Often, the mother is the one who receives the focus when one thinks of homeschooling. She is usually the teacher, often because she is more patient or because she is at home while the father is working. However, the father is equally important when a family decided to home educate their children.
Leader of the home
In all families, the father’s role is to set an example for his children. He is showing his sons how to be men and teaching his daughters what qualities are important in a husband. This is even more true of a homeschooling father because the kids are home all day, every day. While other men come and go in his children’s lives, the father is the prominent male figure in a homeschooling family. Therefore, he is homeschooling when he is showing them good manners or how to be patient and kind. Teaching ones own children requires much more patience than many people have. Therefore, a father who lovingly teaches his children in all areas is a fantastic teacher.
In many states, those who teach their own children have to file some type of paperwork to make it known the child is learning and not just skipping school. Some states require a name be given as a principal, such as in the state of California. Many families choose to list the father as the principal when filing as a private school. He is the one responsible for the curriculum, schedule and paperwork if the state checks on the school.
In many families, the father is the one who teaches or at least shares the responsibility with his wife. This is often true if the wife has to work or if she has younger children to take care of. Sometimes it’s the father who is more patient or understands particular subjects better and feels more qualified to do the teaching.
It’s common for the father to be skilled in such things as gardening, working on the vehicles, carpentry or keeping the finances under control. These are important skills for children to learn and the father is the man for the job when he knows how to do these things. Getting outside with the children to teach them important skills they will need to learn in life is not only a bonding experience, but one that will teach them far more than what is learned from a book.
Often, the biggest role a father can play when the family is homeschooling is to offer his support. When the wife wants to teach their children for heartfelt reasons, it’s really hard when the husband doesn’t share her concerns. Understanding the reasons why the wife feels it’s important to keep the kids home for school is the first step. Discuss it with each other and share concerns and beliefs. Discuss the pros and cons of both teaching at home and sending the children to school.
If it is determined to home educate, support the wife. Discuss various curriculum options and teaching styles. If the child has a learning disability, learn about it together and find ways to help the child. Stand by her when others put her down for not sending the children to school like everyone else. Let her know that she has full support. Be a cheerleader for the children, encouraging them to try their best and work through areas they may be struggling in. Help develop and foster a love of learning that will follow through throughout life.
The father has a very important role in the homeschooling family. In many situations, his involvement can mean the difference between homeschooling thriving or failing. Sometimes the father just needs some ideas on what to do to become involved. Working together, both parents can help each other become the best teachers for their children.