…That Could Change Your Home!
I recently conducted an informal survey to find out what homeschooling moms wish their husbands knew about homeschooling. Responses came in from across the nation. Keep reading to learn the nine top answers, as well as 27 practical applications you can consider implementing in your own home.
Of course, every home—and mom—is different, so don’t assume that every concern and practical application included here will fit your situation. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Share this list with your wife and ask her which ideas will best meet her needs. Keep an open mind and work together to find solutions that will fit your family!
1.) You have a lot to offer our children. Please share your thoughts, talents, and knowledge with them. They learn a lot from their dad.
» If you have strength in a particular academic subject, consider either being the regular teacher for that subject or at least assisting your child sometimes, perhaps once a week.
» If you have a hobby such as woodworking, computers, fishing, hunting, cars, etc., share your knowledge and experience with your child.
» Kids need support and affirmation from both parents. Consider looking over some of your child’s work and offer both praise and constructive feedback. Try to keep it positive and uplifting.
2.) While the children are doing school, they are easily distracted. Please help me keep them on track by honoring our school hours.
» When you come in the house, it is a good idea to ask your wife if school is over for the day.
» If you notice chores that need to be done by your children while they are schooling, create a to-do list for each child to complete as soon as school is over. (At our house, you get privileges only after school and your to-do list is completed.)
» Please do not call during school hours unless it is an emergency or prearranged.
3.) There are times when I feel overwhelmed and inadequate. Please pray for me.
» As the spiritual leader of the home, your prayers are greatly needed and appreciated by your wife.
» Homeschooling is more than just reading a book to the children. A homeschool mom must teach, discipline, counsel, correct, prepare, arrange field trips, complete paperwork, provide all three meals, try to keep the house clean, and support her husband. Sympathy and understanding are appreciated, as is prayer for strength, wisdom, and patience!
» Some days are worse than others; it really helps encourage a homeschool mom if she knows that she can ask her husband to pray for a specific need.
4.) Sometimes I need to talk to you about which curriculums, lesson plans, and books to choose for the children. Please listen to me and don’t say “Whatever you think” in response. I am asking because I need your input.
» Although your wife may know more than you about the school books, sometimes she cannot decide which would work better for your child. It helps her determine what is best by getting your input.
» One homeschool mom said that she knew most husbands would rather saw wood with a fingernail file or watch paint dry than investigate all the curriculum and book options available for homeschooling. My advice is to ask your wife to narrow the selection to two or three options before seeking your help.
» Remember, your wife is schooling all the time, and this subject is on her mind a lot because she wants to teach your children in the best way possible. You can help her by demonstrating at least some level of interest and being patient while she discusses these issues with you.
5.) We need to discuss the cost of our homeschooling and figure out a good budget system to help us purchase what we need each year.
» Unfortunately, it usually requires some money to obtain curriculum each year. You and your wife need to sit down and discuss what amount is really needed for your family’s homeschooling budget.
» There are ways to work to save money on homeschool items as well. Suggest to your wife that she use your library to its fullest extent and buy gently used books when possible.
» Some homeschool moms say they feel guilty when they have to buy books. Having a monthly or yearly set budget for your wife to work from might relieve some of this tension.
6.) Although my heart is to homeschool our children, I need a break alone sometimes.
» Your wife is with your children 24/7 unless you provide some small breaks for her. Rather than watching TV or pursuing your own hobby while your wife continues to watch the kids, clean the house, and prepare dinner, switch roles sometimes. Do some of the household work for her while she rests for awhile.
» Even one or two hours alone a week can help your wife feel refreshed.
» Your wife may not always realize that she needs a break. My husband has learned that sometimes he needs to encourage me to take one when he sees that I need it.
7.) Please be understanding when the house is messy and dinner is late. Homeschooling is hard work, and sometimes I just don’t have any energy left at the end of the day.
» It’s hard to keep a house perfectly clean when there are children in it at all times. Recognizing this (rather than criticizing the imperfections) will help alleviate some of the pressure your wife feels.
» Some school days are very difficult. Even homeschooled children have days when they are not cooperative. It takes a lot of energy to teach uncooperative children. Keeping your expectations in check will help both of you deal with the times your wife is tired out after a long day at home with the kids.
» Some days it is hard for your wife to make a great dinner because she is just so tired from everything else she has done that day. Again, she needs your support and encouragement, not criticism. Perhaps you could even pitch in and make dinner occasionally!
8.) Please help me draw limits and parameters for our schedule. There are so many opportunities available to homeschoolers that I need your help discerning what is best for our family.
» The homeschool community has grown and offers many opportunities to those who homeschool. It is impossible for a family to do everything available. Help your wife decide which opportunities are right for your family.
» Because your wife is at home, people tend to think of her as being able to do whatever they need her to do. The truth is that your wife has a very important job teaching your children. You can help her say “no” to over-committing herself.
» Sit down and go over the family calendar periodically together.
9.) The little things you do to help me are sometimes huge and can make the difference in how our school day goes.
» It helps your wife when you can run small errands for her on the way home from work. This keeps her from having to arrange a time around school to go.
» Assisting with chores around the house can be an enormous help, especially when your children are younger.
» If your wife is not feeling well, it is very helpful if you can aid with any school or household jobs. She does not get to call in a substitute teacher!
By Melissa Pinkley
Melissa Pinkley enjoys life with her husband, Wes. They learn a lot from their four children: Ben, Micah, Levi and Abigail. Homeschooling goes on 24/7 for the whole Pinkley family. The Lord is gracious and continues to help them follow Him.
Originally published in Home School Enrichment Magazine. Now, get a FREE subscription to HSE Digital by visiting www.HSEmagazine.com/digital Every issue is packed with homeschool encouragement, help, and information. Get immediate access to the current issue when you start your FREE subscription today!
“Justyna,” © 2010 Piotr Pawlowski. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.
“Prayer,” © 2007 Omar Infante-Ramos. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.