6 Ways to Get Dad Involved in Homeschooling
Hi there! Welcome to another homeschooling blog; today I’m talking about different ways that fathers can get involved in homeschooling (and even if you don’t homeschool you may find these tips helpful for getting Dads more involved with their kids in general). My husband and I decided to homeschool when out eldest daughter was a newborn and we now have three very happily homeschooled daughters- we even travelled full time around Asia for a year with them when they were 2, 5 and 6! I have many homeschooling blog posts that cover everything from socialisation to exams, homeschool law to homeschooling resources and more!
You may be considering homeschooling your children or perhaps you are a homeschooling family already. Most of the time, women are the ones taking on most of the childcare and homeschooling roles, and homeschool support groups are frequently inundated with women frustrated because either dads don’t agree with homeschooling, or aren’t involved in their child’s education.
I’ll write another post about getting fathers ‘on board’ with homeschooling as it seems to be a far too frequent problem; this post will help you with getting dads practically involved in homeschooling.
While for many families the dynamic of parents splitting roles and working independently of each other (one outside the home, the other with the children) works well, others may struggle and want to know how to get dads more involved in homeschooling their children.
The good news is that any quality time fathers spend with their children is beneficial- whether it’s playing a board game or throwing a ball outside or roughhousing or taking everyone to the park- and these fun activities all have educational value. However, if the other parent really needs a hand with homeschooling, or Dad wants to but doesn’t know where to begin, these tips will hopefully help your homeschooling family to create a dynamic that works well for everyone.
If you’re looking to get Dad more involved with homeschool activities, here are a few things to try.
Let Dad Share His Hobbies and Passions
Education doesn’t need to be traditional and even if you do use books and curriculum for your homeschool, hands-on experiences are essential for a well-rounded education. Here are some ideas of how Dads can help with this area of homeschooling:
- If he has interests in computers, he could help teach computer-related skills.
- If he is an outdoorsman then things like camping, hiking or bushcraft skills can all be made into a fun activity that involves nature, skill building and exercise.
- If he is musical, he can help teach music lessons or how to play an instrument.
- If he likes to build, kids can get involved with building simple projects, learning woodworking, or learn math skills by helping Dad measure, calculate or cut shapes.
- If he likes to work on cars, kids can tag along or learn how to fix things, change tyres, check the oil, and more.
Encourage your children’s Dad to share his hobbies and passions and help give hands-on experiences with what he loves to do. Not only is this great for introducing new interests and concepts to your children but the benefits of quality time are immeasurable.
Ask Dad for Help Around The House
Sometimes we need to hear the obvious in order to remember it- homeschooling is a full-time gig, and managing a house is extra work on top of that. I frequently get overwhelmed with the amount of mess and housework that needs dealing with, and it is a difficult process trying to figure out what to choose between spending more fun time with the kids, homeschooling, working (running this blog), housework and free time (usually I spend that at the gym).
What has really helped Patrick and I is a clear and honest discussion about how much housework is reasonable for me to take responsibility for, and what we need him to be responsible for. This doesn’t need to be set in stone and there needs to be plenty of grace and flexibility, but it does mean that you can define a manageable amount of work and not feel pressured to do more than you are capable of.
There’s no medal for overwhelming yourself or feeling constantly torn between your children and housework or other responsibilities. One of the greatest joys of homeschooling is that you don’t need to buy into this bizarre masochistic ‘busy’ culture that has permeated society.
You don’t need to rush around all the time or be constantly frazzled. What good comes of that? Take the opportunity to homeschool as an opportunity to design a lifestyle that works for every member of your family, including the parents, and that means each doing a reasonable share of work.
Assessing Homeschool Work
If you do some traditional homeschooling where children complete projects, papers or tests, why not ask their Dad to mark it or go over it with them? In general, fathers seem to engage more with homeschooling styles that they recognise as more like formal education, so assessing work may be a good way to get them to join in and feel included in the process.
If you don’t want your children tested or their work ‘marked’ (we don’t use grades for our children and we don’t mark work), you could ask him to write down three things he likes about what they’ve done and one thing as a suggestion for ‘next time’. Because Mums are so often the ones engaging directly with their children for most of the homeschool career, it is a very good thing to have kids hear what Dad thinks too!
Let Dad Do Readalouds
Kids can read their favorite book to Dad each night. If you’re working on a presentation for a project, have Dad listen and (gently) critique the presentation. Dad can also do readalouds where he reads to the kids- this is personally one of my favourite parts of homeschooling our girls, simply sitting and reading to them, so (selfishly) it isn’t something I’d want to completely hand over, but it is nice for all parties to change up routine every now and then.
A nature walk is a great way for the kids and Dad to bond, to get fresh air and exercise and to give the other partner a chance to take some ‘me time’! Dads could create a ‘treasure hunt’ where he draws or writes down different items to find along the way (a spider web, a bird’s nest, a pine cone for example) to make it more focused if he prefers that kind of more purposeful activity.
Discuss Curriculum Choices & Choose Topics
Collaborate with your children’s Dad to choose from all the different curriculum choices out there and find out what he thinks would be good for children to learn. He can give suggestions or advice on what topics to go over and he may be interested in getting more specific by helping plan the lessons.
This is also helpful if Dad is skilled with a subject or enjoys doing something more than the other parent does. For example, I am not very sporty but Patrick is very into health and fitness and does a lot of physical activity (swimming, boxing, golf, bowls) with the girls. This can sometimes be called “team teaching” and is helpful for both parents and children.
Conclusion On Including Homeschooling Dads
Homeschooling can be overwhelming at times if just one parent is involved so trying to include Dad in the mix can he good for everyone. Dad can bring new experiences, insight, and learning opportunities to the homeschool routine.
Check out more homeschooling blog posts!
- 100+ Brilliant Homeschooling Resources
- How To Start Homeschooling: A Beginner’s Guide
- Everything We Learned In One Homeschooling Day (Unschooling)
- How To Homeschool Your Dyslexic Child
- Best Kindergarten (‘Reception’) curriculums for homeschooling
- Homeschooling & Claiming Benefits: All You Need To Know
- Can You Homeschool and Work Full Time?
- The Only 10 Things You Need To Homeschool (They Are ALL FREE!)
- Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
- How Do Kids Socialise When They Homeschool?
- 10 Things To Consider Before Homeschooling
- The 6 Homeschooling Styles: Which Is Right For You?
- What Is Unschooling?
- How Much Does Homeschooling Cost Per Month? (Our exact figure!)