’ school. This position would have provided a significant tuition discount; however, they ended up hiring a different person which was a blessing in disguise.
Outside the private school, we seemed to be surrounded by parents who were homeschooling their children. This started planting seeds to explore that avenue. My wife was having conversations with other homeschooling parents and started researching curriculum. We were quickly discovering there were tremendous benefits to homeschooling and minimal disadvantages. After much fervent prayer and research, we made the decision to homeschool our two younger children in the fall.
This homeschooling decision meant things were going to change in our home life. My wife and I wanted to make sure there was a harmonious balance between homeschooling two children and keeping our sanity. We set out to make a list of ways for Dad to lend a helping hand with homeschooling. This list is by no means perfect; however, I believe it does help lessen the load on Mom.
Five Ways Dad Can Lend a Helping Hand
- Dad can step in and help around the house so Mom doesn’t have to worry so much about the housework. Homeschooling is a full-time job. The last thing the teacher needs to be concerned about is washing dishes or folding laundry.
- Dad needs to be willing to roll up his sleeves. From preparing a meal to picking up something to eat, having dinner ready doesn’t need to be a priority. Dinner is flexible.
- Dad can really provide a big help by making himself available to provide support for seatwork. Be willing to help with studies, whether it is helping with spelling or Latin homework.
- Dad can give Mom a much needed rest by taking the kids on educational field trips. One recent memorable field trip we took was to the Goat Lady Dairy and Rising Meadow Farm. The kids got to pet goats, sample goat cheese, tour the gardens, feel the fleece, learn about local sustainable agriculture and eat local homemade ice cream while listening to an Irish folk band.
- Dad can take kids places out of the house at least once a week to give Mom some peace and quiet. So many places to go, so little time! Among places Dad may choose are local parks or Chuck E. Cheese’s. Mom can simply relax, go to the gym or check off a couple items on her to-do list. What she does doesn’t matter as much as just having time to recharge.
At the end of the day, homeschooling is a team effort. If a husband and wife are willing to work together, there can be a harmonious balance without anyone having to lose his or her sanity. It is possible to be a Psalm 128: 3-4 homeschooling family.
“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.”