Tag Archives: dads and homeschooling

To plan, or not to plan… that is the question

Next to packing lunches, planning is the complete bane of my existence.  I loathe each with equal passion.  Currently, I am detaching from reality each evening with an inflammation-inducing comfort of organic milk (we have been dairy-free for ELEVEN years) and chunky Chips Ahoy cookies (we have been gluten-free for a decade and pretty much flour free because of blood sugar issues for easily 3 years)… because I am in a quandary about how to proceed with my kids educational needs and I just don’t feel like dealing with it.

But I’m going to deal with it, obviously… Here is the quandary…

Continue reading To plan, or not to plan… that is the question


BigGuy’s first Scouting adventure

It was a weekend that feels like the first day of the rest of our lives… because Boy Scouts is NOT Cub Scouts, people.  For one, in Boy Scouts, the boys run the show.  There are adults there to be sure nobody is hurt and some basic rules are followed; but the boys live and suffer by their own hands.  So when the Scout assigned to build the campfire Saturday night didn’t get to it, everyone ate “raw” s’mores.

And this was BigGuy’s first Boy Scout campout…

Continue reading BigGuy’s first Scouting adventure

Weekend with Girly

This weekend, I feel like the torch was officially passed to my husband on the Scouting front.  He and BigGuy left early Saturday morning for the first of what will be many Scout camping outings.  This one was very short, but they banged out all of the requirements to get him his “Scout” badge (the very first rank in Boy Scouts).

That, however, left Girly and I on our own…

Continue reading Weekend with Girly

The week in review

Things I did well this week:

  • Planning an appropriate amount of work
  • Planning work that BigGuy found interesting and engaging
  • Planning around events we scheduled
  • Reading our character building book
  • Working (unexpectedly) a consignment sale fundraiser (for a friend whose kids were sick) and although EX. HAUST. ED.  I really handled all my responsibilities well!  WOOT!
  • And on that note, bought some good shirts for BigGuy at above-referenced sale.
  • Nearly kept up on our new (or rather, return-to-former) laundry routine where nobody has hampers–all laundry is collected every morning and a load is done every day.  BAM!
  • Not losing my sh!t on anyone.  This is actually an accomplishment because my PTSD therapy in the last week was rough.

Things I did not do well this week:

  • Having backup plans when primary plans fell through–which left us kind of in a not-great situation sometimes.
  • Finding engaging things to do with Girly because truly, I didn’t realize how this whole new “wake up and work with Papa” thing would pan out
  • Reading to either of my kids
  • Doing the socratic discussions with BigGuy.  To be fair, this was partly my not wanting Friday to be C O N S T A N T discussion/analysis and partly because we had an emergency plan-change for Saturday that left me missing Girly’s soccer game (and a night out for someone’s 40th birthday that I was really looking forward to) and canceling attendance at a kids birthday party.
  • Apparently I may not have enforced the deodorant rules well enough to BigGuy because his Friday discussion group leader sent out an e-mail to all of us parents requesting some body odor enforcement.  I’m not sure if it was BigGuy (since I didn’t notice offensive odor… this week) or someone else.  But note to self: bear down on this one.
  • Definitely did not enforce the bathroom chore routine well enough with BigGuy.  But also didn’t enforce any chore routines with Girly, either.
  • Keeping my grumpy on the down-low at times.  Like when there was a detour for a field trip and I had zero contact numbers to find out where to go.  I’d been told “the big main entrance–parking lot is right there, you can’t miss it” only to find out 1) there were no less than 6 parking lots; and 2) we weren’t going to the big, main entrance.  And my car was out of gas.  In an area I didn’t know well.  And I was really, really grumpy about it to other people including adults.

Other things that happened this week:

  • Girly has become a brick wall goalie.  I seriously cannot even…
  • BigGuy decided that he would start going to bed without a parent laying down with him “so that he could start doing sleepovers”.  This is simultaneously an awesome day and the worst day of my life.  I knew it was coming just like when you KNOW someone is going to die of a terminal illness and yet, it blindsides you anyway.  So far, we have discovered that we need a “goodnight” routine as I wound up without a kiss goodnight.   Girly did her own hair
  • Girly decided to start doing HER OWN hair.  Have you seen this kid’s hair, folks?  This is a picture of what it looks like for her to “do her own hair”.  She pretty much flattens the top with water and I’m not really sure what hair “utensil”.  She does it often and is VERY proud of herself… so I compliment her every time and remind myself that we will absolutely HAVE to REALLY do her hair the next morning rather than slack.
  • We went on a crazy awesome field trip to a municipal airport and aviation school that included the control tower.
  • We wound up with 4 shares of Community-Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) farm shares to manage.  Two that we normally get from our farm plus two more that people did not pick up from our house (which serves as a host site for a local CSA farm).  This would normally be an awesome thing.
  • BigGuy and Girly are clearly fighting off illness.  Between Illinois being one of the 6 states with confirmed cases of Enterovirus and close friends kids coming down with Coxsackie… I’m concerned.  Last night, BigGuy let out a few coughs in the middle of the night (for more on why this is a big deal, see BigGuy’s background)

Overall, I think it was a decent week.  I would love to be downtown drinking with a bunch of happy women celebrating a 40th birthday right now, but I will take a hot bath and soft bed after this day of being on my feet ALL. DAY. and up since early (for a work-related meeting before covering at the sale).

Upshot is that BigGuy is happier and feels like the dynamics of the household have changed for the better with this recent change in who is getting up when and doing what.

I can’t lie that there is a very, very tiny part of me that is sad that Papa gets to connect with the boy instead of me.  I mean, I know he loves me and all.  I just wish I had the resources right now to connect with him more meaningfully.  Or that I was at least gaining something else in the absence of that connection.  Like maybe connecting with Girly.  They grow up so fast.  I just need to focus on the gratitude for having a husband that gives them that rather than my kids lacking it completely.

Dads homeschool, too

It usually falls on the mom’s shoulders to homeschool.  But around here, Papa has been taking a hand in the homeschooling.   As I type this, he’s reading instructions for writing assignments from Tapestry of Grace (Year 1, week 2, level 5 if you’re following)

“This week, organize your thoughts for pre-writing two specific writing genres by completing two graphic organizers.  What does that MEAN?  I mean, I know what all of the words in the sentence mean on their own; but when they put them together in this order, it doesn’t make sense to me.”  He then bangs his first two fingers on each hand together and says “hashtag homeschooldad”

Truly, even in my house–the edumacating has always been Mama’s responsibility.  At some point I told Husbeau that he needed to step up and start doing bedtime stories (and that I could tell him which ones he should use to coincide with stuff we were learning or things I wanted the kids to experience) but that totally never happened.

Homeschool moms face a lot of the same situations and emotions as stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs) of all kinds.  Dad is off all day working (sometimes at a job he doesn’t love, and in a subset of those cases–with resentment for the mama that’s staying home and not having to deal with it).  Culturally, we have undervalued parenting as “work”–so SAHMs are loathe to load any MORE work onto the husband.  In the case of homeschool moms that are doing any level of prescribed academics, we at least feel like we’re doing WORK; but some of those moms are dealing with husbands who are barely supporting the decision to homeschool.  So those moms dare not say “I worked all day, too!” lest their husband reply with “Well then put them in school and go do a job that brings in money!”.

None of this is my situation.  However, I see it often enough.  Not even just with homeschooling, but with all kinds of life and parenting choices where a husband and wife aren’t on the same page.  It’s hard.

But I digress… (because “me”)

Papa is still on this tangent of getting up early with BigGuy and we’re just hitting a point where BigGuy has actual work to do that Papa needs to be engaged in.  It’s getting interesting, folks.  BigGuy has started really looking forward to their time together in the mornings, too.  That’s no small feat since this morning it was FUH-REE-ZING and the day before it was raining.  And today, Mama mistakenly told BigGuy he could have his electronics and Papa nailed him on not doing graphic organizers… and then they sat together and worked through it.  Wow… my husband seriously rocks.

For the rest of you, here are some things you can potentially offload to Papa:

  • Read alouds masked as bedtime stories (or after dinner stories instead of TV shows)
  • Science experiments (maybe on the weekends–try this cute kit of 20 experiments with supplies!).
  • Building stuff (also maybe on the weekends or in steps on different nights)
  • Physical education/activities
  • Watching documentaries together
  • Socratic discussion (picking apart something they’ve learned or read)

Or really, just have your kids help dad with whatever and have dad make it a learning experience for them.

Yes, yes… everyone needs a break and a rest.  But guess what?  We’re a family.  Doing stuff together counts.

A new routine

So this morning, Papa got up with the boy.  EARLY.  Like 6:30am (which is when BigGuy usually gets up).  Apparently they walked the dog and then Papa sat in the classroom (an office on our first floor behind the garage) and did e-mails while BigGuy did his schoolwork.  And apparently, this went swimmingly.

Some things to note:

  • BigGuy had very little schoolwork assigned to him today because we needed to leave the house at 10am and we were going to have company in the afternoon.
  • The weather was good.

I wonder how this would work on a regular basis and with a regular day’s workload. I guess time will tell.  But “da boyz” liked it.