Choosing to Homeschool From a Dad’s PerspectiveMarch 13, 2023
Our family’s journey to homeschooling has been an interesting one and hopefully will be an encouragement to you. Let’s begin by taking a trip down memory lane of how we got to where we are today from a dad’s perspective.
I was an administrator for a large, public university. We were living in international student housing, and on a daily basis, I interacted with families from all over the world. During one of our family meals together, our oldest child (she was 4 at the time) asked to do school at home. We informed her that school was a place you go to, that she would be going next year, and that it would be called kindergarten. That was the end of the conversation…or so I thought.
A few weeks later, our daughter asked a second time to be schooled at home. This time we asked the question, “Why?” She informed us that she would miss us if she was in school all day long. I told her that my job was to work for the university, and my wife’s job was to be a part-time nurse and be at home the rest of the time. We told her neither of us was a teacher, that teachers had degrees and spent 4 years studying how to teach. In addition, at the time, I held fairly negative beliefs about homeschoolers, mainly due to my limited interactions with homeschoolers growing up.
A few more weeks passed and for a third time, our daughter asked to be schooled at home. She said she had been talking with a friend and that friend really liked being homeschooled. I thought to myself, “Where in the world is my 4-year-old having these conversations and who in the world does she even know that is homeschooled?” After additional questions, I discovered there was a family at our church that homeschooled and one of their kids was in our daughter’s children’s class on Sunday mornings. My head thought, “That makes sense. I like that family.” My mouth said, “Let’s get some more info.”
Deciding to Homeschool
I pride myself on being a fairly analytical person. I had a graduate degree in Education and would consider myself an overall curious person. Because of this, I began reading about homeschooling and talking with actual homeschooling kids and parents. I looked into the research and began to pray about it with my wife. Ultimately we made the decision to give it one year. If after one year we completely “messed up” educating our daughter, we would enroll her in public school and she would take kindergarten over again.
The weeks turned into months and pretty soon we were coming to the end of the “academic year.” I had a meeting with my wife and daughter and asked if we would like to continue. We all agreed that it was a positive experience and would continue. During that first year, it was reinforced that “school” was larger than I thought it was or could be. It helped to solidify my now deeply held belief that no one, no one is more passionate and dedicated to the education of my children than I am. While, yes, it takes more than passion and dedication, those are amazing building blocks. With technology today, and especially the virtual nature of education in the last few years, it’s no wonder why homeschooling has exploded.
Maybe one of your kids asked to “do school at home,” maybe your spouse wants to do this whole homeschool thing, or maybe there is an incident that happened at school that has left you feeling sick to your stomach. Whatever the case that has brought you to consider homeschooling, here are my suggestions for married couples:
- After the kids are in bed, turn off the tv, put the phones down, sit across the table from your spouse, and have a dream session. Dream about what you want your kids to learn. What do you want them to experience? Where do you want them to go? What type of person do you want them to become? What skills do you want to learn? To be exposed to? Write down what you come up with and use that as guiding principles.
- Secondly, I would encourage you to sit down 1:1 with each of your kids. It won’t be a one-time occurrence but have continuing conversations with them over time. Become a student of them. What I mean by that is this – What does that individual child enjoy learning? Of what are they curious? What are their tendencies, their habits, and their personalities? Know your child’s mind, but also know their heart.
As a parent, we have an incredible responsibility to help shape and mold these precious people. Especially when they are young, our focus at times is just surviving, but time flies. One of the sayings we have used is, “Long days, short years.” In the not-too-distant future, a pair of eyes belonging to your 18-year-old daughter or son will be sitting across from you. You want to have a solid foundation created so they can be successful in whatever they do.
More About the Author:
Chad Theisen is a homeschooling dad of 3 and married to his best friend, Brooke. Together, they have been homeschooling for over 10 years. Chad has been very involved in the homeschool community for the last decade, serving on various boards, committees, and groups designed for homeschoolers. Chad is a full-time real estate agent and primarily serves homeschool families looking to buy or sell. He loves teaching, especially on the topic of finances, real estate, investing, and cooking! He loves spending time with other homeschooling families and is always looking for ways to serve those in his community.
You can learn more or contact him here or you can email him at [email protected]
Additional Homeschool Resources
Getting Started Homeschool Guide
The Elusive Pimpernel: The Working Dad’s Role in Homeschooling
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Homeschool
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