How to Include Your Husband In Your Homeschool
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I felt it before he did.
He was a teacher, high school. I had a degree in Elementary Education, I was supposed to teach school. In all of our pre-marriage planning, getting a teaching job was always the number one priority. So one day when my 6 year old came home, frustrated and hurt, I felt it.
A stirring in my soul, deep, almost unrecognizable. Homeschooling.
Just a whisper.
But I was not a fan. No. We go to school. We are public school teachers. We already had a child in school and, while rocky, it was mostly fine.
Until it wasn’t.
Let me interrupt here and introduce you to my husband. His name is Doug and we’ve been married for 21 years. He swept me up in his loving arms, and my 19 year old girlishness was instantly enamored with his carefree ways.
So opposite of mine.
So much he had that I wanted: a big heart, charm, the ability to see the best in others. I saw a man that could be my role model. I was a single mom, he promised me the moon, and we never looked back. His strong opinions usually clashed with my strong opinions, but he never told me I shouldn’t have them. The waves would crash against each other and we would always swim against the current until we worked it out.
He balances me with humor and grace, coupled with a contagious smile. His eyes light up, even still, when he sees me and I love him for it. Even though he was 2 years away from accepting Christ, and I was a baby believer when we joined ourselves in marriage, we clung tight and hung on for the ride. But God knew what He was doing and we let Him do it. Chipping away at us, molding us, creating in us people that can reflect His image, He held onto us and walked us along His path.
That path led to homeschooling, even though I had never heard of it before. The church we were in was teeming with homeschooling families and God showed them to me saying,” Daughter, look.”
And I did.
With eyes wide open, heart in His hands, I made friends with these women, asked them questions, my kids played with their kids and I saw a world before me that I never knew existed. It was amazing! So we jumped in with both feet and pulled my daughter out after her 1st grade year. With a toddler running around, a belly swelling with new life and a 7 year old to educate, we started walking the homeschooling path.
God held on and has never let us go.
Yet, I didn’t understand my husband. I mistook his laid back style for not caring, his jovial jokes for criticism and his quiet ways for lack of support. I did blame, I was not grateful for the blessing in my husband or for his provisions to our family so that we could maintain this lifestyle. I was selfish and honestly, not trusting in the Lord with what He provided for me in my husband.
I was confiding in a friend one day about my husband’s lack and asked her to commiserate with me. She did not. She promptly told me that I was sinning in my response to my husband and that his decision to leave it all in my hands WAS a decision.
He trusted me. And in that trust was freedom.
He was freeing me up to be myself, to use my God-given talents and personality for what the Lord had asked us to do. I am thankful to this day for that friend and her amazing ability to speak into my life boldly and with truth. I have often turned back to this truth when I am feeling those negative urges towards my husband in the area of homeschooling.
The young wife who couldn’t see her husband has been replaced with an older version. Still the same, yet not, in so many ways. This older woman has seen what happens when I turn my back on my husband. I have journeyed in some dark marriage places and have come out wiser. Not only can I now appreciate him fully, but I am able to come alongside him and keep him close. His sin nature would cause him to drift away from us and I try to lovingly pull him back in and involve him.
Let me show you some ways I do that.
I have the kids tell him at supper one thing they have learned. We have a large family, so there’s usually time to only tell one thing. Adapt this for your own family, maybe having the children tell him one new concept in each subject area.
I prep him before supper about what we did and ask him to ask the children something specific about their day.
During the day, if something exciting happens, I have the children write it down to share later with daddy. Sometimes he really appreciates this, as he doesn’t like to be bombarded with a lot of questions or talking. So he can read the list at his own pace and timing, then come back later to discuss with the children.
When I am confused or need encouragement, I go to him first before a Facebook group, friend or other outlet. I ask him to help me, encourage me, telling him my struggles. Even if all he does is listen, I know I’m heard and that he will pray for me in this area. However, in reality, my husband likes to rescue me, so his fix-it hat immediately goes on and he tries to help me solve the problem. Sometimes I need this, sometimes I don’t. But I make sure to tell him what I need in that moment. He always tries to oblige and appreciates my clear communication.
He is included in every single purchase or money spent on curriculum or other homeschool activities. I manage the money in our house, so I could spend without telling him. His laid back style would be fine with this. However, I want to make sure he knows everything at all times, and so I include him in this area of our homeschool. If I need to make a large purchase, I won’t do it without discussing with him first. When we switched to Memoria Press, the investment was bigger than we were used to, therefore I did not move forward until I shared with him the pros and cons and we discussed this switch.
At least weekly, but usually it’s daily, I tell him what I learned that day. It might be something I learned about a particular child and their personality, it might be a new concept, a new word, a new way of looking at the world, at God. Maybe we finished a book and I have an opinion about it. I will share all of this with him. Usually this is when we’re getting ready for bed or in bed. It’s a time where I have his complete attention, no children are around and we can engage in an entire conversation about it. This has led to many nice, deep discussions about many different areas of life, from politics, to religion, to history, to math concepts. It’s a wonderful way to end the day and it keeps him in the loop on what we’re doing and learning.
Being a wife in general has been one of the most sanctifying experiences for me. I do not naturally want to include people in my plans. I am self-reliant and don’t need anyone else’s input, thank you very much. As this independent side of me does help me to be motivated and dependable, it also easily leads to sinful self-sufficiency and lack of awareness of other’s feelings.
In my marriage, I tend to be the one pulling us along and it’s difficult to stay next to my husband. Over the years, God has chipped away at these tendencies, helping to create and mold the woman that will best honor Him. While it has been painful at times, His word has never failed to fill in the gaps, to instruct me on what He wants from me and to encourage me when I have failed.
I love my Lord for always walking next to me and for His faithfulness to our marriage. I would like to share some verses that have helped me over the years to keep my wild ways in check and to make sure my husband is not being neglected.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12
God gave us his most excellent gift in His son, Jesus. He did not hold back His best from us. How can I hold back my best from God? He deserves my excellence, my striving for it and all of my energy. Sometimes this translates into being an excellent wife to my husband. God has put me in this marriage to this man at this time for a purpose. How can I not give my best to God by giving my best to my husband? How can this be done? What does God want from me in this area? He spells it out in these verses. An excellent wife is trustworthy, provides for her husband and does not do him harm. This is a light load, made all the more lighter by clinging onto Jesus, especially on the exhausted days when you just want to go to bed.
Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 1 Timothy 3:11
House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. Proverbs 19:14
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33
I love how God just tells us what to do. No guessing, no wondering. It is not hard to talk nicely about my husband behind his back, to be faithful to him and to conduct myself with dignity with everyone. Making sound decisions and respecting your husband enough to tell him about your decisions, are other fairly easy ways we can obey the Word and include our husbands in our homeschool.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22
Christmas or birthday shopping for a child or friend is one of the most precious things you can do. I know it can feel stressful and burdensome, but step back for a moment and see…
When you receive a present from someone, no matter how small, you instantly recognize that they thought of you. They thought of you when they could have been thinking of someone else. They thought of you for the entire time it took them to find your gift, while they picked out just the right wrapping, put on just the right finishing touches and wrote just the right words on the card. You were in their thoughts and those were warm ones. You do the same for others, thinking about them, what they like, why you’re giving the gift, what ways they have blessed you. Gift-giving is an honoring ritual in our culture. God has given my husband a gift in me! God has honored me, cherished me enough to make ME a gift. This crazy, messed up, sinful, selfish, wild woman, he has chosen as a token of favor. I cannot think of anything more delightful to my soul than knowing that I was chosen as a gift. Special. Just for him.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-11
Homeschooling takes both parents. So we toil together in this homeschooling journey. We cry together, make hard decisions together, rebuke children together, worry together. But we also get to be rewarded together, as this verse tells us. Including your husband in your homeschool creates a environment of togetherness that bonds the whole family.
**Disclaimer**. I know there are single men and women homeschooling their children. I did it for 14 months when my husband was serving our country in Iraq. I have continued to do it alone whenever he leaves for weeks at a time. Being a military wife means doing a lot of things alone. I understand, on a small level, what this is like. But even single homeschooling parents would probably tell us that it would be easier with a spouse. Since this post is directed to married women with husbands, I am not able to speak to single parent homeschooling.
Some of these might seem simple and easy, but they have all been effective ways I’ve included my husband in our homeschool. If your husband is one that more easily inserts himself into your homeschool than mine does, that’s great! Although, after talking with friends who have strong willed husbands, I know it can be disheartening at times. I hope these verses can encourage you, no matter the type of marriage you have.
But since I can’t speak to how exactly it feels to be in this type of marriage, can you share with us in the comments below how you honor God and your husband in these situations?
How can we learn from you?
What advice would you give to a new homeschooler who has a husband who is more vocal about their homeschool?
Please share below so we can all encourage and help each other. If you have verses that have helped you, we would love to hear those, as well!
Thank you for being a part of this community!