Homeschooling – A Dad's Perspective, Part 1 March 08 2016, 0 Comments
We have been homeschooling now for 15 years. The longer I live, the more the statement, “It goes by so quickly,” rings true. Being tasked with writing this post has forced me to look back over the fleeting years and reflect on the lessons I have learned throughout. What are those lessons? What can I offer to the homeschool community? The following posts will be my attempt to answer these questions.
Lesson 1: Support your wife.
Anyone who has been involved with homeschooling will quickly learn that it is not easy. Every responsibility that normally would fall upon school teachers is now placed upon the parents. And the brunt of that day to day responsibility falls upon the wife and mother.
On top of that, the day to day running of the household does not subside. By the end of the day, what has fallen upon your wife? A day in the life of a homeschool mom . . . cooking meals, training character, teaching reading, math, and other subjects, consoling inconsolable children, cleaning, laundry, and finally wondering if all she is doing is enough for her children and family (I'm sure I forgot something . . . sorry moms). Next day . . . rise and do it again. If at the end of all this, you can not see how blessed you are to have a wife committed to this great task, repent because there is something wrong with your heart.
So how do you support your wife? Here is a list of what I found helpful:
Be thankful. Show your appreciation with notes or words of encouragement, flowers, and/or special treats.
Pray for and with your wife on a daily basis. Remember you cannot succeed without the Lord's aid. “Unless the Lord builds a house, we labor in vain . . .”
Serve. Ask her for ways you can help. Whether it is playing with or reading to the kids for a bit while she gets a break, picking up groceries, cooking a meal, working with the kids on cleaning up, or getting her her favorite drink at the end of the day, any little bit helps.
Take her on dates. “I need adult conversation,” is a constant theme, especially during the younger stages of homeschooling. Dates are a good place for her to be refreshed.
Listen. Maybe the most difficult thing to do. Sometimes your wife just needs to vent. Ask her how the day went, and be ready to listen to what she says.
If you haven't noticed already, this list is something you should be doing for your wife even if you don't homeschool . . . good training for when the kids have left the home to start their own. Though, this is a simple list, it is not easy. If you are like me, selfishness is your default mode. That doesn't mean you can't succeed. Pick one thing and start working on it. It is difficult to slay your selfishness, but it is worth it. Your wife will appreciate it, the children will notice it, and joy, even in the midst of the tough times, will be the rule rather than the exception. The family will be working together to better weather the storms. It is worth it!
[To come . . . Lesson 2: Find a good church, Lesson 3: Don't go it alone, Lesson 4: Family worship, Lesson 5: Family dates]
Written by Brian Eschen