Guest post by: Joshua Ian Lee
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There was a break in my employment not too long ago. With that break came great opportunity to support my wife, who incidentally doubles as my children’s teacher. I got to witness first-hand the trials and the triumphs of homeschooling. I was there when our mini mountains of energy erupted in a wild rage at the thought of one more subject. It was amazing to witness the moments where they just weren’t ready to give-up and persevered to accomplish new heights. Just like all things, both good and bad, it came to an end as I headed back into the corporate world.
It began to feel as though I only had a glimpse into their education. I was no longer able to be a full participant in their daily learning, at least in the traditional sense. I wasn’t the one to hand out their worksheets, build their lap-books, or chase them down to finish up their work.
Please don’t think I am unhappy; it has just been different. It is amazing to hear the pride in their voices as they describe the challenges they face, reading the big words, or figuring out the complexities of adding two digit numbers. It is great to hear it, but because I wasn’t seeing it, I really felt like I was relegated to the backseat in their learning.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, though, and it took a little while for me to realize that. Despite not being there during the day, my job was to reinforce and build on what they learned earlier that day. It may not sound like much. However, you quickly realize as you sit around the table that they need that reinforcement, and you need to be the one to do it.
By the time you arrive home in the evening, your partner has had a long day. They may not admit it and keep powering through. But if you let them keep going like that, soon they’ll burn out. When the glue to the family and your children’s education has had too much taking care of the schooling, breaking up brotherly fights, cleaning the house, being a partner to you, tending to the dog, breaking up more fights, handling her work, folding the clothes, mowing the lawn you couldn’t get to, washing the dishes, making lunches, cleaning the bathroom (I’m working with them on their aim), writing blog posts, organizing events, volunteering, and cleaning the bathroom…again- everyone will suffer.
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So while I may have felt like I wasn’t contributing to educating my children, I realized that instead my role was to act as a buffer in the evening. That way Super Mom (she really is incredible) can get a much needed respite and recharge. That way she can throw on her cape and tackle the next day with fervor and more patience.
That means in the evening we sit around the table and review what they have read, what part of the body they have learned about, or the science project they are building. Then after dinner I play with them. Maybe we count their cars, read a book together, play one of the various instruments in the house, or we build Legos together. Most importantly, I do my best to give my wife a chance to regroup.
I am not a backseat educator anymore, and it is because I realized that I didn’t have to be. I could be the educator that I wanted to be. I simply had to change the way I thought about it.
Being the Homeschooling Husband my Wife Needs
What’s unfair is that I get the fun part of the kid’s education. I get to do this because I have a partner that does all the hard things throughout the day. During the day my wife fights the battles. While I sit in a quiet office with headphones on, able to concentrate on one task uninterrupted. When I get home, I don’t have to worry about the worksheets, math problems, history lessons, or writing assignments. I don’t have to worry about those things because she is a champion. That is why when you are the partner out in the world working, remember that the most important thing you can do for your child’s education is to help your wife recharge so she can get back to 100% after leading all day.
I have been blessed with a wife and partner that can tackle any challenge she faces, pushes through the tired, and supports me and my children. I have a comrade in arms when our three little monkeys are bouncing off the walls. My hope is that you are as lucky as I am.
My best advice is to seize the opportunities that you have in order to teach them. Give your wife a break, and enjoy all the good your partner sets up for you all day long. Divided a house cannot stand. Working in conjunction with each other, you will continue to reap the many benefits that homeschooling has to offer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joshua Ian Lee is a Senior Mechanical Piping Designer/ Plant 3D Systems Administrator within the oil and gas industry. Having received his GED, Associates in Specialized Technology, B.A. in Liberal Studies, and eventual Masters of Business Administration, education has been something Joshua learned to respect and cherish over time. Joshua attributes his success to his wife who inspires, supports, and grounds him. His sons have continued to inspire and teach him through their homeschool experience.