I used to call my husband “the fun patrol.” Why? Because he was a master of finding adventure, pushing the limits, and creating fun experiences for our kids. Through their dad, my kids learned the joys of hiking, biking, kayaking, landscaping, building, designing and racing pinewood derby cars, wrestling, camping, building a fire, drawing, electronics, and so much more! He is the one who gave them the confidence to try new things, to overcome their fears, and to press on to excellence. And he did all of that after work! With Father’s Day just around the corner, I thought this would be a wonderful time to recognize the unsung heroes–the homeschool dads!
Homeschool Dads: A Rare Breed
It’s no surprise or secret that the majority of homeschooling parents are moms. It’s been that way for ages. I could probably create an entire article on why this is the case, or why dads tend to shy away from being the homeschooling parent, but the bottom line is—there just isn’t an abundance of fathers out there who are the primary teacher in a homeschooling household. This article from the National Catholic Register sheds a lot of light on the topic and contains some very interesting anecdotes and observations from homeschool dads and their rarity.
That said, there is a population of dads out there who are either the primary teachers in their homeschool or play a major role in the support network for your family. So, let’s not overlook the dads…Dad is important and very necessary!
My Kids’ Experience Homeschooling with Dad
Dad brings a whole new perspective to homeschooling and to life in general. With Dad, my kids had the opportunity to take part in a whole new world of activities. With Dad, those concepts that I just could never get them to grasp were suddenly understandable. With Dad, that digestive system model that looked more like the model of the playground suddenly took a more appealing shape.
Dad not only brought a lot to the table, but he was also a voice that wasn’t mine. And sometimes kids need that change of pace. I know my kids love me and that they took a great deal from my teaching, but I also understood that, after seeing and hearing me for hours a day every day, they were bound to tune me out at some point. And they did. That’s when Dad stepped in and helped get them back on track.
Resources for Homeschool Dads
But despite a dad’s importance, most homeschool sites and resources are directed to homeschooling moms! It is true that the majority of homeschoolers are moms, but for those of you dads who put in the time or take on the primary teaching role, help is available.
Be sure to visit the sites listed below for some terrific help and insight from fellow homeschool dads!
- Homeschool Dad: Written by Daniel Louzonis, homeschool dad, blogger, creator of Einstein Blueprint podcast, and author of the book Homeschool Secrets.
- Stark Raving Dad: Blog, podcast, and Zoom courses and resources from a homeschool dad.
- Fatherville: A site for Dads that covers a variety of topics, but has a specific section for homeschool dads.
17 Ways Dads Can Help in a Supporting Role
For those of you dads who may not be the primary instructor, but who serve an important supporting role in your family’s homeschool program, here are my top 17 ways to be outstanding!
- Collaborate on a science experiment.
- Work on a project that teaches them how to use your tools.
- Read to them, adding your personality to make the story more exciting.
- Go for a hike and point out the beauty and intricacies of God’s creation.
- Share memories from your childhood while taking a walk or hanging out on the couch.
- Read a chapter of the Bible every evening.
- Take your kids to a baseball game.
- Turn off the television and just talk.
- Play a game, any game—board game, card game, tag, hide-and-seek, etc.
- Hug them when you leave for work and when you come home.
- Give them a vision worth living for.
- Get them involved in sports and be their biggest fan (beware of trying to take on a coaching role unless you are actually the coach).
- Do the grocery shopping.
- Help out with the laundry.
- Take time to sit and talk with your wife—and let her do the talking.
- Make time for a “date night (or day)” with your wife.
- Encourage Mom to take time off just for herself while you watch the kids.
No matter your role, you are important and very necessary to the success of your homeschool program! If you’re a homeschool dad, tell us in the comments below about the role you play in homeschooling your child. And Happy Father’s Day!