Let’s face it. Most of the time, it falls to the stay-at-home mom to take care of the homeschooling responsibilities while dad goes to work. Besides equating the delayed discipline of “Just wait for your father to get home!” to going to see the “homeschool principal,” how can dad stay involved in the family’s homeschool adventure?
Here are some simple tips and tricks to keep dad in the loop.
Night at the Round Table – Daily (Weekly) Dinner Recap
When you all sit down to a family dinner, make this a time for everyone to go around the table and share something that they learned or worked on that day. It can be a brief synopsis of something that was read or researched that day, it can be showing off an art project or coloring assignment, or it can be a chance to share and brainstorm ideas for an upcoming project that they need to work on. Don’t forget to also let Mom and Dad both share some tidbit, good or bad from their day too. If earmarking some time during dinner doesn’t work for your family, you could also incorporate this into a before bedtime ritual.
A weekly recap could also be used if time is tight. Set aside Friday night, Saturday afternoon or other available time slot to go over a week’s worth of homeschooling highlights and big accomplishments. Have your child recite the memory work from the past week, read one of their daily writing assignments or save a couple selected items throughout the week into a showcase folder or display board. Whichever way you choose to recap, this would be a great way to keep dad informed and reinforce what your children have been learning.
[EDIT: See Marie’s Facebook comment below for another excellent way to get Dad to initiate a dialogue with the children about their homeschool day! – Thanks Marie]
Story Time – Dad Read Alouds
We are always discussing how important it is to read aloud to your children. While this typically defaults to the mom, it is a perfect way to involve both parents. Give dad the bedtime story duties, or have your child read to dad to practice their reading with someone other than mom.
Fathers often bring a unique dynamic to reading to their children, especially boys. Many times reading aptitude scores are noticeably higher in boys that were regularly read to by dad. There is also evidence that reading may not be seen as a particularly masculine activity if only women are the ones reading to them (mom, female public librarian, other childcare providers), so dads reading their children some stories may help balance out this perception. Further research indicates that fathers tend to be more instrumental in the language development of both their young sons and daughters because of their reading style and may even spark more imaginative discussions.
“We found that fathers used more abstract and complex language. When sharing a book with their child, they would often link events in the book to a child’s own experience. For example, when a ladder was discussed in the book, many fathers mentioned the last time they had used a ladder to climb up on the roof or use it for their work. Mothers focused more on the details in the book and often asked children to label or count objects or identify colors.” – Dr. Anna E. Duursma
Dad Outings or Family Field Trips
Depending on if mom needs a break or not, you can either schedule a field trip for the whole family or an individual dad outing. If both parents are available, you might be able to plan a trip farther away than usual, or just have double the hands and eyes to keep track of wandering children.
If you plan ahead, Home Depot or Lowe’s usually have free weekly kid’s workshops going on Saturday mornings. Maybe dad can turn the 30 minute trip to go get light bulbs into a 90 minute trip with a child or two and come home with light bulbs and a hand-made birdhouse? This will kill two birds with one stone – mom get’s 90 minutes of quiet, and dad and the kids have a fun bonding experience.
Father Knows Best – Specialty Dad Classes or Tutoring
Does dad have a specialty that you can turn into a weekly class? Important life skills such as home handyman tasks, auto mechanic work, woodworking, computers, cooking, gardening, survival training or whatever other expertise dad can pass along would perfectly supplement the usual reading, writing and arithmetic lessons.
Another way would be to have dad either tutor the kids on a subject that he is knowledgeable in that the kids are having difficulty with such as math – or – let dad deep dive into a subject to further enrich your family’s homeschool experience. Perhaps let dad run an interesting supplementary unit study, do some crazy science experiments or come up with some other fun activities relating to your normal syllabus if he is a self-proclaimed history, geography, or science buff.
Duo Grading or Homeschool Planning
I’m sure mom would welcome the help grading assignments. Make it a point to grade papers together, or leave a pile of work just for dad to go over. This is a great way to keep dad involved in the homeschooling process and with the progress of the kid’s studies.
While dad may not be quite as hands-on with the day-to-day planning, maybe he can help brainstorm some of those field trips, major projects or other aspects of the homeschooling schedule? Or perhaps simple feedback and support by letting you bounce some ideas off him when necessary can be a big help.
Mr. Mom – Dads Do Housework
Perhaps one of the biggest helping hand dad can do is pick up some of the slack as far as pitching in on laundry, vacuuming, dishes, occasionally picking up or cooking dinner.
There is research suggesting that children, particularly daughters, may be inspired to be more ambitious if they see their dads routinely sharing more of the domestic duties. They may also be encouraged to pursue career paths that are less traditional and potentially higher paying.
Besides, sometimes mom just needs a break and there is nothing more attractive than a man with a mop. 🙂
Even if dad leaves most of the formal day-to-day teaching to mom, he can still play a major part and significant active role in their homeschool education.
Do you have any other creative ways to include dad in homeschooling? Let us know below in the comments!
Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-10 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 14 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also makes incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Post Comments from Facebook
Rebecca via Facebook (2/27/2017) – Haven’t read this yet but my kids absolutely refuse to tell Dad anything they did during the day. He does have to get involved as we save some activities for when he’s home. Some things are just too hard when it’s three against one and the youngest is barely a toddler.
- Marie via Facebook (2/27/2017) – My 5 year old is like that sometimes; I tend to try to text photos to my husband that I’ve Instagrammed out that way when he gets home he can say “Did “someone” make a volcano today” to initiate the conversation and my son will start to engage from there.