What does he think about homeschooling now?
Homeschooling has surpassed all of my husband’s expectations. We didn’t turn into a stereotype that he dreaded – we’re still uniquely us. We have well-rounded, socialized, articulate kids who are comfortable around people and able to express themselves in individualistic ways. We have been able to mold our school around our family identity and our core values. My husband has learned that this homeschool thing is a family effort and it takes everyone pitching in to keep our home running and our homeschool flourishing. We’ve learned to work alongside each other to accomplish a mutual goal and it’s brought our family closer than ever.
Through this experience my husband has developed a passion for home education. He loves to share our journey with others to encourage them in their homeschool adventures. The whole family is happy and loving our homeschool journey – so we must be doing something right!
What has my hubby learned through homeschooling?
My hubby has a full-time job in the financial industry but he works part time as an adjunct faculty online for 3 different Christian Universities (teaching classes for them at different times of the year). He has seen a wide variety of students through his several years of teaching. One thing he has noticed is that we often take our knowledge for granted and he is astounded at how many students don’t understand the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Seeing the huge gaps in the educational foundation of his students has made him even more excited about the opportunities we have in our homeschool. He has learned that we should never take our own knowledge for granted and assume that our kids will just naturally “pick up on” a concept. Nope, sometimes it takes some teaching, demonstration, and repetition.
He has discovered that our discussions with our kids provide the best possible assessments. He loves to have conversations about what they’ve learned in homeschool that day. Sometimes he even learns something new. At the end of the discussion, he has a great idea of what they’ve learned and how much they remember. It gives us both the confidence to keep going because we are seeing results.
My husband has learned that teaching is very difficult at times. Kids ask continual questions and we don’t always know how to answer. Concepts that we learned years ago can be difficult to break down into smaller pieces to explain to a young child. You have to understand something extremely well in order to teach it to someone else. This job is not for the faint of heart!
He has also gained new insight into the learning process. Learning is not a simple process of learning information, applying information, and then retaining that information. No, learning is two steps forward and one step back. Kids forget things, they get ideas confused, and they have trouble applying one concept to the next. Learning is a rather messy process that involves all the senses. It’s not the straightforward process that my husband envisioned.
What does my husband feel are the biggest cons to homeschooling?
It can sometimes be hard to spend time with other kids and other families. Families whose children attend the local schools have a different schedule than we do and their days are packed. It can be hard to find time to do things with them. It is just as challenging to schedule time with other homeschoolers because they have packed schedules as well – and because their schedules are flexible they often travel at various times. It is just hard to connect with others because of the busyness that seems to permeate our society.
My husband sometimes worries about me as I try to balance my time. I don’t have much time for myself right now since our children are so young and are very dependent on me. He knows that it can be challenging to be surrounded by little people 100% of my day. He understands that I sometimes miss the adult conversations and the time to myself. And homeschooling means that he is needed around the house so his time is very limited as well. In short, homeschooling is a sacrifice on both our parts and some days we are too exhausted to feel very blessed by our family.
What does he believe are the biggest pros to homeschooling?
My husband is thrilled that we can give our kids a varied education with experiences in many different areas. We have the ability to focus on their interests and tailor their education to their learning styles. He believes we are able to cover more “extras” than what could be studied in a traditional school setting in one day.
He enjoys the benefits of controlling the pace of our kids’ learning, the curriculum we use, the subjects we teach, and what assignments they will complete. He was instrumental in helping me when our oldest struggled with math last year and he was the one who kept encouraging me to slow down the pace to allow her to better understand concepts. This year she has excelled in math so we’ve both seen the benefits of our flexible schedule. My husband is so glad that we can choose curricula that I enjoy teaching and keep the workload to a reasonable amount so that we still have plenty of play time and family time.
The biggest pro of homeschooling for my husband is definitely the ability to do what’s best for our family. If we need to take a week off, we do. If we need to change curricula or change the pace of a certain subject, we can. If we want to take an impromptu field trip, we do. If we develop a certain interest in a topic for further study, we can take our time to explore. The benefit of homeschooling is that we can fit it to our family life. We can also focus on mentoring and discipling our children in more than just school work. We teach them morals, values, and life skills that are beyond the scope of what they would learn in a classroom. For now, homeschooling is the best fit for our family and we’re thankful we have the choice to continue our journey.
How has my husband taken ownership of leading our homeschool?
- Homeschooling has become a passion of my husband’s and he now does quite a bit of research about homeschooling. In fact, his PhD dissertation is about homeschool families!
- He sees the success of our little homeschool and it motivates him to keep the forward progress. Therefore, he finds lots of ways to encourage me from sending me texts throughout the day to leaving me notes on my bathroom mirror.
- He listens to my thoughts on curricula and the scope of our learning and gives me his feedback on what topics we’re covering. Then he helps me find resources to use in our homeschool and he very sweetly gives me a generous budget so I can purchase what we need. He’s also been known to make late night Target runs for supplies when I realize I’ve forgotten something.
How does he lead our homeschool?
- He gives me time to blog, plan, and organize my thoughts.
- He gives me some time away from the kids – either by myself or with other mom friends.
- He works tirelessly behind the scenes doing dishes and laundry without complaint.
- He checks with the kids to see what they’ve learned.
- He provides “back-up” with discipline issues or to encourage the kids to complete their work.
- He is willing to fill in the gaps if we didn’t quite complete some work for the day.
- He makes positive comments about homeschooling to the kids to encourage and excite them.
- He prays for me daily and sends me reminders of what he’s specifically praying for our day.