If you look at the typical homeschooling family, you’ll probably see a mom teaching the children while the father is busy working to provide for everyone. Naturally, then, a lot of the homeschooling books and articles are aimed at helping us moms stay organized, encouraged, and motivated to teach our kids.
This is great, because we really need the support system of other homeschooling moms to help us keep going. However….
We really shouldn’t underestimate the value of a supportive homeschooling spouse. Personally, I’d never have been able to even attempt homeschooling our brood if my husband (seen above with the littles) wasn’t so supportive of both my intentions and my efforts to teach our kids.
We made the decision to homeschool from birth through high school (as long as it’s humanly possible) and it really does take both of us to make that happen.
Here are a few reasons why homeschooling parents need their spouses’ support:
- Supportive spouses prevent burnout – When the entire responsibility for educating our children falls completely on us, it’s natural to get exhausted and worn out quickly. If I had to bear the brunt of all the subjects, lessons, and activities on my own, I would have given up homeschooling long ago. Having a spouse who’s willing to step in and help makes all the difference in the world.
- Supportive spouses help us feel confident in our teaching ability – Most of us are not professional teachers, so we may feel unsure about our teaching skills from time to time. Even some professional teachers who take up homeschooling find that their education and training don’t really translate to the homeschool environment. When your spouse believes in your ability to teach and encourages you to continue, it gives you confidence that you are well qualified to give your kids the education they need.
- Supportive spouses reinforce our teachings with the kids – I can recall many days where I would spend the morning going over a lesson and my husband would come home and quiz the kids on what we discussed. At first, I felt like he was testing me to see if I had actually “done school” that day. But, he was actually checking on them to see if they were giving me the attention and respect that they should during class. He would even follow up on how they viewed what they were learning and help them see the value of it in their everyday lives. Those reminders help our kids view me as a person who deserves their attention, not just during school but all the time.
- Supportive spouses provide a definitive answer to doubters – I’m sure you’ve faced your share of naysayers who, while well-intentioned, may make you feel awful about your choice to homeschool. They may comment on our “socialization issues” or a perceived “academic gap” between what we do and what kids in the school system do. Having a partner who believes in homeschooling and is willing to defend it stops most of these comments in their tracks. I’ve been particularly grateful for my husband’s support in this area over the years.
Do you have a supportive homeschooling spouse? How has he or she been a partner to you during your homeschooling journey? Be sure to let him or her know how much you value them and then tell us about it in the comments!
Keep on learning!