The Healthy Homeschool Marriage Part 5: The Husband’s Perspective

marriage

All this week my wife has been giving you some insight as to how we homeschool and keep our marriage strong.  On Monday she wrote a great post about being on the same page.  Train Wreck Tuesday was an insightful post as to how avoid disasters.   Wednesday she for some reason sang my praises in a post about me being her secret power.   Yesterday was a great post on some of the challenges we face together as a homeschooling family.  After all this I knew I needed to insert my 2 cents about a Healthy Homeschool Marriage.  While I can help out here and there with homeschool, my wife really does run it.

MarriageBlogHop

What husbands want their homeschool wives to know

  • We trust you – You are educating our children. We trust your judgement when it comes to curriculum. As moms, you are generally way more in tune with what each child needs. This is a blessing to us men.  Sometimes we can have an approach of “Me manly man and fix problems (grunt)”.   Husbands, this is not an excuse to not pay attention to what is going on, but rather when your wife asks your opinion about a curriculum or something related,  find out what its all about and have a real opinion!  We trust you so much we place our most valued assets their future in your care daily, without reservation.
  • We value you – You’re not “just a stay at home mom”.   I often fail my wife in this.  Most days mean you’re a mom, teacher, taxi driver, chef, maid, dog-walker, fight mediator, and hundreds of other roles.  You being at home is a value to us husbands.   While we go off to work each day we don’t worry about our children.  Not in the sense that we don’t care, but they’re with you.   For me, knowing my wife is pouring out her love on my children brings me a huge peace and allows me to focus on my job.   This is such a blessing and we love you and value for the countless hours you put into homeschooling even when we’re thick headed and don’t show it.
  • We want to be active – This is hard!!! Many husbands who are working all day have no idea how to plug themselves into what their wives are doing with their children.  Trying to find out what’s going on with school after mom is fried from a long day and dad had a horrible meeting with clients and was stuck in traffic for an hour can be a disaster.  Set time aside BEFORE the week starts to figure out the family schedule for the week. From there pick an activity (or several) that dad can do with the kids. Husbands this gives you a chance to follow what your wife works on as well as some great time with your kids. One great idea can be Bible reading.  Another could be building a Lego project around a recent unit study your wife has been working on.
  • We care about our children’s future – Wives, you are in the trenches day in and day out and the primary decision maker around their education, but we do care! I know my wife stresses almost daily on whether or not she does enough for the kids, teaches enough has the right approach to their education, are the kids in the right activities and a million other things.  Us Dad’s care about that too!  Sometimes we can seem apathetic on this but I think that goes back to more on the fact that we trust you!

Homeschooling has been such a blessing to everyone in our family.  In so many ways its been a blessing to our marriage.  It forces us to communicate and evaluate our priorities.  Husbands and wives we’d love to hear your feedback on what works for you!  We hope you’ve enjoyed this series!!  To read the other posts in this series click here.

Before you go… did you enter the Kindle Fire giveaway? More info here.

1081168_566294950099378_1276976611_n

Check out other great posts in the blog hop!

Summer Blog Hop

The Healthy Homeschool Marriage Part 4: Agree To Be United!

MarriageBlogHop

To read the other posts in this series click here.

No one has to tell you that homeschooling is different from the mainstream.  While it is still becoming ever more popular year by year, to homeschool still means you and your family are taking the road less traveled.  I’ve heard it often said that homeschooling is a lifestyle and every year that my children grow I think I understand that statement more and more.

To make a homeschool marriage work I believe both parents need to embrace all the wonderful and the ugly that comes with being a homeschool family and cling to each other tightly to ride the wave.  

United

Be United Against The Naysayers

You WILL hit naysayers and these people can wreck havoc on the homeschool mom’s self-confidence.  While I don’t believe a family should keep a constant guard up in case of attack, a wary eye can do wonders.  I once found myself at a family party where  I had somehow managed to get trapped, literally, in the corner blocked in by tables chairs and people.  A family member who I truly barely knew, hadn’t seen in forever, and only ever saw very infrequently decided this was the time to question my family’s choices.  This lady artfully picked apart everything from my lack of a traditional career, to my family size, to our homeschool and my qualifications to teach my own children, to the number of activities and friends my children have, to my faith.  All the time my husband stood just a few feet away.  I gave him every high sign, glaring eyeball, stare down I could manage.  Inwardly I was screaming HELP ME OVER HERE!  Each time he looked over at me he somehow saw two people engaged in a delightful conversation.  UGH!  I cried in the van the whole way home.  That single conversation shook my confidence for a week. Ridiculous I know!  Just as ridiculous was how MAD I was at my husband because… you know… he should have read my mind and raced to my rescue.  Ok now wouldn’t it be sweet if our husbands could read our minds?  After I got over the whole incident and stopped weeping that perhaps I was ruining our children after all we developed a hand signal just for times like these.  Oh, and now I’m careful about getting trapped in corners too!

Just be aware that people, most of them very well intentioned, will question your choices.  Be prepared to stand together and support one another in moments like these.  A united front goes a long way toward comforting those who are skeptical and it goes even further in warding off those who want to tell you you are doing it wrong.

Be United During the Storms

I can guarantee there will be stormy seasons.  Whether it be something big like a job loss or extended sickness or something not so big like a child who is reluctant to learn to read, there will be times when you will question whether homeschooling is still the right choice.  Difficult decisions will need to be made.  Hard questions will need to be asked.  No matter what you do someone will question your choices.  Be committed to stand together, united, no matter what.  For as I said in day 1 of this series, a house divided cannot stand.  

Stand Together and Embrace This Strange New Lifestyle!

Every family that homeschools is different but I think it is safe to say that once you homeschool you rarely look at the world quite the same again.  Nearly every moment is a learning opportunity!  Embrace this together!  Have patience with one another and your children because the homeschool lifestyle means:

  • Never again is a trip to the grocery store just a stop to pick up some food.  There are too many lessons to be learned about math, health, science, reading… oh the list is endless.  While you don’t need to make a production of every trip, both mom and dad need to be ok with MANY trips becoming a production.
  • Never again will a daytrip or a vacation be just a time to relax.  There IS a learning field trip opportunity around every corner.
  • Simple walks from the house to the car can lead to an entire science lesson.  See that cell phone in your pocket? It’ll soon become a science photo journal as your children stop to photograph bugs and plants and all sorts of fascinating things to identify later.  Make time for these adventures.
  • Your house will never ever look the same.  Science projects, art projects, history projects, maps, compasses, protractors and the books.  We often have something funky growing on the windowsill.  This is LIFE! Oh my heavens the BOOKS!  I’ve never seen a homeschool family leave the library with fewer than 50 books… that is unless they were just there yesterday and already took 50 and plan to come tomorrow to take even more.  Books will now be everywhere all.of.the.time!  Embrace it.
  • Your wallet will always be lighter.  Money will flow out even faster as you foot the bill for museum memberships, field trips, the gas to get everyone there, for curriculum, science kits, and did I mention the books?  You just might want to block Amazon.com from being visible on the family computer.  You think I’m kidding? Ok, maybe it’s just my addiction?  Uh.. nope! I have lots of homeschool friends. It’s all true.

Embrace it all.  Agree as a married couple and parents to those precious children to enjoy it all.  It really just means they are getting an amazing childhood experience and wondrous education.  That’s just priceless and worth every minute.

To read the other posts in this series click here.

Before you go… did you enter the Kindle Fire giveaway?  More info here.

1081168_566294950099378_1276976611_n

 Are you enjoying or massive blog hop?  I am sure am!  There is just so much good homeschooling wisdom in the world.  It feels fantastic to know that I’m not in it alone and that some Momma out there has faced my same challenges.  I challenge you sit back and red some posts from some very fine homeschooling moms out there! 

Summer Blog Hop

;

5 Days of The Healthy Homeschool Marriage Part 3: Play To Each Others Strengths

MarriageBlogHop

To read the other posts in this series click here.

When I’m introduced to new people and the chit chat about…”What do you do?” starts to flow there seems to be an inevitable direction the conversations flows.  (Well, unless they have a thing against Christians or Homeschoolers… but those are posts for another day).  When people hear that I homeschool my 3 children, run a household and a business plus a blog, and then our family ministries they all seem to get this vision of me in a superwoman cape.  They call me patient, and organized, and disciplined and all of these crazy things that I swear to you I really am not.  Perhaps I’m better than I once was… but I am by far a work in progress.

strengths

I do have a secret power.

God created each and every person with strengths and weaknesses.  Everyone has things they enjoy and are passionate about as well as things they’d be very happy to never have to think about.  Some areas of life come easier to while other things are just a pain in the rear to figure out.  Chances are, there are things you are great at or don’t mind doing that your husband would rather never have to contend with and he too has gifts and talents that can bless the family and the children’s learning in areas that perhaps you’d rather pretend didn’t exist!

In our family my husband is my secret power.  I could never comprehend doing all that I do if he didn’t play his part in our daily life.  He has great strengths that so cover my weaknesses and I too can cover his.  What two can do together pales in comparison to what one can do alone. 

His Roles

My husband is really good at getting up early.  The alarm goes off and he doesn’t have much trouble pulling himself from his bed.  I am the TOTAL opposite!  It takes me a good 45 minutes to actually drag myself off of my pillow.  It’s brutal!  As a result my husband has taken it upon himself to generally get the day going for our family.  As the children stumble down the stairs he greets them with warm smiles and a great breakfast.  It’s his special time of day with our children before he begins his work day.  There isn’t a day that I don’t thank God for this gift in my husband.

My husband loves to cook!  He enjoys creating new dishes.  Our five year old shares in the passion with his Daddy.  Mommy on the other hand because a big ball of stress in the kitchen.  I enjoy eating for sure! But the cooking… HA! And cooking with my CHILDREN!  Good God please NO!  My husband cooks dinner most nights and THIS is just another place where my husband saves my sanity.

What about the schooling?  Truthfully that is almost all my own domain.  However!  Sometimes I just don’t manage to get to a special craft or science experiment.  I’m too fried or we just had too much running around.  My husband sees this as an opportunity to get his hands dirty with our homeschool and will happily make the time to get that thing done.  It’s yet another opportunity for HIM to engage with our children.

My Jobs

What about me? What do I do that husband would rather not?  Pretty much everything else!  I’m the researcher.  Anything our family needs to know or buy or create or whatever… it’s my job to learn everything I can and fill him in.  I’m the maid! I keep just about everything clean and tidy.  He hates cleaning bathrooms and things like dusting.  So that’s pretty much all mine.  I create the learning environment for our children.  I keep the social calendar moving.  I’m the one who organizes our lives so no balls are dropped.  That makes him happy.

How Do You Make This Happen In Your Home?

I know making your family function like this is easier said than done.  Somethings my husband does we always knew he would do.  When we were dating many moons ago it become pretty clear that I wasn’t the cook and I wasn’t interested in becoming one.  My husband has ALWAYS cooked for me and I can’t describe how much I appreciate that.

Other things have evolved over time.  His waking up early each morning is routine that we fell into as the children grew.  It works for us.  Other things, like Daddy science projects, came about when we discovered a need and we communicated through it and negotiated until we figured out how to meet that need.

It Is About Service and Sacrifice

Countless times God tells us in His word that we are to serve one another just as Jesus came here to this earth to serve.

  • Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
  • Galatians 5:13-14 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • 1 Peter 4:10-11 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This is a Biblical principal that my family takes seriously to heart.  It is a value we wish to pass along to our children.  My husband is my secret power as he uses his gifts and strengths to help me be the kind of wife and mother God has called me to be.  I pray that I am as much a blessing to him as he is to me.

To have a healthy homeschool marriage it will take sacrifice.  Everyone will have to use their gifts to serve one another.  It will take love, patience, understanding… and most of all… Grace.  But that last one is a post for another day!

How do you and your husband balance each other, serving and assisting the family with your God given gifts.  I’d love to hear more.  Drop a comment in the box or send me a message!

To read the other posts in this series click here.

Before you go… did you enter the Kindle Fire giveaway?  More info here.

1081168_566294950099378_1276976611_n

 Are you enjoying or massive blog hop?  I am sure am!  There is just so much good homeschooling wisdom in the world.  It feels fantastic to know that I’m not in it alone and that some Momma out there has faced my same challenges.  I challenge you sit back and red some posts from some very fine homeschooling moms out there! 

Summer Blog Hop

;

Avoiding The Train Wrecks In Your Home and School That Crack Your Marriage!

It is day two of….MarriageBlogHop

To read the other posts in this series click here.

I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post I called Avoid a House Divided.  In that post I really focused on helping your family to create a vision not only for you homeschool but for your entire life.  Today I want to help you…

train_wreck_steam_locomotive_locomotive

Imagine that it is Monday morning following a hectic weekend of running errands, church, home projects, nursing a sick child, helping your in-laws and heaven only knows what else.  You didn’t find the time to clean your own home.  Your big plans for organizing and laying out your lesson plans for the week were shot by everything else that seemed to take priority.  There are mountains of laundry, piles of dishes, no food in the fridge and your children are staring you down and falling into their own version of hysteria because they are wondering what on earth they are supposed to be doing and you don’t know yourself.  You are drained… running on empty and your husband has the misfortune to walk in the room at that moment.  He might even do something crazy like ask you what’s for breakfast.  You nearly bite his head off and he snaps right back.  Before you know it you are bickering over who finished the last of the coffee while your children race around screaming their heads off…  He walks off in huff and you stomp off in the opposite direction.  No one is speaking… except the children who are actually screaming.  You bark at them to find their workbooks and everyone melts into a heap because… “It’s just too hard!” So you melt into a heap of your own!

You spend the day in a bad mood and later on when the children have finally fallen into bed and the house is actually quiet you do your best to lay out your frustrations on your husband but he only scoff’s and says something uncaring like… “Why don’t you just put them in school if so darn hard?”  You roll over, throw the covers over your head, and lay there in a lump of bad feelings until you hear him start snoring behind you, all the while resentment builds.

Not exactly the happy homeschooling household is it?  In fact, I would call this a total train wreck.  This isn’t at all what you dreamed it would be.  I’ve had many days similar to this. How did it come to be this way?  How can you fix this and avoid it in the future?

Feed your relationship with God

Things tend to get this way when I haven’t fed myself with quiet time with my Lord.  If I’ve neglected my own Bible study and prayer time then for some reason the rest of my world starts to tumble down.  If I am praying over my home, my marriage, my children, and my homeschool daily everything just seems to come together much better.  It may still not be perfect, but it is better.

Feed your relationship with your husband

At times I find myself in the midst of a mess and it is already too late to switch tracks and avoid a wreck.  Too much has been neglected.  My husband can seem unplugged and uncaring when I haven’t taken the time to layout how things are going and what is up in my OWN world or to check-in with him and his concerns.   Grab him by the hand if he’s home, or by text message if he isn’t and pray.  Confession… I STINK at this! Currently my husband and I are working very hard on learning to pray together.  Honestly it has taken me years to get to this place.  I never really felt comfortable praying with my husband out loud.  This is a work in progress.  When I get over myself though, boy does it help.

Love On and Guide Your Children

My children turn into melting messes when I haven’t slowed down enough to talk and laugh with them and to let them in on what is up next in our world.  I’ve been too busy and they’ve felt a bit adrift.  If we are already in a train wreck I know that I’ve got to toss out whatever I thought my own plans were for the day.  I’m going to need to focus on my kiddos.  A simple heart to heart can work wonders!  I just need to let them know, in an appropriate way, what is wrong and how they can help.  Before I know it I’ve got my own little team ready to tackle the issues of our day.

Feeding Your Homeschool

Let’s face it.  Homeschool’s don’t plan themselves.  I do like the old adage that if you fail to plan you plan to fail.  It’ SO true!  If your family vision involves homeschooling and you’ve allowed other things to trample over that priority then you really are just asking for trouble.  Church, helping family, and other things in life need to be done of course but don’t let them crowd out the time you need to keep the school chaos under control.  When the schooling is planned there is peace in the home.  Peace in the home leads to peace in the marriage.

Reflect On Your Vision 

In the chaos sometimes we need to look back to what our vision for our family and homeschool is.  Is what we’re doing on a daily basis aligned with that?  Do we need to shift what is being done or do we need to shift our vision?

Mostly… Just Pray 

Of course when I open my eyes the messes are still there, the kids are probably still pitching a fit about something, the school work hasn’t suddenly planned itself… but the peace that I have after praying, especially praying with my husband, makes it that much better.

To read the other posts in this series click here.

Before you go… did you enter the Kindle Fire giveaway?  More info here.

1081168_566294950099378_1276976611_n

 Are you enjoying or massive blog hop?  I am sure am!  There is just so much good homeschooling wisdom in the world.  It feels fantastic to know that I’m not in it alone and that some Momma out there has faced my same challenges.  I challenge you sit back and red some posts from some very fine homeschooling moms out there! 

Summer Blog Hop

 

The Healthy Homeschool Marriage Part 1: Avoid a House Divided!

MarriageBlogHop

This week I’m going to cover the topic of marriage.  Not just any marriage, but a homeschool marriage.  It is my experience that homeschool families tend to operate differently than an average family might.  It isn’t always easy for Mom and Dad to keep themselves sane amidst the 24/7 chaos that is the homeschool lifestyle.  I am hoping and praying that my posts this week will give you all a little food for thought that’ll help you avoid some bumps and smooth out the curves.  I’d love to hear from you!  Do you have any questions or thoughts about homeschooling and marriage?  Please share them with me!  You just might encourage a future blog post! To read the other posts in this series click here.  SO… on to today’s topic!

House Divided

Getting on the Same Page!

The number one way to avoid conflict in any situation or relationship, in my opinion, is to make sure everyone is on the same page!  Mark 3:34-26 says…If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished…

Undertaking the education of your children at home will have a deep and pervasive impact on nearly everything in a family and a marriage.  If you lack the understanding of where your spouse is coming from, what his/her expectations are… you are doomed to run to into at least a few stumbling blocks if not major hurdles.

Before you even begin down this path of suggestions I am about to suggest you must stop and pray.  Pray with your husband and pray alone.  Pray to God this His will be revealed to you regarding your family and your homeschool and the He does what it takes to align your will with His.  Open your heart to God’s message for you.

First step, find the time to sit with your husband and get the two of you united in your family and your homeschool. If you can find a sitter and take off for the afternoon.  Or… sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures… perhaps it is time to allow for an afternoon moviethon.  Whatever it takes because in my opinion, a protected and healthy marriage is the first ingredient in a successful homeschool. My husband and I were blessed to take a weekend away to a bed and breakfast just a few days ago.  We set aside time during our trip just to discuss our family and our homeschool.  Can I make a confession?  I actually would have preferred a nap!  But really, it was time well spent!

1. Agree on a vision for your family…

In an ideal world….

Sit together and dream out loud and even on paper about who you want your children to become one day.  We all want our kids to wind up happy… what do you think are the important ingredients in that happiness? Financial security (and a career?) Self reliance? A great social support system? An unwavering faith?  Some mixture of some of these things?

Ideally, what sort of relationships do you want your children to have with each other? With friends? With you? With God?

How much downtime, free time, play time, family time would you ultimately like to have as a family?

If you could, how might your family change the world?

Write this down on paper.  Be as brief or detailed as you’d like.  I found three great examples for you here. Place your final version someplace where you will see it often like the fridge… or better yet, framed over near your dining table.  Show the world you take this seriously.

Activities

Now that you have a vision for your family, make a list of everything your are involved in and/or passionate about.  Are you a church family with multiple ministries, a sports family involved in multiple sports, an outdoors family busy with hiking or camping, a music family always on the go with lessons and/or performances?  Or are you like my family… passionate about many of these things and so much more?  Which of these activities align with your family’s vision statement?  Which do not? You know that ones that don’t have got to go to make room for more of the things that do.  What’s missing?

Now Your Homeschool

You may want to make another vision statement just for your homeschool!  One that aligns with your family’s vision statement.  But either way.  Start thinking about the sort of curriculum that supports your family’s vision.  If your family has a heart for missions you may want to be sure you spend a good deal of time studying the live’s of great missionaries.  If pursuing the arts is something that is important to your family then you’ll want to dive in that direction.  If finding the time to serve other’s is of great importance then you’ll want to be sure you don’t overload on the academics in order to make room for something so fabulous.

A great question to ask yourselves is… What do we think success looks like and how do we think is the best way to get our kids there? Is success marked by high grades, general happiness, heart issues or something else? How will you know your homeschool is successful.

How About That Budget?

Ok, I did it! I pulled out the B word!  You’ve got to do it though!  You’ve got to agree how much to spend on schooling.  You’ve got a vision for how it’ll be and an idea of what sort of curriculum you might purchase or create.  Now is the time to talk finances.  Be reasonable, graceful, and compassionate with one another and be prepared to revisit this subject often.  Many marriages stumble because of finances… head this issue off as early as you can.

2. How Will The Homeschool Run?

Define The Roles

Will Mom do absolutely all of the teaching and planning, prepping and buying, building and cleaning?  Maybe it’ll be Dad who does it all?  Or will it be more of a shared responsibility.  How will the homeschool responsibilities impact the rest of the running of household?  If Mom is to do all of the teaching will Dad take on other household chores? Decide now, but be open to change as the days and the seasons pass.

What if…

There are so many what if’s in life.  Homeschooling is no different.  If you and your spouse have a general idea of how you’ll handle the what if’s before they arise, there will be much less confusion and perhaps arguing when they do.  Some what if’s to consider…

  • What if a purchased curriculum doesn’t work for us, what will we do? Stick it through? Sell it? Stick it in the closet and buy something else?  
  • What if there is a discipline issue related to schooling?  Who will handle it and generally speaking… how?
  • What if a child struggles in one or more areas?  What will be the general course of action for deciding how to deal with it.  If one parent has the knee jerk reaction to suggest school then there could be a lot of friction in the family.
  • What if the bread winner loses their income?  How will that impact the homeschool?
  • What if one parent disagrees with the other on homeschool style or emphasis or something else related to the educating of the children? How will you work this out and who gets the final say?

There are so many what if’s in life.  But these should get you thinking!

3. Most of all…

Agree that no matter what, your marriage is the priority over the homeschool.  Your children need you both together.  Your loving bond together will go light years toward helping your children grow to become the adults you desire them to be.  Care for and feed your marriage first and always.

What Do You Think?

Do you think it’s important to get on the same page?  How do you and your husband (or spouse) make that happen?  Did I miss anything you think is important to consider?  Please share in the comments!

To read the other posts in this series click here.

Thank you for reading!  Before you go… did you enter the Kindle Fire giveaway?  More info here.

1081168_566294950099378_1276976611_n

Now, have you had your coffee yet today? Actually it doesn’t matter… go grab another cup, make a whole pot!  Here are 90 other bloggers who have lots to share with about different topics in homeschooling for the entire week.  Yep! This could take a while! But it is totally worth it!

Summer Blog Hop

 

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: