Homeschooling is not a mom-only endeavor. There are certainly families out there in which Dad is the primary educator, and many more where dads help out from time to time.
But I think it’s probably safe to say that in most homeschools, moms are the ones conducting the regular schooling.
Moms do the lesson-planning. Moms do the teaching. Moms do the reading, grading, scheduling, curriculum-shopping, and record-keeping.
And yet I still believe the support of a husband is one of the most VITAL parts of a homeschool.
I’m as big a homeschooling advocate as you’ll find anywhere. I believe in homeschooling and I do everything in my power to encourage others in it.
But I will strongly discourage a woman from homeschooling if her husband is against it. Homeschooling is hard enough without the added weight of a spouse’s disapproval, not to mention the fact doing so against a husband’s will would run completely contrary to any idea of biblical submission. Granted, there might be a situation in which a husband is more or less indifferent toward homeschooling rather than directly opposed to it. If he’s accepting of it, even if not exactly supportive of it, then I suppose a mom who wishes to homeschool would just have to make that call on her own.
But what a gift it is to homeschool with the full support and encouragement of a husband!
I just came from the Teach Them Diligently Convention and was pleasantly surprised at the large number of men in attendance with their wives. I’d say women still outnumbered men by a considerable margin, which only makes sense when you consider that in most homeschooling homes the husband is working so the wife can stay home to educate the children.
But the presence of so many men told me something: Men may surrender most of the planning and decision-making and instructional time of homeschooling to their wives, but in no way does that mean they are not equally committed to the decision to homeschool and solidly behind the effort in every way.
And that support is an incredible asset to any homeschool, even in one where, on the surface, it may seem the husband is not particularly involved.
- For our family, without the support of my husband, homeschooling wouldn’t be a financially viable option.
- Without his support, I know I would be overwhelmed with the heavy responsibility of educating our children.
- Without my husband’s support, those tough days of homeschooling might very well persuade me to give up.
But though my husband doesn’t have much to say when I talk curriculum, (Bless his poor heart: I can expound on the pluses and minuses of a particular curriculum til the cows come home and he’ll stand there and take it. Quietly, mind you, but he takes it!) and though he’s never written a single note in my planner or, thus far at least, administered a single spelling test, I know my husband is as committed to homeschooling as I am.
And I’ve never been more thankful for that.
If you aren’t so blessed, I can only encourage you to make it a matter of prayer. Notice I didn’t say to make it a matter of confrontation or argument or constant nagging, but of prayer. I’ve seen God soften the hearts of men who were disinterested or cynical or downright opposed to homeschooling. And when God does the heart-change, believe me, it will be a deep and lasting change, better than you could ever effect on your own.
And for those of you who have husbands who are supportive in your efforts to homeschool, even if they aren’t as active in your kids’ education as you would like them to be, be mindful of the tremendous gift you’ve been given. Tell your husband you appreciate his support. And, most of all, remember to say thanks to the God who gave you such an amazing man.
We’re blessed, homeschooling moms. And we should be careful to ensure that our husbands, and the Lord, know how grateful we are for it!