I want to tell you homeschool husbands a secret. Something you don’t know that, if you did know, would bring more joy and contentment to your home. I worked for two years at a Classical Christian School. I was in the staff meetings and homework planning sessions. The secret is: NO TEACHER, TEACHES THE ENTIRE CURRICULUM IN EVERY SUBJECT, IN ANY GIVEN YEAR.
You know why? Because the curriculum is a guide, its an estimation – its an ideal. You teach to the student’s ability and understanding, not a strict, objective standard. For teachers there are things that arise like difficulties in some concept that requires a great deal more time and effort. There are illnesses and snow days. There are distractions. Every teacher gets in the final weeks of a school year and has to decide what is the most important concept or concepts to cover. Because there is always next year.
The ditches for homeschool families are either – viewing the curriculum as a mere suggestion and not covering most of it, or, for most homeschoolers, the ditch hubby drives mom into where she MUST do all the curriculum in a given year. ALL OF IT. This is the fear of being left behind, or undereducated. The ditch that looks at the money spent and and the professional looking syllabuses and wants to keep up with the standard.
But curriculum isn’t that kind of standard. Any given curriculum is going to outline more work than can be done in a year.
The thing with homeschooling is that depending on the number of kids, the amount of resources and the gifting of mom, you are making an exchange.
We have six kids. Five boys. We did the day school thing. But we exchanged all that rigor and professionalism and TIME because I would rather my kids get slightly less “professional” instruction, if it means they can get it done in 1/3 of the time and then go outside and build a tree fort. We exchanged seven subjects for four because, its not the quantity but quality that matters. If my kids spend years and years reading their bibles but don’t do a science lab till they are sixteen, then amen.
Reading covers a multitude of sins.
Husbands, your wife doesn’t have to cover the whole curriculum. Its summer time. Its time for your kids to learn other things. How to mow the yard or build a birdhouse. How to change the oil in your car and power wash a sidewalk. Its time to perfect their sidewalk chalk art and lemonade mixing skills. Its time to learn that trampoline backflip and how to make a campfire.
Be like the good teachers. Look at what’s left, decide what’s the most important, teach it, then put it away and open a bottle of wine and let the kids read comic books.
Relax. Its not about getting it all done. Its about growing up to be Godly, competent learners. And the yard is calling, full of lessons that only come in this beautifully unique time of year.