A question about helping Dad

I tripped across this file as I was working on my computer.  This is a question emailed to me a little while ago.  Thought is was worth another look.

How can I convince my husband that school doesn’t always have to be on paper?

Okay.  What is his greatest concern?  Does he worry that you aren’t doing anything with them?  That they aren’t learning?  That you’ll miss something?  Or does school on paper fit better with his learning style?  What is he perhaps seeing that you aren’t?  Or does he need a better understanding of the ways children learn?

Perhaps taking pictures of activities or having a written record, just for a while, so that he can see what things are happening would help.  Or have the kids narrate for him, in person or on tape, so that he can hear what they are learning.  Is it an option for him to “do school” with you for a day to get a feel for what you are accomplishing?  Does he understand learning styles and stages?  If not, becoming familiar with that information may help him understand what is most effective for each of your children.

Then again, do you need to do a bit more on paper?  Things don’t ALWAYS need to be on paper; but, even for young ones, you could have copy work, science charts, art work, maps, a group time-line, etc. so that he can see what a great variety of things you are covering.  Children love to have something to show what they have done, and to have the adults in their lives ooh and aah over it.

Have you involved him in your academic planning?  Perhaps seeing what you are currently putting together would allow him input and help the two of you have the same vision of where you are going.  Having a plan allows you to plan a course of action for your family.  It doesn’t have to look like “school-at-home” all day.  You can put together a curriculum full of great literature, hands-on activities, field trips as well as copy work and such.

I would HIGHLY recommend attending classes or talking with other veteran homeschooling parents together.  Sometimes talking things through with a presenter or chatting father-to-father can really help things come into focus in a new way.

Helping your husband find ways to be involved in the important work you do each day with your children can help build a stronger family, and a closer bond between the two of you.  Both of those things are worth the work!