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8 Practical Ways Men Can Support Their Homeschooling Wives

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Awhile back, I wrote an article for Homeschool Moms on How to Love Your Husband While Homeschooling. I shared it on my Facebook page, and one of my readers suggested that we needed an article on how husbands can support their homeschooling wives (or the other way around if Dad is the primary teacher).

I thought that was a great idea, so I asked the folks in the Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Community for some suggestions. I wondered how their spouses support them (or how they wish their spouses did). You know, besides the obvious big one that most husbands do in single-income homeschool families – working to provide the family income.

They came up with some fantastic suggestions!

husbands can support homeschool wives

Give her some time alone.

Y’all, I can’t stress this one enough. I think I speak for the vast majority of homeschool moms when I say that we love our kids – but sometimes we just need time alone, especially if we’re introverts.

Years ago, my husband started taking our kids out to lunch or dinner now and then, leaving me at home alone. That saved my sanity so many times. I would fix myself – and only myself – something quick and easy for lunch and spend the day doing whatever. It didn’t matter if I was checking email, reading a book, cleaning the house, or scrolling aimlessly on Facebook. Just having some quiet time alone was heaven.

Encourage your wife to go out with some friends (or fellow homeschool moms) once or twice a month for a mom’s night out. Bring take-out home for her and take the kids out for dinner and a movie (or playtime at the park or a visit with the grandparents or whatever).

Take over baths and bedtime stories once a week so she can read a book or call a friend.

Take-out is your friend.

Speaking of take-out, let me just say that I don’t think there is ever a wrong time to surprise your wife with take-out. (I mean, maybe make sure she hasn’t had a roast cooking in the crockpot all day, but other than that…)

Taking a night off from dinner prep and clean up is a huge sanity-saver for most homeschool moms.

Get involved with school.

Find ways to get involved in your family’s homeschool. You can do something as simple as asking your kids about what they’re studying. You might take over subjects that you’re particularly good at, such as math or computer programming. Or perhaps you can handle the things that make your wife squeamish – dissecting a cow’s eyeball, anyone?

Go to homeschool conventions with your wife and offer your input on curriculum purchases. Most of the time, I’ve got a pretty good handle on what my kids need and the type of curriculum they like, but my husband has gone to several curriculum fairs with me, and I’ve always found his input invaluable.

Ask your kids to teach you what they’re learning. One of the best ways to show mastery of a skill is to teach it to someone else. And, if you already know the thing they’re showing you, it’s okay. Unless they’re way off course, just sit back and let them run with it without correcting them or trying to show them a better way to do it.

Teach life skills.

Another way to get involved in your family’s homeschool is by teaching life skills. Teach your kids how to change the oil, plant a garden, or build a privacy fence.

As one mom said, homeschool dads who aren’t the primary teacher don’t have to feel confined to teaching academics. They can share with their children skills related to their occupations, their hobbies, or their roles in the household, church, or community.

husbands can support homeschool wives

Accept maps and bookshelves as a decorating style.

Your house probably won’t always look like a classroom, but for now be okay with bookshelves in every room in the house, maps displayed on the dining room wall, a timeline running the length of the hallway, and a solar system model suspended from the living room ceiling.

Repeat after me: Stylish home décor is overrated.

Act as a sounding board, not a repairman.

Sometimes we moms just need to vent – and you dads tend to want to fix things. We don’t always want you to fix our problems. Sometimes, we just need to rant about them for a bit.

Be a role model.

Let kids see you making learning a priority. Let them see you reading – even if you’re not an avid reader. Pursue new skills. Take an online or community class to learn a new skill or hobby.

My husband has replaced three laptop screens. He’d never done it before the first one got cracked. But we ordered a screen, and he watched a YouTube video to learn how to replace it. He successfully repaired the screen and saved us a ton of money. He’s also used YouTube to learn how to install a backup camera in our daughter’s car.

You don’t have to sign up for a whole semester-long class. Just let your kids see you using the resources you have available to demonstrate that learning never stops.

Let her – and others – know that you value and respect what she does.

Let your wife know that you appreciate and respect the time and effort she invests in educating your children. Tell her. Brag on her to friends and relatives. Assure her, by your actions, that you are her biggest supporter because, y’all, some days this homeschool thing isn’t easy.

It means to world me when my husband lets me know that he trusts that I am capable of successfully educating our kids at home and preparing them for successful lives after homeschool.

One mom said that her husband sends her and their daughter flowers and a note of encouragement on the first day of school each year. Try that and see if it doesn’t make your wife swoon. {sigh}

Those are just some of the suggestions I heard. How does your spouse support you as the primary homeschooling teacher? Or how do you, as the non-teaching spouse, support your partner?

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Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms, Only Passionate Curiosity, Homeschool Road Trips, Love These Recipes, and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, 31 years ago, and they live in the South. They have three adult children. Hannah, age 27, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 25, was the second homeschool graduate and the first to leave the nest. Mary Grace, age 19, was the last homeschool graduate. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow a garden every summer with limited success. (But she's learning!)

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One Comment

  1. Great points. I believe every family has a different dynamics. Mine is where we co-teach and share in many of the homeschool focus and teaching. Therefore, I believe the homeschooling parent should be vocal in a amicable way to state what their needs are.

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