7 Things a Homeschool Dad NEEDS to Know [PLUS Activities for Fathers]

Fathers play an essential role in their children’s education, even if they are not the primary homeschool parent. As a homeschooling father, you have the unique opportunity to be both teacher and parent. However, with this privilege comes great responsibility. This article will cover ten things every homeschool dad needs to know. After that, let’s cover some special activities you can do with your children as a homeschool father. 

Rebbecca Devitt

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.

Because 90% of primary home educators are mothers, I’ve chosen to aim this article at homeschool dads who are the primary breadwinners.

This doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that fathers can also be the primary homeschooling parent. Indeed, around 10% will be! And they do a fantastic job at it.

But, before we get going, let me tell you about a wonderful father…

The Benefits of Having a Dad as a Homeschool Teacher

You may not know I was homeschooled! Yes, that’s right!

And my parents shared the job of homeschooling me.

My father was ultra-involved. For example, while on night shift, he often learned our math work and then came and taught it to us in the afternoon.

My dad also took us out for lots of bushwalks and camping trips. My brothers and I went fishing and shooting together with Dad.

As a homeschooler, Dad taught us plenty of life skills like drilling, sawing, building, concreting, gardening, rendering, mowing, painting, and tractor skills.

As a family, we also renovated and built many houses together. This was a tremendous effort and helped us bond while teaching us perseverance and…longsuffering!

We also did plenty of sports to the point where I became an elite sportsgirl in the cycling field.

My father also taught us things he was good at, such as cooking. Because he trained as a chef, he taught us many cooking skills, which I am thankful for now that I have a family of my own!

10 Things Every Homeschool Dad Needs to Know!

1. Your kids need you!

Many homeschool dads think they don’t have an important role – especially if they’re not the primary educator in the family. They say, ‘I’ll leave all the homeschooling stuff to my wife. My job is to earn money.’

But this isn’t true! Your family needs you. And they need you to be physically present with them. This means that (unless necessary) not doing overtime or working weekends unnecessarily.

So often, fathers see their role as purely a provisional one. But, kids usually prefer having their father around to having more money.

2. The support you provide can be the difference between success & failure!

The happiest homeschool moms I see are the ones who have tremendously supportive husbands. Husbands love their wives by considering their needs and supporting them in their viewpoints or educational goals.

Conversely, the burned-out homeschool mothers I see are the women who don’t have husbands or the women who have husbands but don’t have good support from their husbands.

3. A happy marriage is critical!

Respect and love work in tandem in a marriage. The best marriages have both working beautifully. When you see a couple who homeschools with a beautiful marriage, you will probably also see an excellent homeschooling environment.

Therefore, if you work on your marriage and promote its happiness, your homeschool will also improve.

4. Be a reminder

So often, the primary homeschool parent (usually the mother) feels overwhelmed and lost when they have a bad homeschool day. Their bad day can seem consuming, and they can feel like a failure after just one day where things didn’t go right, and nothing seemed to go to schedule.

As a homeschool dad, you can play an essential role by reminding your spouse to relax (when appropriate). Remind them of the long-term (and eternal) perspective. When things get complicated, remind them why you are homeschooling.

5. Be an encouragement

Homeschool moms work so hard! A great way to help them is to offer many words of encouragement. This encouragement and love that you offer will lead to a happier life as your spouse relaxes and loves you for understanding her so much!

6. Homeschooling can be less stressful than school

Although homeschool parents take on the responsibility of educating their children, homeschooling can be less stressful than sending them to school.

Why is this? Because you don’t have to deal with all the hang-ups that come from having children in school.

You no longer have to do damage control. There’s no bullying, peer pressure, or lousy school practices you must undo when children get home.

So while homeschooling brings its difficult circumstances, school often brings many more. You can watch the video below as my mother talked about how much better homeschooling was in this regard.

7. Encourage your wives by spoiling them

Wives often feel overwhelmed when they begin homeschooling. Make sure you make things easier for you and them by:

  1. discussing the situation often
  2. giving them plenty of breaks
  3. making the process of starting homeschooling easier

A great way to make things easier is to get them into a course like the Homeschool Parenting Program, a course for new or newish homeschool parents. It will give mothers and fathers the ability to homeschool with confidence. The program is also incredibly affordable, so check it out here.

Dad’s role in homeschooling

Homeschool dads should be encouraged to see their roles as very important as their job is to lead the family!

This leading usually means they delegate the teaching role to mothers. However, it should also mean that they are intricately involved in the goal setting and planning of the homeschool.

Mothers need to involve father’s in the process of homeschool goal planning as this will mean dads get more involved.

A homeschool dad’s role is also to support the mom as she carries out the frontline job of home educating.

Homeschool days are often lovely, but there are some miserable days when nothing seems to go right. You can love and support your wives by listening to them and helping them during the day. And below are some other homeschool activities you can do with children to give moms a break!

Homeschool Dads We need you. And we need you to do these things...

Activities for Homeschool Dads

Your role as a homeschool dad might not be to teach children to read or oversee their math curriculum. But there are so many other educational things you can do.

1. Physical activity and sport

Often mothers juggle children of many ages when they homeschool. This can make it difficult for mothers to get out and physically engage with their older children.

This is when Dads can be tremendously helpful and step in.

They can take children to sports lessons, throw the football around with their kids, and wrestle their teens. These are things moms cannot do, and mothers will appreciate you taking children off their hands for a break for a while!

2. Financial Education

Husbands often have their hands on the family’s financial pulse. So it makes sense for them to run financial education in the home. This is a great way for fathers to show sons how to provide for the family.

It’s also a great space to get in a covert mathematical study (such as counting pennies in money boxes and so forth).

3. Reading

Most of a child’s homeschooling education consists of reading. While children are young, they need parents to read to them.

If you’re a homeschool dad returning home at the end of the day, reading to your children can be a relatively relaxing activity that can promote bonding and involve you in your children’s education!

It’s also an activity you can do as a group. My husband often reads to my two children while I make dinner for the family. This is a beautiful brain break for me and an excellent opportunity for him to catch up with what the children have been up to during the day.

4. Religious Education

I remember talking to my pastor, a homeschooling father, a couple of years ago. He said a father dramatically impacts a child’s decision to follow Jesus.

While I can’t remember the exact statistics, he said something like, ‘If a father is a Christian, but a mother is not, three out of four children generally confess to being Christians. But, if a mother is a Christian, but a father is not, only one or two out of four choose to follow God.’

As a homeschool mother, I always try to impress my kids with the gospel and a sense of God’s grace.

But, I also try to make time for my husband to do this as I realize how powerful it is when a homeschooled father teaches his child about the good news!

5. Special Homeschool Days

If you can take over a day of homeschooling a week for your spouse, you might find the change does the whole family good.

Wives get a break, husbands get to be more involved in (and understand) their children’s education, and children enjoy having a change of scene and teaching style from dad.

Homeschool fathers. You are wonderful. If you're thinking of homeschooling, know these things...

Benefits of Homeschooling for Fathers

There are several benefits of homeschooling for fathers. These include:

  1. More time to spend with children
  2. A greater ability to see children if you work unusual hours
  3. Closer relationships with the family
  4. Having more influence on your children compared to schoolchildren
  5. More opportunities to get into nature with children (i.e., camping)
  6. More chances to do physical activity like sports with kids
  7. Having a more close-knit family due to an understood common purpose

Of course, there are many more reasons parents choose to homeschool their children, and this is a short list, but it shows a glimpse of how wonderful homeschooling can be!

Why are More Dads Homeschooling?

Homeschooling has become more socially acceptable, especially after the COVID pandemic. Many parents have experienced how much more of their children they get to see when they’re at home.

They’ve discovered they can homeschool and don’t need a school to take responsibility for their children’s education. They can do that themselves.

Furthermore, many fathers are frankly fed up with public schools’ warped political agenda. Too often, private schools are too expensive. So they choose to homeschool their children.

Challenges for Homeschooling Dads

The most challenging thing about homeschooling for fathers is often that most primary homeschooling parents are mothers. This means there are very few homeschool dad groups and less support for these home educating heroes.

Also, although the stigma of being a stay-at-home dad is decreasing, it’s still considered a little unusual in some circles for a father to stay home while a mother goes to work.

When homeschooled dads run into these problems, they could find refuge by finding like-minded homeschool dads. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many full-time homeschooling fathers around. So this compounds the problem. 

However, there are some around, like the group below.

Group for a Homeschool Dad

There are some homeschool groups you can find by looking on Facebook, but homeschool mothers dominate most groups.

It may be a good idea for you to organize to meet up as a homeschool family on the weekend to meet some of the homeschool fathers in your family’s group.

Finding other homeschool dads to fellowship with can be helpful as you see you’ll spur each other on.

You’ll realize you’re not the only man in your position. You will probably also find older homeschool fathers who’ve been in your place before – if you’re having issues in your homeschool – who may have answers to your difficulties or unique problems.

A Facebook Groups for Homeschool Father

You can also find a homeschool group for fathers online:

Homeschool Dads

Facebook description: For dads of homeschool families, whether they are the ones teaching or simply supporting their spouses. Fathers only; no joint accounts.

Homeschool Dads We need you. And we need you to do these things...

Conclusion on Homeschool Dads

In conclusion, homeschooling dads are essential. They play a vital role in the education of their children. They can bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the table. Homeschool dads can offer a loving and nurturing environment for their children. They are also able to instill a love of learning in their children.

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Rebecca Devitt

Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.

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