Seven Ways Dads Affect Homeschooling

When it comes to homeschooling, do you ever wonder what a father's role is supposed to be? As a homeschooling father, my initial response toward the responsibility of my children's education was simply to work hard at my job and be a good provider. However, as the years went by and our family developed a routine, I began to contribute more to each day's activities at home. Although I made plenty of mistakes along the way, I learned the tremendous importance of my active involvement as a homeschool dad. Here are seven wonderful ways fathers can affect their children's educational success:

The Wonder of Mom
The best way you can affect your family's homeschooling is by loving and supporting the teacher. That means you'll need to help with cleaning, washing, cooking, and other household chores, too. You may be thinking, "That's my wife's job," but homeschooling is time-consuming work both emotionally and physically. The best thing you can do if you're working full time is to relieve her of some duties each and every day. In making the simple commitment to serve your wife, your children's education will be improved for the betterment of all.

The Wonder of Motivation
As a homeschool dad, your motivation in life will be reflected with frightening clarity in your children's lives. The reasons you do what you do will be picked up and mirrored by them with amazing accuracy. Learning to take responsibility for your own actions (past and present) will instill accountability and reliability in your children's lives as well. Learn to love and live truthfully, openly expressing your desire to obey God and His Word. Demonstrating other worldly motivations, such as getting rich or famous, will mar your children's future and your family. That's the way it is without exceptions.

The Wonder of Preparation
Eighty percent of what your children learn while homeschooling is informal education. The other twenty percent provides the foundation for their formal academic education and the future possibilities of their lives' vocations. By using a structured curriculum, such as Switched-On Schoolhouse®, LIFEPAC®, or Horizons from Alpha Omega Publications®, your children will not only acquire knowledge to get a job, but they will also learn character-building skills to organize and segment their lives. As adults, they will structure their responsibilities in the same way they handled the pressure of completing their lessons, quizzes, and projects. Homeschooling with a mastery-based curriculum will build your children's confidence, instill a life-long love of learning, and prepare them for academic success.

The Wonder of Consistency
There's an old saying that goes, "Inch by inch is a cinch, but mile by mile is a trial." Connecting the dots of a daily routine into weekly, quarterly, and yearly academic plans starts with doing what you're supposed to do today. Although it's nice to let creative juices flow from time to time, you'll find things work better if you consistently stay focused on your goals as a homeschooling family. As a homeschool dad, it's best to avoid the temptation to ignore your responsibilities at home. Plopping down in your easy chair to rest and relax after a hard day at work isn't going to cut it. Instead, ask God for strength and strive to go beyond what's expected of you. Even if illness or an injury keeps you from doing your part, you can at least offer acceptance and praise for what your children and wife have accomplished that day.

The Wonder of Realizing Limits
Every dad wants to be a superhero who is respected by his family. However, being humble enough to realize your limits is best in furthering your children's educational excellence. After all, none of us is perfect in every sport and academic pursuit. From time to time, you'll need to branch out and look for people with specialized educational skills that meet your children's needs. By doing this, you'll teach your children the important lesson that we all need help from time to time. As a side note, it's also important to know who is best at helping when life presents roadblocks to achieving goals. The POWER acrostic used by Nehemiah when rebuilding Jerusalem's wall might help.

- What is the Problem?
- What is the Origin?
- Why did it happen?
- Who can I Enlist to help?
- Respond with prayer.

The Wonder of Acceptance
Can you remember a time when there was someone in authority over you who showed you acceptance? Perhaps that person was someone who knew little about you personally, but he thought well of you and accepted you. Perhaps he was a teacher, a relative, or maybe a pastor. Now, imagine for a moment the exact opposite. Picture yourself subject to criticism and outright ridicule. Which environment would you prefer? Which would you find advantageous to learning and character building? As a homeschool dad, don't expect your children to be a smaller version of you. Accept them for who God made them to be with their own unique interests, talents, and abilities.

The Wonder of Being Heaven's Helper
Homeschool dads tend to rely on past experiences to fix things broken around them. Instead of praying and seeking wisdom from the Holy Spirit within, they often rely on the flesh and pattern their lives into machines that make things, manipulate events, and manage people by their own wills. However, when it comes to homeschooling, you can't handle everything on your own, no matter how tough you think you might be. Unfortunately, many men make a mess of the important message clearly stated in Ephesians 6:4: "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." As the spiritual leader of the home, the greatest effect you can have on your family's homeschooling occurs when you pray, have devotions, and listen to the Holy Spirit, so your children will desire their own personal relationships with Jesus Christ and learn how to have a heart for God.

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PAULA K 06/04/2009 03:20:00

Great points! Printed it off for my husband to read!! :)

KRISTINA F 06/04/2009 06:38:37

This is fantastic! I think dads get so confused on what exactly their role is. This is wonderful to have a note to fathers from a father! I've printed it off as well.

KELLEY M 06/04/2009 07:53:38

My husband is already a great help. I printed it as an encouragement for him, to show him he's on the right track.

JULISSE P 06/04/2009 19:52:22

This is great! My husband is a great help when it comes to cleaning! But, I do sense that this could help him towards raising our oldest homeschooler up in the care and admonition of the Lord and not with strife and anger.

RHONDA D 06/06/2009 09:30:12

God's timing in sending messages is sooo perfect. My husband and I just had the discussion the other night that maybe it is time to re-enroll our kids in public school since I have been so stressed here lately. But this article has shown me that is not the answer I just need help with the household chores from my spouse. I too have printed this off for him and am hoping that he takes it to heart.

KRISTINE S 06/09/2009 10:40:45

Realistically, this article applies to a father of any family not just a home schooling family. In that light, it shares valuable information but it didn't meet any special need for our home schooling family. It could just as well be titled "Don't be a Deadbeat Dad."

LUKE N 06/17/2009 21:14:30

Thank for this article. My husband and I are currently going through the DHS adoption process and have decided that we will be homeschooling. It has always been a concern of my husbands that he may be of little help outside family devotions/Bible studies and he is constantly asking me to make sure that I find ways to involve him in our future homeschool process. I found this article very encouraging and I am excited to share it with my husband. Amanda N.

LUKE N 06/18/2009 05:42:19

Husband of Amanda N. here. I agree with Kristine S that this is an article for every father out there. I also agree with everyone else that this article is useful specifically for a homeschooling father. Mothers and Fathers, it is so important today to follow Paul's command to us ("bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord").

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