Dad’s Night Out #1

Poker GameThis past weekend, the dads in our homeschool PSP had a night out. It seems they had a fun time of it! I wish I could show you tons of pictures from the event, but in my excitement to see my man out the door, I totally forgot to hand him my camera. Bummer!

It seems lots of eating and lots of games were in order. They had fun beating each other at cards and enjoying each other’s company.

I think what our group does is extremely rare. Most groups don’t have support just for the fathers and that is crucial. We need to help the dads be more involved and not exclude them into thinking homeschooling is “a mom thing”.

At dad’s night out they get to talk about issues pertinent to them; finances, supporting their wives, building their families, and more. From what I understand via my husband, it encourages them when they know they are not alone in their struggles.

I highly recommend doing this in your own group, if you have one. Encourage the men to quarterly schedule a fellowship night. If you don’t have a support group, consider just getting together with mutual homeschooling friends and getting something started.

It’s hard for dads to get out. Once work is finished, they usually desire to simply remain at home with their families (a noble idea) and relax. However, on occasion, it is nice to walk them to the door and kiss them goodbye, knowing they are going to be encouraged and uplifted in their calling as husbands and fathers.

Our group is such a blessing and we are excited to be a part of it. I hope all the fathers who were able to make it were able to take something away from the evening.

Next quarter…. it’s mom’s turn!

Okay, dads; would you like an opportunity like this, if it were made available or do you find this unnecessary?

The Three “L’s”

Many thanks to Cristina for giving me a chance to give a dad’s perspective on homeschooling!

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Over the last 8 years that our family has been actively homeschooling, I’ve seen more and more fathers show their willingness to share in what was stereotypically (and incorrectly assumed as) solely  the moms’ role as home educators. We are thankful for the thousands of moms that have worked to make homeschooling work in our families, but as we guys like to say about sports – “It’s a team effort.”

Thankfully, my experience as a homeschool dad has always involved total cooperation with my wife. I was considered my children’s ‘primary teacher’ for a number of years as my job allowed me more flexibility to stay home. However, I know that many homeschool dads aren’t as fortunate as I am to be a consistent part of the daily homeschool experience. Whether the man of your home is a stay at home dad, or the primary breadwinner, we all appreciate encouragement as we strive to take an active part in our children’s education. So moms, on behalf of homeschool dads, here are some ways to encourage us. I call them the three “L’s” = Learn Together, Let Him Lead, and Love and Laugh.

1. Learn Together: Most dads are not scared to learn along with their kids, but they are scared of ‘messing up the flow” of the homeschool. We feel that if something is working, i.e., the way the moms are managing the homeschool, that interfering can somehow be detrimental.  Moms, don’t let us stay on the fringe. If you find something interesting to study or a subject that you need help with, consult with Dad first – even if it’s not his strongest subject or skill. Encourage your kids to reach out to us as well for help with their studies. If there is a subject Dad is strong at, by all means let him teach it whenever he can. By doing this, you encourage us dads to model life-long learning. A man often enjoys solving a problem, and we’ll go to great lengths to learn something if we feel it makes us – and the family – more effective.

2. Let Him Lead : Even though many moms choose curriculum and are more knowledgeable about homeschool methods, always support the dad of your family by giving him time to consider the long-range goals of your homeschool.  Talk about what he feels is the vision for your kids, even if he’s not active in the day-to-day activities. We as men are charged with giving our kids the God – given vision of what they are to become, but parents must work as a team to make that vision come to pass in our children. Ephesians 6:4 (KJV) states:

Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

If we are to bring our children up in the Lord’s chosen pathways, we must agree on what God is trying to achieve through our homeschooling , and only clear and regular parental communication can accomplish that. All the dads I’ve spoken to recently have voiced their desire to be more involved in their respective homeschools. So give us the opportunity. Have ‘faculty meetings’ early and often throughout the year and always respect the opinion of the father in your home as you work together to set the course of your homeschool.

3. Love and Laugh: I feel dads should be able to schedule the breaks from school that the kids need every so often. If Dad is not part of the academic setting regularly, encourage him to be the leader of the recreational and social life of your family. Fathers can be the balance to the hectic lifestyle that can sometimes overtake the mothers as they juggle work, home, and homeschool (yes, they are all different categories) By taking the emphasis off curriculum and lessons every once in a while, a dad can lighten the load and remind the family of the most important part of homeschooling – the time you spend together. Share love and quality time as a couple and as a family, and you would be amazed how much easier it is to teach the academics in your homeschool when that core of love and laughter is established.

By following these three “L’s”, I trust your family will be more united than ever in learning, leading and loving together as God blesses your homeschool journey. Dads, jump in to the journey with both feet, and moms, don’t be surprised if we make a big ‘messy’ splash. We’ll clean up afterward, we promise.

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Allen PaulAbout the author: Allen Paul was a music teacher in Miami public schools for 8 years before resigning  and becoming a homeschool dad. He now works with Classical Conversations as a Challenge director and blogs about his homeschool experience at Homeschool Daddy. He lives in Miami with Lia, his wife of 16 years , and their three children – Chris, 21, Marcus, 16,  and Naomi, 15.

Homeschooling 101: Two Shall Be One

Step two in Homeschooling 101: Being one with your husband.

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Homeschooling101Generally speaking, most of us mommies do the teaching in our homes. We pick the curriculum, we pick the method by which we teach, we decide which activities we will be involved in, and we do all the instructing.

Do you see a problem with this scenario? Where is father in all of this? Shouldn’t he have a say in the education of his children?

The second piece of advice I try to give new homeschooling families… include pop in your homeschooling. While dad might need to work all day, not being available to do actual instructing, there are many ways in which he can still be an active part of your children’s education:

  • He can pray for his family.
  • He can offer advice on which curriculum should be chosen.
  • He can discuss what the children learned at the end of each day.
  • He can be a sounding board for ideas.
  • If available, he can teach classes.

When we first began homeschooling, my husband was a great sounding board for ideas. Everything that came to my attention we discussed together. How did he think we should homeschool; do we use a classical method, an unschooling approach, or should we be eclectic? What should be the focus of our learning? He was instrumental in helping us to narrow down the goals of our family’s learning.

At the beginning of each year, I make a point of discussing everything with my husband. We talk about any new changes, new directions, new goals, and new ideas we’d like to try out. During these discussions, he makes a point of letting me know how he’d like to be involved in our children’s learning. This year, he is participating in PE and teaching logic on weekends.

Two Shall Be OneSometimes we talk about things as they come up, others at the end of the night. The most fun way to have our conversations? A date night! Make a special coffee date and together plan out the coming year for your family.

Knowing my husband is behind what we do 100%, gives me great peace of mind. I am not in this alone, I am not doing this on my own strength. We are in this together for the long haul, raising and training our children.

If you don’t already, consider making your husband an active part of your homeschooling. No matter how “small” the contribution, it will be well worth the effort.

Veteran Mommies: How do you encourage your husband to participate in the homeschooling of your children?

“AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” – Mark 10:8

Dad’s Night Out

About an hour ago, my hubby walked out the door to go spend some time with his buddies. Once every quarter our homeschool dads have a guys’ night out, spending time in fellowship and prayer.

It is such a blessing to know that these guys are dedicated to the needs of their family and their friends. They take the time to do a devotion, share a meal, and encourage one another.

My husband is constantly telling me how much these guys are a blessing. He appreciates knowing that he is not the only one struggling to make time for everything and balance all that life hands him. He likes knowing that these guys are praying for him and vice-versa.

It is such a pleasure for me to know that my guy has a group of buddies that are willing to spend time together, lifting each other’s needs before the Lord.

Who does your husband go to for encouragement and fellowship?

Dad’s Night Out

The Man Behind the LenseMy husband joined the men in our homeschool group for a Dad’s Night Out, last night. He was supposed to take pictures of the event, but apparently he was having so much fun, he forgot! (Rrrrrr…..)

Oh, well! It is a blessing to know that my guy was able to enjoy his evening and that they were having such a good time. He really doesn’t get many opportunities to just hang out with his friends and fellowship.

While they do have games available for them, it seems they generally spend the evening talking and eating. They always intend to get to the games, but never quite make it.

This is one of the reasons that we love our homeschool PSP so much. Most groups are mom centered and hardly make a point of including the fathers. Our group has a male principal, has several men that lead important areas of the group, and highly encourages all of the dads’ participation in all activities.

We are so blessed to have this group and to enjoy their friendship. I hope all of the other dads had as much fun as my husband did!

Does your homeschool group encourage the participation of its fathers? How so?

Game’s On!

One of the things we enjoy about our homeschool support group, is that it feels like family! Most support groups consist of just the younger kids and the mommies. Good luck getting high school kids to want to hang around and the dads are often not encouraged to participate. Not so, with our group!

Last night was our first game night of the year and it was a blast! We had games, fellowship, and loads of good desserts! The ladies took on the guys in a game of Guesstures and won!!

Battle PlansThe guys did a great job, but they were defeated by the ladies!

Showing Off

One of the dad’s showing us how it’s done!

It looks like this...

Our principal giving us some tips on how to play the game.

sWho Me?Some of the ladies enjoying some cake and fellowship!

Games

The large stack of games, some of which got played and some of which didn’t.

So soft

The bonus round for me was receiving this awesome blanket! One of the ladies had made it and didn’t know what to do with it?! So, she gave it to me!

Ah… I will be loving on this blanket for quite a while.

Play Things

The bonus round for my kiddos was receiving a large bag of marble track. My husband is excited to spend part of this evening setting this up with our son and watching him have a blast!

Oooo… the hours of fun this bag is going to give! We can’t wait!

All together, the night was spectacular. We had a great time visiting with our friends and relaxing. We love getting together with these guys; it is always a good time!

Do you have game nights with your homeschool friends? What is your favorite game to play as a group?