Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3 Ways to Get Dad Involved in Homeschooling

I'm guessing there's a good chance that Mom does most, or maybe all, of the homeschool teaching.  Sometimes, it's out of necessity and sometimes, it might be that Dad isn't sure how to get involved.  As a military family, I do a very large majority of the instructing because Adam has a schedule that doesn't always mean he'll be home every night.

There are times, however, when he is here that he takes over teaching a subject or helping one of the boys work on a project.  It's very exciting for the kids when Dad takes on the role of teacher and it's very helpful to me for a few reasons.  In some areas, he's more knowledgeable on the subject at hand.  I also find that in our homeschool, and in our life together, his mind works in very different ways than mine.  He explains things differently, he approaches subject from an alternate angle, and he can speak "boy" where sometimes I lack the ability.

If Mom is the primary home educator, how can Dad get more involved in teaching?

#1. Ask Him!
I've found the quickest way to get my husband involved is to ask him.  How simple was that?  :)  Here's the thing, maybe he doesn't know that I could use his help.  He might not realize I'm struggling to teach a math concept that our son is having a difficult time grasping because he's not here during the day.  He won't know the areas I fall a little short or in what subjects our sons need extra attention if he's not here and I don't say something to him.  So, I've got to speak up!

#2.  Ask Dad Teach the Stuff He Knows
It helps if the subject he's teaching is one in which he excels or enjoys.  Adam "gets" science in ways I don't think I ever will.  I've always struggled to understand certain aspects of the subject.  I think one of the biggest reasons I started a Science Series on my blog was to also help me understand what we were talking about in school!  He's also got a brain for math.  I get math better than I do science, but my approach is often different than how Adam approaches a math problem.  More often than not, if the boys are coming to him in need of math help, he can assist them in ways I hadn't thought of suggesting.

#3.  Make it Fun!
Everyone's more apt to get involved in the learning and the teaching if the subject is fun.  Some parts of school may not always be a fun party of learning.  Verbs, punctuation, main ideas...those may not be the most exciting topics to cover.  Personally, I'm a Language Arts gal so I can talk about sentence fragments all day.  The boys, though, would find that boring.  Inevitably, Adam would find some way to make it fun, by turning into a game, a song, or something silly.  I get a little bogged down in the day to day details of homeschooling, whereas he's got fresh eyes and ideas when I get stuck in a rut.  I will say that it is a lot more fun for him to teach them, if it's a subject he already enjoys.

Does Dad help out in your homeschool?  In what ways does Dad being involved make your homeschool even better?

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