One of the biggest challenges I have come across in my home schooling journey is the apparent lack of support for dads.
Traditionally, I agree, home schooling falls to the mom because she is the one who is home and does most of the teaching; take the children to events and field-trips; and organizes the daily work.
I also recognize that I have been blessed, due to my disability, that I can be actively involved in all aspects.
But c’mon, there is no excuse why even working dads can’t be more involved and why there can not be more inclusive sites and groups for dads.
Dads have been vilified in so many areas, in recent years for NOT being involved in their kids lives; and here is a grand opportunity and dads feel left out.
I am in 5 separate groups on facebook, on countless home schooling pages and most posts start “Hey moms,” or “Hey ladies,”. How is a man who is connected to these supposed to feel?
I know that men don’t always express their feelings or will over look these things like I have. But I do not want to be silent any longer. I love the opportunity home schooling gives me and more men should and can take advantage of it. There is so much they can do, even if they are the bread winners for their families.
Lets look at a few.
Be a voice:
Have a say in the curriculum or activities your kids are doing. Don’t leave it up to mom to make all the decisions.
Join groups; share your opinions, ask questions.
Go to the group events if you can; let them know you are interested and maybe they can plan things on weekends so other dads can go.
Reach out to other dads; let them know you are actively seeking to be part of things. Maybe it will help them do the same.
Help mom organize the school year and the school space.
It’s the little things:
In most cases, as I have said the dad is the bread winner and therefore not home during “school hours.” But you can be involved even if you are tired or want to do other things.
Plan to spend time each day to go over your kids projects they are doing…show excitement. Let them tell you what they are learning…It only takes a few minutes…and maybe you’ll learn something new too.
If a child is struggling with a subject; talk with mom to see if there is something you can do. Maybe your way of thinking will help. Maybe spending an half-hour going over it with the child will help.
If mom is overwhelmed…plan a vacation day or a Saturday, where you can take the kids on a trip or do a day of school. Let mom have the day off.
Do NOT expect mom to do everything…if dinner isn’t cooked…get out there and cook it. You do not know what kind of day mom has had.
Listen to what mom and the kids have to say if there has been a bad day; AND don’t be quick to offer the solution unless mom asks. She may just need to vent.
Being a support:
A lot of home schooling moms like to share, blog, vlog, pin and otherwise seek support or give support to others. What can’t you?
Show others how you are involved.
Make videos or take pictures for mom.
Come up with some cool dad and kid projects that augment what they are learning.
If you are a Tech guy; get some cool online stuff going for your family.
If you are hands on and have a bunch of tools…teach your kids to build. If you got a repair job to do at home and it is safe; let the kids help.
If your a gamer dad like me, use it to your advantage. Teach them skills in games. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
If you are into certain shows and they are ok for kids let them watch with you. It might be interesting and that leaves mom to get other things done. This has recently happened to my eldest and has spawned a desire for him to learn about the world wars on his own.
If you are crafty, take an hour to help them complete a project. Create a project that they can do that is inline with what they are learning.
If you love to cook; let them help make dinner for mom.
If cars are your thing…well there is nothing stopping you for letting them look under the hood.
The ideas are endless.
Don’t limit yourself:
Don’t be afraid to get involved in something outside your comfort zone.
Your kids crave daddy time.
If your daughter wants to have a tea party with you; maybe its time for you to brush up on etiquette…have fun but teach her how to do high tea.
If your son is not into sports but you are; don’t force him to throw the ball around…find out why…maybe there is something he does want to do with you but feels like he can’t because you have an expectation you put on him.
See the potential that is available for you to do dad. Children are imaginative and will take you places you never thought you could go.
ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Remember you are their dad; you have the privilege and responsibility to mold your kids. By taking time to be invested in your kids schooling; you are showing them that you love and care for them. Your wife will be grateful and know she is not alone.