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.