Clearing up 52-54 and how my husband is involved in homeschooling.
What is 52-54 you ask? Click here to find out.
A question arose on a blogI read about homeschooling and whether or not our husbands are involved. I’ve been pondering this for a while.
Not that I have to ponder “if or how” my husband is involved but our dynamic is unique and I was thinking about the why. My husband is a public school teacher so its actually quite strange that we have chosen to homeschool and that he is in fact involved in that. I love what Karen said in her post about her husband being her biggest defender and that, I would say, is Matt’s #1 roll.
Another way our situation is different than most is that my husband is a talker! He laughs that if most women have 3500 words a day and men 2000, he has 2000 per hour! I process things by writing and pondering alone and then bring the parts that I can’t get through alone to a trusted friend (often my husband). He, on the other hand processes everything by talking. Talk it through, argue it through, and when something has to be done he doesn’t just set his mind to it and go he has to talk about the details. I thought I could talk! HA!
You can see how leaving him completely out of the picture would not give him ample opportunity to feel he was doing his best job as defender! He needs to talk through the details. I guess he would be something like our Principal. Not in the “authority” sense but more my companion and support system. If I’m really stuck or struggling with balance etc. he is there to bounce ideas off of. Also my husband is the huge visionary for our family. I’m a dreamer! He can see the big picture and keep us “on track” so to speak where I can get overwhelmed with the day to day tasks not feeling like we are reaching goals quickly enough. Does that make sense?
One day before we started homeschooling he and I took a drive and as we went along we jostled ideas and thoughts back and forth. Eventually we came to a conclusion about our school concept that we wanted to strive toward and gave ourselves a “mission and vision” statement. This actually came partly out of conflict. He had been fielding some “flack” from people at work about why we homeschool and of course those skeptics thinking that somehow I had manipulated him into allowing me to “keep the kids home”! They must NOT really know my husband!
Now before I freak you out on this it is not intended to make me feel “greater than thou” or even for Matt and I to have something to hang over the others head, it’s more a marker. Like the spiritual markers God gives us as believers we wanted progress markers in education to align to a goal and have an answer for ourselves mostly, it just so happens that it helps us to answer others when we have the Mission and Vision in the back of our heads. Okay, ya we are weird and scholarly like that! Both of us first born, driven, passionate, talker, educator type people. Speaking of education that was a huge and ridiculous paragraph, forgive me!
Anyhow this is what we came up with…Our Mission: Develop the drive to persueTruth and apply knowledge. That is a capitol “T” because we feel if knowledge is properly applied and a person actively persues truth they will always find The Truth in Christ. We won’t have to fear that we didn’t give our children all the head knowledge they would ever need because they will know how to seek. If they loose their way they will have the tools to learn their way back. At least they can never claim ignorance right?
Our Vision: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. an acrostic. I’m shaking my head right now, we are so so “magoo”! Here goes;
R. Reach your potential
E. Exercise a joyful heart
S. Speak for what’s right
P. Promote your Created personality
E. Exercise knowledge
C. Care for others
T. Train to use your God given talents
So there you have it. As I think of this too I am reminded that another huge motivation for writing itall out is the fact that at this time we have our children in a state run charter program (don’t be a hater!). We prayerfully considered this decision and came up with the mission so that we can see the line in the sand! If the charter option at any point were to steer us away from that line we would we have a gauge! I am not interested in having the state teach my kids but I am (at this point) okay with aligning them to the standards especially since my husbands job is a factor! Standards aren’t what you might think. I’m not teaching that evolution is right or omitting God from my curriculum (ooh, boy this is a big discussion-I won’t go there)! Just to say I am thankful to God that this option allows us some financial flexibility, I can spend money on the faith based curriculum I REALLY want the kids to experience and accept the help for the standards like Math, P.E., even music lessons. Beyond that God has totally blessed us with a Christian consultant teacher. It’s definitely not for everyone.
The “mission” is my way of processing! It is written in black and white and I can refer to it from time to time. This past year I was frustrated with a specific reading push in the standards set forth, so I brought it to Matt’s attention saying “I just don’t see how this aligns with our Mission!” He came through for me and we discussed how mastering reading is essential to being able to pursue truth! Not that I would skip the “reading” concept but I’m truly not passionate about teaching elementary. I can’t wait until the upper grades and K-3rd seems so mundane and unnecessarily repetative to me. We have found a balance and I am now more passionate because I see how it fits into the big picture!
Back to my husbands involvement. Matt is for sure my helper, defender and my substitute teacher! This coming year we are going to try once a week having him take the boys through the math concepts for the week. I have a hard time seeing math in a big picture way, I get stuck on the why and even though it is low level math I get stuck on what “concept” am I teaching! Not to mention we use Right Start Math (I guess it is somewhat like Singapore Math) and I was taught the good ol’ memorize your tables way! We will be trying this out but I intend to play all the games and do any seat work with the kids and Matt will overview the weeks “concepts” to fill in any gaps. He can look at my book and in 5min figure out what the theme is where I have to read every word. I’m weird like that!
One problem we both see with him being overly responsible for any of the day to day activities of school is that after being at work it would be more work (literally) for him and he would be less able to leave work at work and just be Dad! There is such a huge need for Dad/child relationships in our culture, we don’t want to overshadow that with more school, and an evening agenda and then off to bed. I’d like for Matt to be able to play with and disciple our kids, if that happens to be in a learning environment great. We are both of the “lifelong learning” camp and therefore our house is full of opportunities, we actually have to balance our need to “teach” with our kids’ need to “learn” by natural consequences and just being kids.
Aside from the new plan to do math, Matt does do a directed discipleship driven Bible study with the boys twice a week. That is their sacred time and they really look forward to it so I’m sure any dad involvement can be turned into an opportunity if that’s how a family wants to run their school! We just struggle with over-teaching our kids. Evenings need to be set aside for fun and open conversation (remember, we are talkers!) not work, and agendas.
So there you have it, our crazy messed up beautiful! I’d better post this thing before I get off on another tangent!