Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling

Is it possible to get dads involved in homeschooling? Most homeschooling families have a father who is away at work all day and a mother who does most if not all of the teaching.  Working husbands usually have a much more limited amount of time that they are able to spend with their children than do stay-at-home moms.  Because of this, it can be tempting for dads to maintain a very hands-off approach when it comes to homeschooling.

Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling

But dads are extremely important in the lives of their kids.  When dads aren’t physically present in the home, our children are much less likely to reach their full potential.  Likewise, when we don’t involve them in the homeschooling of our kids, we are missing out on some huge opportunities! But how in the world do we involve them?  If you are used to being in charge and bearing the brunt of the homeschooling load, how can you transition to having your husband fully engaged in the process?

Here are 6 Ways to Get Dads Involved in Homeschooling Without Quitting Their Day Jobs:

Leadership

Husbands are supposed to be the spiritual leaders in our homes.  Even if they aren’t able to be engaged in teaching lessons during the day, they should still be helping to determine the materials their kids will study.  

Be intentional about having regular planning sessions with your husband.  Talk to him about how things are going.  Ask him to look over the work your kids are producing and to talk to them about what they’re learning.  Don’t be afraid to ask him for help in this area.

Burning Off Extra Energy

Sometimes our kids have so much energy that they can’t sit still long enough to do their lessons.  Sometimes they are so exuberant that their moms feel worn down by the end of the day.  When dad gets home, it’s a perfect time for him to take the kids outside and run around with them.  Or to rough house with them.  Or to tickle them, tease them, and laugh with them.

Dads can be so much fun!  If they help kids to use up their extra energy and to wind down, they will be more likely to sleep well and to be able to focus the next day.  This is a HUGE contribution to our children’s education!  And it’s greatly appreciated by us moms as well.

Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling

 

Reading Aloud

You probably know how important it is to read books aloud to our kids.  In fact, it’s important to continue doing this even after our children are able to read competently on their own.  Hearing good literature helps to improve their vocabulary, to store complex language patterns in their brains, and to create excellent communicators.

But sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do the regular homeschool lessons and to read aloud as well!

That’s where dads come in.  If dads are willing to sit down and read aloud to the kids after dinner, before bedtime, on weekends, or whenever it works out best for the family, this is an amazing way to enrich their children’s homeschooling experience.

Building Projects

Dads are typically more excited about building go-carts, tree houses, model airplanes, and a myriad of other projects.  Sometimes, after a long day of homeschooling, it’s easier for us moms to skip these hands-on experiences.  This is a perfect time to get dads involved in homeschooling.  Ask them to take the kids out to the garage and build something that relates to their lessons.

A few years back, we were studying Medieval England and I asked my husband if he would build a trebuchet with my boys.  I was envisioning a table top version… but they ended up building something that was about 8 feet tall and could throw a bucket full of water.  It was vastly better than what I was expecting – and it became a learning experience that our boys will never forget!

Life Skills

It’s helpful for our kids to know how to change the oil in a car, add an electrical plug to a wall, fix a leaky faucet, put up trim around a window, change a car tire, balance a checkbook, etc.  Teaching life skills is another excellent area where us moms appreciate the help of our husbands.  And they’re great things that can be taught on nights and weekends or whenever dad is at home.

Homeschool Lessons

Occasionally, there will be times when it’s nice to have dads teach some of the core homeschool subjects.  One year, my sons were having more difficulty than normal with math so my husband took over teaching that subject for awhile.  He got them over the hump after which I was able to phase back in as the primary teacher.

It can also be nice to have dads handle biology dissections or other gory learning tasks as they come up.

Whether your husband is an engineer, or a computer programmer, or a mechanic, or an accountant, consider letting him teach the kids subjects that fall within his area of expertise.  There’s no sense in you struggling to teach something that comes naturally to him.

Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling

 

Because of their busy schedules, it isn’t always easy to get dads involved in homeschooling.  But when we make the effort to have them contribute, our entire family will reap the benefits.

As you can see, it is possible to get dads involved in homeschooling without them having to quit their day jobs.  Consider trying one of the above options this year and take advantage of any new opportunities that this opens up for your kids.  

You’ll notice very quickly that they will blossom spending more time learning with their dad as well as their mom.  And your husband will also enjoy being able to do his part to enrich the education of your children.

Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling

 

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10 thoughts on “Getting Dads Involved in Homeschooling”

  1. Thank you for the tips on dad’s involvement with homeschooling. I never know what to say when hubby asks me “how he can be involved”. Reading and science projects seems to be a nice start for us. thank you!

  2. These are great suggestions! My hubby is home with us one day during the week. I’m grateful that he’s always willing to jump in and help on that day. 🙂

    1. Thanks! What a blessing that you get to have your husband home one day. And how wonderful that he’s getting involved with the kids. That investment in their lives is one that will reap many benefits for your kids and great memories for everyone!

  3. These are all great points! My sweet hubby loves being involved and we compliment each other with our separate knowledge bases so it works very well. Thank you so much for such a great and needed post!

  4. tired homeschool mom

    What can you do though if your husband has no desire to be involved? I have been homeschooling for 15 years and he has never wanted to be involved. I’ve suggested he could simply help by doing flashcards or such for 10 minutes in the evening. He may do it a time or two, but never again. He doesn’t even play with the kids really. He thinks it is up to the mother to teach, train, and discipline the kids for the most part. He says it doesn’t come natural for him. What he doesn’t seem to realize is, it isn’t natural or easy for me either. I just make it a priority and know that God has called both of us to train up our children in the way they should go. I am exhausted and would love for him to take just a baby step toward parenting and training his children.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. That has to be difficult. Here are my suggestions:

      1. Pray for your husband – ask God to help to change his heart. Ask for wisdom if there’s anything you can do differently that would be more successful at motivating your husband or help him to realize the value of his participation in his children’s lives.
      2. How are you asking? – Make sure that you’re asking at the right time and in the right way. I know my husband has said that if I ask him sweetly rather than finding fault and asking angrily, that makes him WANT to help me out.
      3. What are you asking him to do? – Maybe start out asking him to do things that he enjoys. Honestly, flashcards might be really boring to him. Kind of ease him into it by asking him to do something he’d enjoy doing anyway – but to just do it with a child watching. See how that goes. Hopefully, after he realizes how fun that can be, and the benefit that it is to the child, he’ll be more encouraged to want to pitch in in other ways.
      4. Motivate him – This is an idea that I got from Mark Gungor, a pastor and comedian who has an amazing marriage seminar on DVD called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.” He says that you can sort of flirt with your husband and get him in a really good mood. And when he starts to get “in the mood”, tell him that you’ll be happy to do that… right after he does X for you. I thought it was interesting that a male pastor was encouraging wives to use sex to motivate their husbands. But he said that we don’t realize the power we have over them and while we shouldn’t be mean or hurtful in any way, we can encourage them to man up. Make sense?!?

      In fact, you might want to watch that marriage seminar together. My husband and I have a great relationship and we still really enjoyed it and learned a lot about each other that was very helpful. It’s seriously funny – it’ll keep him hooked once he starts watching it.

      I hope that helps!!!

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