I’ve begun to notice that husband support in homeschooling is somewhat of a luxury. I suppose it was a little ignorant of me to think most people had a strong support system in their immediate family for their decision to homeschool, but time and experience has removed much of my ignorance.
Alhamdulilah, my husband was homeschooled and wanted his kids to follow suit, but a husband who went through homeschooling himself is quite rare. Still, I had to convince Care Bear’s dad I was not going to ruin her for life by taking her out of public school. So, what to do if the man of the house is not on board?
Talk about short term goals
Sometimes talking about the big picture is too far of a concept to grasp, or it seems like too lofty of a goal. When we talk about our 10 year plans, there are many potential pitfalls and detours. Instead of letting the conversation center around hopes, which lead to counter “what if” arguments, talk about what you hope to achieve in one semester, and one year.
List immediate benefits
Short term goals seem lofty also? Talk about the immediate benefits like more family time, hand chosen curriculum, individualized help for challenging subjects, time to expand in personal interests, etc. Many times husband support comes in the form of helping their kids, but they have to see that homeschooling is more than mom’s pet project.
Take it one year at a time
Making a homeschooling commitment for only one year is easier to swallow than trying to get a husband’s support for the next twenty years from the first day. The tagline I used the first year was, “If I totally ruin her after one year, you can put her back in public school and they can fix all my mistakes.” We’re in our fourth year of homeschooling now and while there have been a few times Care Bear’s dad has questioned whether we should go forward the following year, it has never been because we didn’t meet the goals we set out at the beginning of the year.
Talk about your Plan B
Men always want to know what their backup plan is (okay, many but not all). What happens if the kids hate it? What happens if you get stuck on a subject? When will the option of public or private school come back in the picture? Not only does this ease the husband’s fears, but it is good to know this before going forward with any homeschool plan.
Meet other homeschooling husbands
A great way to get husband support is for hubby to meet other men whose families are homeschooling. Just like with any other misconception or prejudice, meeting real people with real lives dispels the myths pretty quickly. If some of the hubbies hit it off, they can support each other as they learn how to support their families.
What other ways have you been able to enlist your husband’s support?