This is how our homeschool dad contributes in our homeschool.
Bedtime hour is quieter: for me, anyway. He’ll bring them to bed, read a few stories (or improvise a silly story, much to the annoyance of our children).
He’ll sing his unconventional lullabies…”You load sixteen tonnes and what do you get? another day older and deeper in debt”….and Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler”… “On a warm summer’s evenin’, on a train bound for nowhere”…
They get the traditional lullabies from me.
He’s another sheriff to manage disputes…and if he manages just two sibling conflicts a day, it’s decompressing for me.
He gives me a shoulder to cry on after a hard homeschool day, one of those homeschool days.
He’s just as enamored with their funny stories, vignettes of accomplishment, and cute quirkiness as I am.
And he’s there to care for them when I just need to get away.
I give him practical gifts for Christmas: an article of clothing, a book, maybe a new grooming product.
He, on the other hand, packages an envelope with twelve cards, requiring me to open one an hour, all hints to reveal his gift.
In the end, we’re heading to a warm-weather American boutique hotel for a few days’ getaway, just him and I.
He knows when I need a break.
These are unique moments, ones building our relationship so that long after the kiddos have left home, he and I have posted stories to our book of memories.
They are also invigorating times of connection, reminding us who we are and what we’re all about apart from our role as parents.
It’s the Wednesday afternoons, though, that routinely provide me a reprieve.
A girl has got to have some time to do her thing, alone:
- shopping, coffee shop, and laptop for an afternoon of writing,
- or just getting to the gym.
His willingness to take over helps maintain my balance, and ignites my affection…occasional bouquets of flowers are romantic, but nothing quite as romantic as a willing and helpful husband.
This Wednesday afternoon a week is his time to instill what’s important to his kiddos too.
It’s the most unschooled afternoon in our study times.
- He’ll read them something from Usborne’s World War II book and share details that he’s learned in his years of reading about it.
- He’ll detail anatomy and physiology with previous patient scenarios to his mini-medical students.
- He’ll talk politics, current events, the world economy…you know, the light and fluffy subject matter.
- He can be found teaching chess strategies, cribbage or poker, tossing a ball, or watching Weird Al YouTube stuff.