A Dad’s Role in Homeschooling
When I was an elementary school teacher, the school district set the curriculum and pacing guide. As a homeschool mom, the idea of planning my daughter’s curriculum was daunting, at first. I thought about what I wanted Clarissa to learn before she graduated from our household. I asked my husband, Tim, what he thought that she should learn before graduation, and then we talked about what we thought was important for kindergarten. We also asked her what she wanted to learn this year. And then I prayed and made a one-page outline of what I thought Clarissa could do each month for kindergarten.
Two months in, my husband thought I was spending way too much time picking out the “right activities” and planning lessons. He assured me that we had room in the budget for me to buy some curriculum to make life easier, so I could actually enjoy homeschooling. I am so thankful for his perspective on this. It has really helped me to just relax and do the next thing. There is still time for reading books that we are excited about, and we can stop when she loses interest without worrying whether I’m doing enough.
We have also found that, as a homeschooling family, mom isn’t the only one who leads learning; Dad has a role, too.
As a kid, Tim really enjoyed geography. He looked at maps and read books about other countries. We live in South Korea, so our daughter gets to experience another culture regularly. The last time we went on vacation, we wanted to visit a really big English bookstore in Tokyo. One of our main goals was to find a great atlas. We found a few books that we were excited about, with maps, and also how kids live around the world. Now that we are home, Tim enjoys looking through these with Clarissa in the evening. Before we go on vacation to a different country, Clarissa learns about the culture and geography of that place. We have a lot of great discussions on vacation, as well.
Another thing that Tim and Clarissa enjoy doing together is science experiments. This summer, they grew crystals from a kit, and also tried to grow thrips and fairy shrimp. I like that Clarissa is getting some hands-on learning and it is something that they enjoy doing together. Then we find books from the library to learn more about these topics.
They also enjoy building things together. We recently bought a stool from IKEA, that we had to assemble, so they built it together. Legos® are a staple at our house. Clarissa also likes to watch Tim build Gundam models.
Suzanne Faust currently lives with her family in South Korea. A former teacher and current homeschool mom, Suzanne blogs at http://nextdoormama.com about faith, homeschooling, travel, and gluten free cooking. She has also published some Bible curriculum and family devotionals available on Amazon.