Husbands and Homeschooling: 4 Moms

We believe that the primary and ultimate responsibility for the family, including the education of children,  falls on the shoulders of the father.  So should the father do all the planning, preparing and teaching in a homeschool?

God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  Then God created the woman.  We were designed and created to help our husbands fulfill their calling.   God has created the perfect team for the education of children, a dad and a mom.

When it comes to home education, it’s important for us to remember our role. The responsibility for our children’s education belongs to our husbands.  Our role is to help them in whatever manner they describe.   We should desire, encourage and appreciate their input and cheerfully  fulfill the tasks that they delegate to us.

How this looks in individual homes will look as differently as each individual and how my husband wishes for me to help him will be different from how your husband wishes for you to help him.

Some ways to support  and encourage our husbands in their educational role:

  • Respect his advice and ideas and implement them.
  • Don’t act as if you know more about your children or their ideal education than he does.
  • Respectfully share your thoughts and ideas.
  • Don’t take responsibility in an area that he has not specifically designated as yours.
  • Cheerfully take responsibility where he gives it to you.
  • Ask for his input, advice and help, if needed.  (I frequently need Mark to help me with  balance and the focus of our kid’s education.)
  • Have the house running smoothly so that he has time to spend with the children.
  • Guard your husband’s time with your children.  (Don’t over-schedule or over-commit.)
  • Follow his lead, adhere to his wishes and express your respect and appreciation of him.
  • Don’t expect him to home educate the same way that (fill in the blank) home educates. God gave your children the man who is best equipped to educate them.

For those who are interested, here is an inside peek into Mark’s role in our homeschool.  This is what works in our home, for our personalities and with our schedule.  Your home and your husband will (and should) be different.

While Mark has specifically delegated much of the routine academic instruction to me, he is vitally involved in the planning process and book and curriculum selections.

Mark and I discuss and he decides what subjects and topics he wants our children to focus on and learn.   I’m the designated book/curricula  researcher (a role I particularly enjoy).   Then I lay out my findings with the pros and cons and Mark decides what we should use.

Mark also handles most of the formal Bible and character instruction and is the math teacher.  When I was finishing high school my main goal in taking the SAT and the ACT was to test out of college math, so I’m particularly indebted to my husband for allowing  me to avoid grading math papers.  (I actually enjoy math as an adult, but I found my high school math program to be tedious and vowed not  to use it with our kids :) .)

Mark’s role in our children’s ‘formal’ education:

  • If Mark is home, he handles all character and discipline  issues with the children.
  • Before breakfast and his shower, Mark works with our non-readers helping them memorize the Catechism for Young Children.
  • At breakfast Mark reads and discusses a character/Bible study book with our children and reads a Proverb.  This doesn’t happen everyday as sometimes he has appointments earlier than 7:30.  (He is currently working through Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends for the second time.)
  • Mark teaches, grades and answers math questions, as needed, after work.
  • During dinner Mark discusses with the children what was studied during the day and adds his thoughts and ideas to the days topics.  He also usually sneaks in some narration practice for at least a couple of the children. (For those with large families, do you have any hints for getting in more narration practice?)
  • After dinner Mark leads us in family worship.
  • After the younger children go to bed, Mark is reading through some biographies/autobiographies of godly men and discussing them with our older children.

I find great freedom and peace in following Mark’s vision and purpose in our children’s education as I take the responsibility that Mark has delegated to me.

I highly recommend that you visit the other moms of many to read their thoughts about husbands and homeschooling:

The Common Room
In a Shoe
Smockity Frocks

Check out these other 4 Moms posts:

A live blogging event – The reality of life in a large family.
Feeding your family on a budget
6 Distinctives of our Homeschool

Upcoming ’4 Moms’ topics:

October 14th- Breakfasts **LINKY** – Share your best breakfast recipes, tips and ideas.
October 21st- Germ Warfare – How we keep illness from spreading (or not).
October 28th- Questions for the Four Moms
November 4th – Christmas gifts or crafts to make  **LINKY**

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17 Responses to Husbands and Homeschooling: 4 Moms
  1. Rachel
    October 7, 2010 | 8:35 am

    Thank you for your insight on this! My husband and I are contemplating homeschooling our children (our first baby is only 3 months, lol!), and I love reading about how others view/tackle this area. I think it’s wonderful how involved your husband is – as he should be!

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  2. Roan
    October 7, 2010 | 8:37 am

    You made some really good points. I especially liked:
    Don’t act you like you know more about your children than he does, and guard their time together….don’t over schedule.
    My husband works long hours, and sometimes I think he may feel like he is “missing out”. I am trying to make sure that when he is home, we are relaxed and available to just be there with him, doing whatever he wants. We do not “do school” when he is off work, at his request. We just have that day available to do whatever he wants…..run errands, go somewhere fun, tackle household projects, visit relatives, whatever. Honoring him in this, and not stressing about “getting behind in school” has been a blessing to all of us.

    Thanks for the words of wisdom!

    Sometimes I have my children narrate in the van on the way somewhere.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Roan. Narrating in the van is a great idea!!

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  3. Lisa~
    October 7, 2010 | 9:46 am

    Great post! Know your husband’s wishes….exactly! Like you said, that means your homeschool won’t look like anyone else’s. In our case, my husband works at home, so he loves walking through and seeing me sitting with the kids doing school. He’ll stop and listen, looking at me like he adores me. It’s such a treat! Know what he loves and do it. Lisa~

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  4. Cheryl
    October 7, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Great post. I really needed to hear this. I tend to assume that our children’s entire education is on my shoulders and it’s a weight that I sometimes get smothered under. My dear husband is always willing to help and I need to see that as the blessing it is.

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  5. [...] Kimberly@Raising Olives [...]

  6. Taryn
    October 7, 2010 | 12:15 pm

    This reminds me of the Swann family with 10 children. They homeschooled all year except when the father was home- weekends, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, etc. Their oldest daughter wrote a book- No Regrets. The children had high school degrees be/at 12.

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  7. Renee
    October 7, 2010 | 2:47 pm

    love this post and thanks for letting u have a peek in how your family does things :-)

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  8. Melanie:::Adorkable
    October 7, 2010 | 3:08 pm

    That is so inspirational-having your husband be so incredibly involved in their education. Most homeschool families seem to run off of mom alone and I’m with you on this one! Though this decision is still years down the road for us, we’re praying and considering our options together right now.

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  9. Jeff Schmitz
    October 7, 2010 | 5:07 pm

    A topic dear to my heart. You raise some great points. A Dad’s involvement in homeschooling can make all the difference. I encourage other homeschool Dads out there to be a part of the homeschool too.

    jeff

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  10. Samantha
    October 7, 2010 | 5:49 pm

    I am having my husband read this. We are only in our 2nd year and I have wondered what our roles should be. Thank you!

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  11. Allie Zirkle
    October 7, 2010 | 6:10 pm

    I’m thrilled to have popped over to read this, even though I’m not a home schooling mama. My husband is a teacher and I work outside the home. I can really put the following into play:

    Have the house running smoothly so that he has time to spend with the children.

    That is so true and something I really need to focus on for our family of 6.

    Allie

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  12. Jody from Mommy Moment
    October 8, 2010 | 12:34 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Your blog. Not sure if I tell you that often enough :)

    ~Jody

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  13. LeAnn
    October 8, 2010 | 3:47 am

    Kimberly, thank you so much. I love how clearly, but gracefully you describe how you and Mark see what honoring the Lord through your family should look like; including why and how you homeschool. I’m the youngest of four children with Christian parents, and we all went through public school back in the 80′s-90′s. But now as my siblings and I are all adults with our own families, it’s interesting to me that in different ways the Lord has led all four of us to either full-time homeschool or have our children in a 2 day/week Christian private school. So many of the issues I’ve been wresting with you just “happened” to have covered here on your blog and as I read them my heart just says “yes, that’s exactly it!” Math may not be “your subject,” but writing clearly and effectively certainly is! Thank you for sharing your gift and your heart with all of us out here. Keep it coming! :-)

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  14. Michele
    October 9, 2010 | 12:13 am

    Have the house running smoothly so that he has time to spend with the children.

    And..

    Guard your husband’s time with your children. (Don’t over-schedule or over-commit.)

    I also think these are so important. Time gets eaten up so quickly and before you know it you’re out of it and it’s time for bed. We enjoy family time more than anything I can think of outside the home. Not so say we never leave, but we do try to avoid over-scheduling.

    Great post :)

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  15. Joseph
    October 18, 2010 | 7:35 pm

    I’m one of the few dads who get to really participate in the homeschooling endeavor. It’s a rich season of our lives, but it is certainly not easy. It seems that nothing of value ever is. By God’s grace, I’ve even been able to contribute to our curriculum with a book about the person and work of Christ. You are all welcome to see it at TeachYourKidsAboutJesus.com.

    Blessings to the many dads are leading their families down this path of homeschooling.

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  16. Stephanie
    November 12, 2011 | 4:45 pm

    I love the blog and have been following you for some time now. I am a former public school teacher turned stay-at-home mom of 5 children. I have been wanting to homeschool for a few years now, but my husband is very much against it. We are both Christian and this is the only area we disagree. Any suggestions on how to maybe soften him up?

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