How My Husband and I Homeschool as a Team
This time last year I had a full time job. I was working 40 plus hours a week and so was my husband. My daughter was in child care (cringe) and my son was in public school (double cringe). Months before this I had already swallowed the red pill that I had made a mistake by working and putting my child in any kind of alternative care. Basically, every minute of those 40 plus hours was pure hell for me because I knew that I was subjecting my children to the horrors of child care and the terrors of public school. I was consumed by the thoughts of how I was going to fix this mess. I was anxious all the time because I knew that this would require that I take a pay cut in some way, which we weren’t really set up for. This nagging voice kept saying, “Wouldn’t you rather live in a cardboard box, than continue to allow your children to grow up in someone else’s care?” Of course I answered myself yes every single time.
There are several things that you should know about me. One, I am not someone who is able to function normally if I am being plagued by something. Meaning I don’t wear masks very well. Two, I am not one to let things go. Three, I am incredibly assertive. Fourth and finally, if I ever have to choose between anything, literally anything, and the well being of my family I will always choose what is best for my family.
One day in the beginning of July 2016 I marched into my boss’s office and told him I wanted to go down to part-time. He didn’t like this very much since I basically kept everything in order in that shop, but nonetheless within two weeks I was a part-time employee. Instead of working five days a week for eight plus hours a day. I worked three days a week for 10 plus hours a day. My son was already enrolled for first grade in the local public school. Un-enrolling him from the school felt empowering, magical, and honorable. Telling the child care that I no longer required their services felt the same. This will forever be logged as one of my proudest decisions.
So, let’s get to how my husband and I make all this craziness work:
Because my husband and I both need to work we had to work out scheduling first. Obviously, if someone is lucky enough to stay home with the kids and be the sole homeschooler then this will probably be an unnecessary step. I looked at my husbands days off and figured out when I would be able to give my time to an employer. My husband actually works four ten hour shifts, which gives me an extra day to work. I am available Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. These days my husband homeschools the kids which leaves me time to work outside the home and write my blog (thank you love). Then my mom is willing to teach her grandchildren on her days off if needed, which happens to be Friday and Saturday. I usually do not work all of these days. This leaves my schedule flexible so that I can work as often as possible while homeschooling my children.
Choose a Curriculum
Our first few months of homeschooling was basically just us trying to throw as many workbooks and other activities into each day as we possibly could. (Do not put yourself through this pain.) Well before I had even started homeschooling, I was listening to The Tom Woods Show. He has a fantastic podcast filled with valuable knowledge and wild insights that will make you think long after you turn the show off. He has written numerous books (I have a few of them), which you can find here. Anyway, back to my point. I remember him talking about The Ron Paul Curriculum. Tom Woods used to say in his add (I’m paraphrasing), “If you’re a homeschool parent, then you’re probably working too hard.” Like most things, Tom was absolutely right, plus my husband and I are big fans of Ron Paul. So, we figured his curriculum must rock, which it does. When you go to the website it says Ø Common Core (sold). We feared that it would be pricey because quality products tend to be expensive; but once my husband and I looked at what we were spending on those workbooks and compared it to this curriculum we realized it is actually extremely affordable. You have to find a curriculum that works for you and your children. I would definitely recommend one that has a free trial or a money back guarantee, that way you can get what works for you and your child without an obligation.
Listen and Compromise
My husband and I tend to learn things the hard way. Of course, we had many arguments, that could have been avoided, over what was best for our children. However, we both learn very quickly. We learned that hearing each other out is a requirement in order to come up with a solution, which might mean compromising from time to time. Obviously, we try our hardest to come up with a solution that works for both of us. For starters, you must accept that there are going to be times that you and your spouse won’t agree on everything during this homeschool adventure. The important thing is to listen to what your spouse has to say. The two of you can both make your case for why you think your way is what is best for your child and then the two of you can come up with a solution together. Expecting that there will never be a disagreement in how your children will be taught something is an easy recipe for disaster.
Encourage One Another
Again, my husband and I learn everything the hard way. There are going to be times when you feel a deep struggle to get through the day. There are going to be days when you need your spouse to pull you back to reality and remind you of what you really need to focus on. To think this will not be the case will lead you to feeling abandoned when those days occur. It will also lead to you not helping your spouse with something they need your assistance on; we all have our limits. Knowing that the two of you work as a team and not against one another is key. Having your spouse encourage you when you are feeling like a failure will feel like a breath of fresh air.
I think having both parents involved in the homeschooling process is the most beneficial because then they learn two different ways to view things. It benefits children greatly to get female and male influences while studying because men and women learn differently and teach differently. Teaching your children will be one of the most rewarding adventures you will ever embark upon. Knowing that you, your spouse, and your children have complete control over what is being learned and how they are learning it will provide confidence for everyone involved. I do not have a teaching degree, my husband does not have a teaching degree, my mother does not have a teaching degree, but you don’t need one. You and your spouse are fully capable of teaching your children together.