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What About the Homeschool Dads?

We are obviously all about Hip Homeschool Moms here, but what about the Hip Homeschool Dads?

As we plan and prepare for a new homeschool year, one of your family and homeschool goals for this new year might be having Dad more involved in homeschool lessons. We asked some homeschool moms to share how their spouse helps out. We share their ideas below.

Speaking of getting back to a new homeschool year. We have joined forces with a number of other bloggers to bring you a big Back to Homeschool Giveaway! Details are below.

So, onto our Dads…

I’m just going to be real here. We typically think of moms when it comes to homeschooling, and there’s a simple and straightforward reason for that: moms typically do most of the homeschooling. Moms are usually the ones buying curriculum and filling the walls of online communities; they are the faces we see at conferences and co-ops.

I must admit that there’s not much current data available about this (I like data), so don’t quote me on specifics. But apparently, a study back in 1997 indicated that almost 90% of homeschooling is done by mothers. (I could not track down the actual study, though I found references to it.)

Times have changed since then, but they haven’t changed too much in terms of who does most of the homeschooling. During the pandemic, The New York Times published an article with this humorous title: “Nearly Half of Men Say They Do Most of the Home Schooling. 3 Percent of Women Agree.” 

Regardless of the lack of current or concrete data, those of us in homeschool circles would probably agree, from experience alone, that in the majority of U.S. homeschooling households, moms are the lead teachers. But again, I wonder: what about the homeschool dads? You see, I believe that a homeschool dad has important things to teach, whether he teaches these things formally or not. So, I did a little research of my own. I asked the moms (of course).

In our Hip Homeschool Moms Community Facebook Group of over 36,000 members, I asked moms to share something about the role of dads in their homes (within the context of homeschooling). Most moms who responded said that the dad wasn’t a full-time teacher in the home, but that there were still plenty of other ways he made homeschooling possible (or made it better!).

Here are some of the answers to the question: “How do dads contribute to homeschooling?” 

1. Some Homeschool Dads ARE Involved in Academics.

homeschool dad helping child with school work

While definitely a minority, some homeschooling moms said that their kids have a dad who teaches academic subjects as part of their family’s homeschool! In one case, a dad split the homeschool responsibilities 50/50. Another mom said that dad facilitated online lessons.

More frequently, a homeschool dad voluntarily took on a specific, core subject that was in his wheelhouse. While there may not be a ton of dads out there who regularly teach academic subjects, there are some who do!

On a related note, reading together was a much more common way that dads were reported to help with homeschooling. “Reading together” may not be an academic subject, but it is a central part of all homeschooling. Kids learn so much through regular time spent reading together. The positive associations with reading that are created by reading with a parent can really help create a lifelong love of books! This is a way that any homeschool dad can be involved in academics.

2. Homeschool Dads Dig Specialty Subjects and Field Trips.

homeschool dad with daughter on field trip to an aquarium

One of the reasons many people choose to homeschool their kids is the ability to teach outside of the classroom. Specialty subjects, hands-on learning, road trips, and field trips are some of the ways that our homeschoolers learn best. This is one of the areas where homeschool dads were reported to be most active.

Many homeschooling moms said that their spouse teaches kids specialty interest subjects, or contributed their know-how to hands-on applications of academic subjects (things like carpentry, computer skills, music, languages etc.) Some of you also said that homeschool dads actively participated in educational field trips and road trips. These types of specialty and hands-on learning experiences are part of what makes homeschooling so special, and it’s good to hear that many homeschool dads are engaged in this important part of learning.

3. Homeschool Dads May Be Financially Supportive.

While different families will do whatever works best for them, many homeschooling moms reported that dads provided for the family, which allowed them to focus more fully on homeschooling.

In some cases, dads worked overtime so that homeschool moms could stay home to teach and care for the kids. It’s difficult to make it on a single income these days, but many homeschool families figure it out!

While it’s not the only way to make homeschooling work (many homeschool families have two parents who work, or even a single parent), dads who make this form of sacrifice are valued, too.

dad working on draft table drawing something

Homeschooling is harder to go at alone, and it’s good to have a spouse who will prioritize a family decision to homeschool by being financially supportive.

Dads who choose to bear the bulk of the financial responsibility are contributing to homeschooling, too. If you’re that dad, you’re seen and appreciated!

4. Homeschool Dads Help by Being Supportive Spouses and Active Parents.

homeschool dad laughing with son at table

Many homeschool moms in our group described how the dads in their lives provide valuable homeschool assistance by simply being great spouses and parents. These moms may be the “lead teachers,” but that doesn’t mean that they could (or would want to) do it alone.

Many dads help by providing much-appreciated backup and filling in any gaps. This may include taking care of younger kids while mom teaches older kids (or vice versa), providing tech support, or building cabinets for a homeschool room. It may mean stepping in to provide parental backup if there’s a conflict or helping out extra around the house when needed. 

Homeschooling is a family endeavor: a blend between daily life responsibilities and learning. Dads who are great spouses and active parents contribute so much to this, simply by being emotionally supportive and physically available for whatever challenges may arise.

5. Homeschooling Dads Teach Life Skills.

dad teaching daughter to change the tire on a car

Repeatedly and enthusiastically, our homeschool mom community said that dads were actively involved when it comes to teaching an important and unique homeschool subject: life skills.

Daily skills like cooking and budgeting were mentioned, as were more specialty skills like fishing, plumbing, camping, and survival skills. Homeschool dads may not always teach through a curriculum with kids, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t eager to be involved and share what they know!

Many families who homeschool strongly value quality time and the freedom to apply learning to real-life settings. This is an area where homeschool dads really shine. Another valuable thing about this is that it allows kids to make more great memories with their fathers than they might be able to, otherwise.

Maybe everyone won’t agree with me, but I think that kids have a lot to gain from being with an active father (or father figure). It’s something that is missing from a lot of our current culture, and something that homeschooling has the potential to encourage and support. Kids seeing their father actively passing along his know-how? That has incredible, life-long value. I think so, and so do many other homeschool moms, apparently!

If you homeschool and have a good dad (or dad figure) on board, I hope you’ll share some of the other ways that he helps out or plays a role in your homeschool. (Or if you are a homeschool dad, please feel free to share your story as well!)

As I said, the data on this subject is so limited.  I don’t have enough information on this topic to claim that this list is extensive, nor would I want to generalize or claim that the list of comments I received was complete. That said, I enjoyed reading about some of the ways that dads play an important role in homeschooling via our online homeschool community.

If you have input to share, I hope you’ll leave a comment and keep the learning going! Hip Homeschool Moms, we already know you’re awesome. Hip Homeschool Dads—you may be more stealthy—but we value you, too.

Back to Homeschool Giveaway!

Many homeschoolers live on one income and have to stick to a strict budget that doesn’t always allow for much wiggle room. That’s why I’ve teamed up with a group of amazing homeschool bloggers to make getting ready for your new school year just a little bit easier and hopefully a little less stressful for you. Our hope is that we can bless a few homeschool families (although we wish we could bless many more) and ease a little of that financial burden and help you check some extra things off your homeschool wish list this year.

<strong>Three people will win a $250 gift card to either Rainbow Resource Center or Christianbook.com – two great places to shop for homeschool curriculum and resources, with the best prices around!!</strong>

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.&nbsp; Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.&nbsp; And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends July 21, 2023 at 11:59pm ET. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecopter form).

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