Dads are really indispensable in parenting and the homeschool journey is no different. As a Mom you need their support and encouragement and if you’re anything like me you also need their involvement. One area my husband excels at is field trips! So we have instituted “Field Trip Fridays with Dad” (though this is flexible depending on his days off).
I freely admit field trips are not my strong point. Though I do love nature walks, anything above that is usually too involved to do solo with a 1 ½ year old in tow. Enter Daddy to the rescue!
He has taken our kids to do so many neat things on his days off. It might be a full or partial day fishing and floating on the river, teaching the boys water safety and how to handle a canoe, along with preparing the fish afterwards. One day last spring he took them to a local marshland to catch insects in nets and then use a field guide to identify them. He’s also let them help on controlled burns we do on our land and several times a year he takes them to historical rendezvous.
My husband is also very involved with teaching them plant and tree identification and the different animal tracks they find in the wild.
Just last weekend he took the boys to an event hosted by Missouri Department of Conservation and Ducks Unlimited. They got to participate in a dove and duck banding program where they banded the duck/dove and then turned them back loose. Then they got to watch as they shocked a large lake and tagged the fish they caught. The boys had a ball!
So, you may be thinking…My husband doesn’t get involved with our homeschooling; what can I do about that? Well, here are my suggestions. I think many dads doubt their ability in those areas, so the first thing you need to do is encourage, not nag. If they are willing but seem unsure what to do, make a list of opportunities you’ve found locally that they could be involved in.
If you’re wanting them to learn a particular thing and your hubby is up for it, write them up a simple listing of things you’d like them to learn about or a short guide for him if he’s going to be teaching something more involved (like tree or plant identification). For example, on this Friday you could ask him to teach them White Oaks, Black Oaks, Hickory and Sweetgum or how to find ginseng or goldenseal in the wild. (These are a few things that my husband really enjoys teaching them about).
If your husband’s strengths or interests lie in other areas than the outdoors take advantage of that! Does he like to rebuild engines? That would make an awesome learning opportunity. Even the smallest of students can absorb so much learning if its make interesting and applicable!
So, just get him involved in whatever area you can. You will be amazed at how much impact he can make with one day every week or every couple weeks and it will give you some time to recharge your own batteries 🙂
A big thank you to Jenny Underwood @ Our Inconvenient Family for writing this article.