“What about homeschool dads? Your website and events focus on homeschool moms, but what about fathers who support homeschooling or homeschool themselves?”
Believe it or not, we get this question more times than you may think!
Over the years, our community has benefited from a lot of strong dads who support homeschooling and make it possible for their families. Their help shows through in a lot of ways – we’ve detailed a few of them below!
How Dads Support Homeschooling
- Providing financial stability as the primary breadwinners while their wives homeschool.
In the early years of our nonprofit, this was the primary method for homeschool dads to support their family. Many parents make huge sacrifices to keep their household running on one income alone.
We appreciate and celebrate the families who choose this method – it’s not always easy, but homeschooling is more than worth the sacrifice!
- Helping with the occasional homeschool subject, such as math.
From my perspective as a homeschool mom, this kind of support is invaluable! Math was never my favorite subject when I was in school, and I was concerned this – cough cough – attitude toward math would pass on to my children.
Enter my husband, who loves math! He even reads books with titles like “The Joy of Math” in his spare time, which I think is an oxymoron. 😊
If you have a similar dynamic in your home, consider putting the parent who’s a natural cheerleader for that subject in charge of the teaching.
Not only will it help lighten the load, but it may also give your children an enthusiasm for topics you would normally avoid at all costs!
- Learning more about homeschooling by attending homeschool conference workshops.
We’ve enjoyed strong attendance from fathers and husbands at our annual conference and curriculum fair! Taking your spouse to a conference can help them understand both the details and the big picture of homeschooling.
Let them attend workshops with you, help take care of any children you’re bringing to the conference, share all the meals and experiences, and more! Conferences can actually be huge bonding times for your whole family if you plan accordingly.
- Networking and volunteering with other homeschool dads.
Over the years, MPE has benefited from a strong network of committed homeschool dads who work together, play together, and volunteer together. From our Conference Committee to the MPE Board, many dads help hold the core of our organization strong!
If you want to join this network, feel free to submit our volunteer form anytime and get connected.
- Shouldering the majority of (if not all) the homeschooling.
Occasionally some men will do all of the homeschool work themselves. Maybe it’s a solo dad who works from home but also helps teach the children when he’s not working. Maybe it’s a married dad whose wife is the primary breadwinner.
So what should these homeschool dads do to make their experience easier?
Todd Wilson, The Familyman, answered this question in one of our Facebook Live sessions (start listening around the 14:00 mark!):
“I know there are a lot of different pressures on homeschooling dads than there are on homeschooling moms. … All homeschooling moms feel like they’re doing a lousy job. That’s just one of the lies that homeschooling moms believe.
Dads don’t feel that way. You ask a dad and you say, ‘You think you’re doing a good job?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen worse. I think I’m doing OK.’
But there are a lot of other pressures. Dads sometimes battle with that, ‘I should be the one taking care of my family. I’m supposed to be the provider,’ you know, and now here they are teaching their kids, and their wife maybe is the breadwinner. And they struggle in that. …
If you’re a dad who’s doing the homeschooling, start a group. Let me know about it. Let the folks at MPE know about it. … I applaud you, but you’re going to have to figure that out on your own because you need a different kind of encouragement.”
Tips & Resources For Homeschool Dads
Here are some tips for dads to consider in optimizing their homeschool journey:
- Find us on LinkedIn.
Some dads may not feel comfortable joining Facebook or Instagram, but they may feel perfectly fine joining a LinkedIn group or connecting with other dads via their LinkedIn profile!
MPE has a LinkedIn Company page that’s not as active as our other social media accounts, but you’ll find some of our volunteers and team members there.
- Join other dads at our Feb. 2 BBQ Dinner!
We’re excited to announce our first-ever Homeschool Dad’s Night Out on Feb. 2.
Registration ends Jan. 21, so make sure to save your seat before then!
- Stay in constant communication with your wife if she’s doing the homeschooling.
If you’re a homeschool dad married to a homeschool mom, make sure you know what her needs are.
It could be listening to her recount certain challenges, milestones, or questions regarding the children. It could be helping care for the kids while she attends a homeschool-related event. It could be sharing some of the day-to-day homeschool responsibilities. Just like every family is unique, your homeschool will also be unique!
Any other tips or resources we’ve missed for homeschool dads? Let us know in the comments!