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Curriculum decisions in the family


bbrandonsmom
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How involved was/is your partner in your curriculum choice? All of them, any of them, none of them etc?

 

My dh-confused by the history aspect, which since we learned mainly US history in elem, makes sense, and I admit, I didn't explain what we were doing. I need to do that.

 

Math-didn't believe me on what K went over in ps until I showed him, but he was fine with ds learning add/sub etc already. I was telling him about the EM the other day and he just shook his head.

 

Science-we didn't talk about this one. But I feel like we've been doing science since the first day the boys expressed an interest in nature, so it's been pretty constant in our house. Having an outline to go by just helps.

 

Reading/spelling/writing-ds is actually the one who brought home the PR1 post-it to tell me about it. We haven't started it yet, but he sees ds reading/spelling/writing and is happy about it.

 

Grammar-same as RSW. He knows they don't learn formal grammar in K, but is ok w/ ds learning it

 

Religion-we did discuss this one. He would like it taught as history and different peoples beliefs.

 

So, I feel bad we haven't really talked about the history. I have a feeling he would just want me to teach the ps curriculum, but at home-which I have to make sure we cover anyhow. But to limit to just the ps curriculum doesn't make sense to me, after reading what the new standard is. Why would I confine the 4 school walls to my home?

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My DH has put it all in my hands since I have to teach it. But I still bounce things off of him. I wish he had time to get more involved in the decision making and goal setting.

 

Really the only thing you can do is discuss it with him and maybe have him read WTM. How involved other DH's are in that process doesn't matter because each family is different. He isn't right or wrong to want to be involved and maybe there is a blessing within that.

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My husband hasn't a clue what I am teaching........ and talking to him about it really is nothing more than talking AT him. He just nods his head as the words scatter around him in a heap. :D :lol::lol:

 

This is our family too.

The only problem with this arrangement is that DH gets upset around Jan/Feb when the kids don't know "X,Y,Z". You didn't seem to care when I was picking things so we aren't covering that this year! :glare:

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My husband hasn't a clue what I am teaching........ and talking to him about it really is nothing more than talking AT him. He just nods his head as the words scatter around him in a heap. :D :lol::lol:

 

LOL! This is my DH, too. Occasionally he'll say something like, "I think you could do that 3 times a week instead of 2, couldn't you?" or whatever, but mostly he's totally out of the loop. Well, except for about explicit phonics instruction. He knows I absolutely insist on that. lol

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My husband has trusted me to make the decisions on what I'll use and what I'll teach but I submit everything to him for feedback and to ensure that it is in line with his ultimate goals for our family. He'll be the first to admit that he really doesn't know the details of what we're using but I feel like it is really important to be sure he's driving the bus, I'm just reading the map. ;)

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Hubby is confident in my decisions and choices. He does listen though to my rambling on and on as I'm trying to figure things out. He's processing at least a cursory amount as he responds intelligently when I ask his opinion on whatever the topic is. I love that man.

 

That said, our relationship and family dynamics will be different than others. I can see how some husbands would want to have more of a voice in the choices made. I think that's both a part of the particular relationship and beliefs about roles as well as personality of the parties involved.

Edited by sbgrace
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Dh and I work together as a team.

I usually do the "leg work" researching educational methods, curriculum and keeping Dh up to date on what is available in the world of home education. When it comes to planning the school year both of us do it together. We play off of each others strengths. Dh's strength is math, history, writing and science. My strength is geography, world cultures language arts and foreign language.

Although I am the primary teacher, Dh is always available for "technical assistance." LOL!

I like the comment Jessie Wise makes in Chapter 38 of the WTM "Home education is a family commitment." To me her statement speaks volumes.

One thing I suggest to prospective home educators and the mothers in my support group is to sit down with the spouse/partner to discuss and write out on paper "Why are we home educating? What are our goals/objectives for home education?" If the spouse/partner is included in the planning stages more often than not they are more receptive to assist the primary teaching parent on a daily basis.

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My DH occasionally gives me some input, but most of it is up to me. He's the type that doesn't think we need any curriculum...just lots of good quality books and the internet. That makes it difficult to explain why I need so much money for curriculum...especially lesson plans. Personally, I'd much rather spend $100 to have my year planned by someone far more organized that me. ;)

 

Last year he wanted a Nook and I told him that was way more money than he gives me for HS materials. He got the Nook and I got my HS books...I'm hoping our issue is finally resolved. :lol:

 

He has mentioned that he loves our math (Singapore) and doesn't want me to switch. He also taught DD a bit of Latin last year (he bought the program).

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My husband hasn't a clue what I am teaching........ and talking to him about it really is nothing more than talking AT him. He just nods his head as the words scatter around him in a heap. :D :lol::lol:

 

 

That's my husband!

 

I just read that to him, and he shook his head in agreement. :)

Edited by mjpeter
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So long as I keep up all my other commitments, outside of school, dh has nothing to say here (he will speak up if others areas are lacking, but school is in full bloom b/c he finds this out of balance)...previous description hits it for us, too.

 

Remember this is your first year, so he needs to know what you're doing to reassure himself that it's a good decision for your children and not just your desire to keep the kiddos home (I know he has the "rest of the world is just fine" perspective). Give him some time to trust you and you can go from there.

 

Take the time to explain history to him. He's very likely remember the whole of elementary school and not grade K, specifically. Here's an easy description:

 

Classical education approaches history chronologically, so we will not only get American history, but also world history at the same time. This is particular relevant today, as our society leans global in nature. We'll learn about the history of Mankind, including American history...which is really European history anyways :) In a 4-year cycle, we'll study the history of mankind from beginning to end, then start again a higher level. We can hit American history as hard as we want, but also make sure they get a complete education. Also, SOCIAL studies is taught in the early years...not even American history.

 

Sometimes, it takes time for people to realize you're searching for what's best, but not attacking what they had -- i.e. many people are instantly offended by hsing b/c they think it speaks poorly of their education. (like him not understanding teaching beyond American history). Time will show this is not the case, just make sure you're not conveying an "homeschool against the world" mentality (something that is easy to do when you're first getting started).

 

One step at a time. You're working hard to offer a grand education to your boys and sooner than later, it will show. You may just have to "parade" projects and knowledge for a while, just to satisfy your dh (not b/c the dc really need to parade anything).

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My husband hasn't a clue what I am teaching........ and talking to him about it really is nothing more than talking AT him. He just nods his head as the words scatter around him in a heap. :D :lol::lol:

 

Yeah, this is us. DH and I call it the "head bob" - when I'm telling him something he doesn't really need to hear details about he nods his head in a certain way. :D It works for us.

 

DH gets to see what we do because I put all our worksheets, art work, etc. on our bulletin boards each day (each kid has one) and take it down when I write up my wrap-up at the end of the week. We're working "ahead" because our ps told me ds shouldn't go to kindergarten until he was 6, so I think that helps - DH knows we're doing enough that we are unlikely to ever be behind according to the ps.

 

The only time I really specifically mention something is if I'm spending money. DH always trusts that I'm spending wisely :D so doesn't ever question but I feel it's a courtesy to at least mention it.

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While I am the one who does all the research and selects materials, I always discuss those choices with DH.

He is teaching math and fully supports our use of AoPS. We discuss whether we think DD ready to audit a college class, whether Great Books is what we want to do for history/English, how to handle languages.

Except for him teaching math, I am the one in charge of daily schoolwork. However, we are both the parents and we both make the decisions together. He would definitely not feel comfortable not knowing what and how his children are learning.

We make all decisions together, so I see no reason why those important things should be my decisions only.

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DH doesn't have any say. The few times I've tried to talk to him about it or give him options and ask for his opinion, he's told me he doesn't feel qualified to speak up b/c he hasn't put the time and energy into researching different things like I have. He completely defers to me in this area.

 

Having said that, when I told him DD was going to start learning Latin this year, he incredulously asked me, "Why?!" That's been the only thing so far that he's not fully "supported." He's already told me though that he's seeing some benefits of it now...he just needed time to think about it and process it. :D

 

He does like for me/the kids to tell/show him what they're learning though! He is their biggest cheerleader and tells me at least once a semester how great he thinks the kids are doing.

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This is the FIRST year that my dh was involved. It was a money thing. I think he wanted to see what he was investing in first hand. :)It was interesting for me to hear his take on things, because I am completely devoted to this. Curriculum decisions are huge for me.

We looked at about 20 products together and what stood out to him as a newbie was on target with what stood out to me.

I did want his input on LA because ds has writing issues. A huge part of me just wanted to just dive into MCT but I'm not quite sure ds is there yet. I had an idea in my head that I wanted ds to do an all-in-one language program so I downloaded the appropriate level sample of CQLA and though we are both really impressed by MCT, we thought that CQLA is where ds is right now. He needs some hand-holding. DD is "there" so we are combing her with ds in CQLA.

I loved his input re: science.

We spent a chunk of time going through Singapore and MM samples. We ultimately did choose MM and will be adding in Singapore CWPs.

He thought the amount of books that came with a SL core was staggering, warranting the price, though we chose another History and my lit list.

Ultimately though I was initially bothered by his wanting to be involved, it turned out to a + experience. He seems to get it a bit more now, especially re:the financial commitment. He also thinks that the quality is really here - in homeschool.

Highly recommend the experience! :)

Edited by cjbeach
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Lol-I like the head bob thing-dh does that w/ some stuff too.

 

Tina-yeah, I forget, this is our first year. I work very hard at not being one of those "homeschool is the best thing, school sucks etc" people. I know some excellent teachers, I know teachers who h/s, I know very adjusted kids in school and out of school, so...I tell people it's the choice we feel is best for our family, and then only go into detail if asked.

 

I just wondered, as everyone was looking at curriculum if you talked about it w/ your dh first? Because so many of us try one thing and then switch to another. I wondered if our other halves would go nuts trying to keep up :)

 

What I did do a few weeks ago, is make a point to show dh where all the h/s stuff was. I showed him which ones were the binders of completed work (they are all labeled) and which ones were the curriculum. He said he didn't really care, but I told him he needed to know, in case he wanted to look through to see what was done. And also in case one of his friends (or family), ask him what we actually do for h/s-he could answer them, instead of saying "I don't know". Plus, if ever he wanted to do something, he knows where it is and what's planned :)

I do think it's important for both parents to be involved-especially if it's a new thing (like for us). But dh would never sit and look at all the curric choices and pick one-that's my job. I make sure ds shows him his math or he usually shows him his writing himself, because he's very proud. Or today, he told dh some of the new phonograms he learned. Some days I ask dh to ask him what he learned today, or go take a page of something he did and ask him about it etc. So I'm doing what I can to keep him involved.

Since I do the budget, I try to incorporate any h/s stuff into our bills, or specifically save up for it, if I can't do that. I know if dh wanted to go spend $100 on something, I'd want to know why and what for-so I can completely understand why some dh's may be more involved as far as spending $ on curriculum.

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The only time I really specifically mention something is if I'm spending money.  DH always trusts that I'm spending wisely :D so doesn't ever question but I feel it's a courtesy to at least mention it. 	

 

 

This is us.

 

 

 

I do think it's important for both parents to be involved-especially if it's a new thing (like for us). But dh would never sit and look at all the curric choices and pick one-that's my job.

 

 

Yup, me too. Dh would rather roll over and play dead than to look through all our hs stuff.

 

 

 

Although this is also my first official year homeschooling, I have always heavily supplemented my dc's ps education. Our dd's have always been at the top of their class each year. DH credits their success to the hard work and dedicated effort I put forth in reading, researching, and teaching. As a result he willingly and gladly entrusts all curriculum choices to me. He has, however, asked for an overview/outline of what dd will be studying this year. He knows I'm a zealot when it comes to our children's educaton and trusts I will to what is needed and what is best.

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When we decided to homeschool, we knew that we needed to be a homeschool *family*. Even though I do the teaching, he is (almost) completely involved in our school. We talk a lot about curriculum and the kids' education. I have done most of the research, but since we were on the same page from the beginning, he knows what I'm trying to do. It has been really helpful to have his input on everything. I also like that, if something is not working for us, he doesn't put up much of a fight if I have to buy something else. :)

 

This is one of the reasons I love that my husband was homeschooled!:)

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I give dh a summary sheet at the beginning of the year telling him what I'll be teaching. Dh is in charge of encouragement and carpentry class. Aside from that he leaves the teaching to me. Oh, music appreciation, he does that on the side, hence the Led Zepplin, Tom Petty, and Todd Rundgren on my son's Ipod. He also does the technology training, also on the side. :D

 

I think if dh were more "academic" by nature I'd consult with him on some choices, but as it is he trusts my choices.

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My husband was not at ALL involved with choosing curriculum. Without actually coming out and saying so, we both seem to have agreed that it was my jurisdiction, being as I was the one taking the time to research it and I was the one who was going to be teaching it. If I want his opinion on something, he'll give it. If I want his help with something, he'll provide it. Otherwise, he pretty much stays out of "school stuff," which is fine with me! :D

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Mine has no clue. I do tell him about it, b/c sometimes it comsumes my thoughts, but I don't think he's really listening! :tongue_smilie:

 

He had to teach 2 weeks ago, and I had to stack the books up with the notes on what to do in each book. He didn't like AAS at all, but my DS and I do, so whatever!

Edited by golfcartmama
my absent-minded grammar skills :)
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My husband has no clue what we're doing. I get the head bob and the glazed over look too. I sometimes wish he were more involved, but he just says, "I trust you." Nice, but frustrating when you'd like a second opinion.

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My husband is an instructor (adults) and so I thought I'd want more help from him, but really, the only thing I needed help on was making the decision about whether to study Latin, German, French, Japanese, or a combo (fwiw, we decided Latin first for now). And I guess that since he teaches all day anyway, that would explain why he wasn't chompin' at the bit to help me research and settle on the curriculum (I'm the primary teacher, anyway, and he did express that as a reason, as well). Could be that I'm a control freak, too, though... (did I just say that out loud?! No! LOL)

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My husband participates actively in conversations about homeschooling, is informed about what we're doing, and occasionally offers opinions, but I do the research and make the curriculum decisions. Since we talk all the time, he knows what's going on and has shared his opinions, so my decisions are shaped by his thoughts as well as my own.

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My husband trusts me to do whatever. I would sometimes like his opinion more and he has tried as of late to be more attentive. I am trying to involve him more especially in science, not that I cannot do it, but little projects and such seem to be a good thing for them to do together. He also in charge of teaching him various lifeskills around the house- mechanics, plumbing, electrical etc. It is important to us that those skills are passed down to the kids.

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We choose what areas they'll be covering together. Usually we each make a list and we compare. I do most of the research and narrow things down to one or two. Then DH looks at that list and researches my picks himself. He actually spends quite a bit of time on this. Then we decide together. He used to just agree with anything I wanted but I forced him to look at stuff and now he enjoys it. He already knows what he feels were bad picks from this year and has started looking at next year. He does do about half the teaching though.

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My husband hasn't a clue what I am teaching........ and talking to him about it really is nothing more than talking AT him. He just nods his head as the words scatter around him in a heap. :D :lol::lol:

 

Same here, except he also has this look in his eyes that seem to say, "please do not talk to me about curriculum" It is either that or he is experiencing great at that moment :D

 

Actually, he does know that we are schooling classically, and I use something called the WTM and the LCC as resources!

 

Krista

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My DH generally leaves the choice up to me but he has a rule against anything with a "Young Earth" Creationist POV or a "Providential" view of history. He also requested I use Singapore for math but is okay with other programs that are based on the Asian way of teaching math like Right Start (which I use in the primary grades) and Math Mammoth (which I use as a supplement).

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My husband hasn't a clue what I am teaching........ and talking to him about it really is nothing more than talking AT him. He just nods his head as the words scatter around him in a heap. :D :lol::lol:

 

 

:lol: As long as I have a plan, and seem to have reasons for picking that plan instead of a different one, he is happy. He doesn't want to know the reasons, just that I have some! Maybe once a year he'll actually ask a question, but I think he is doing that to be friendly, not because he cares about the answer. As our kids approach school age, I expect these questions to increase to perhaps two or three per year :D

 

My hubby is happy to read about my plans on our blog, after they have been accomplished :D

 

Oh there was that time he was demanding they learn computer programming at some stage, and I told him to chill out. Of course the kids will do computer programming, dh is a computer programmer! And there was the time he insisted they learn to type using a DVORAK keyboard and I refused to agree to that, and suggested we postpone the conversation for at least five years. :lol: He told me about two months ago that he's changed his mind and they should learn QWERTY :lol:

 

Rosie

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My dh doesn't want to be involved on the content discussion, but he and my ds both have input on the philosophy, emphasis and style.

 

My dh expresses opinions like "I don't think we should just focus on what she's good at" or "I think we should use xyz computer program or get an electronics kit."

 

My ds gives great input on adding more art or creativity into school, doing more writing, balancing self-directed learning and core skills.

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The only time I really specifically mention something is if I'm spending money.  DH always trusts that I'm spending wisely :D so doesn't ever question but I feel it's a courtesy to at least mention it.     

 

 

This is us.

 

 

 

I do think it's important for both parents to be involved-especially if it's a new thing (like for us). But dh would never sit and look at all the curric choices and pick one-that's my job.

 

 

Yup, me too. Dh would rather roll over and play dead than to look through all our hs stuff.

 

 

 

Although this is also my first official year homeschooling, I have always heavily supplemented my dc's ps education. Our dd's have always been at the top of their class each year. DH credits their success to the hard work and dedicated effort I put forth in reading, researching, and teaching. As a result he willingly and gladly entrusts all curriculum choices to me. He has, however, asked for an overview/outline of what dd will be studying this year. He knows I'm a zealot when it comes to our children's educaton and trusts I will to what is needed and what is best.

 

Just curious, how on earth did you do those quotes? I've neer seen anything like that with the bar & that code that came up.

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What I did do a few weeks ago, is make a point to show dh where all the h/s stuff was. I showed him which ones were the binders of completed work (they are all labeled) and which ones were the curriculum. He said he didn't really care, but I told him he needed to know, in case he wanted to look through to see what was done. And also in case one of his friends (or family), ask him what we actually do for h/s-he could answer them, instead of saying "I don't know". Plus, if ever he wanted to do something, he knows where it is and what's planned :)

 

You know, I love my husband and I want to know how his day went and whether he's getting along with his boss and co-workers, whether he feels challenged and satisfied, that sort of thing. But I'm not the least bit interested in the details of what he does all day. I won't care to look through his files and reports and he feels the same about mine. Maybe your husband is nicely saying that he'd be perfectly happy to see the results but not the details of your day? I used to feel hurt that he wasn't more into it but it's much easier to keep this is *my* thing...make the decisions and leave him out of the day to day stuff. Then he thinks I'm completely amazing :D

 

Barb

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My husband is very involved. He attends conferences with me, helps with thrift store finds, things like that. As far as what is chosen for the curriculum he mainly suggest the best thing that can be done "as a family." We have been doing Charlotte Mason for years. Ambleside is numero uno here. A few months ago we both attended the Living Education Retreat together in Minnesota which was way fun. Especially considering we left all the children at home in WI with one of our older girls for 3 days. It was both educational and fun!!

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I am not sure it matters how much other people's dhs are involved. I think that ideally both parents have some involvement and they work together to figure out what is best for their dc. But that means different things in different families. And whatever that means in your family, I think that it is absolutely vital that he feels that you value his interest in your dcs education.

 

That said, for those whose only schooling experience was ps, it is very hard to imagine school that is not ps, expecially if a curriculum substantially veers from that experience. When I started homeschooling, I most certainly imagined a ps within my home. If you are beyond that, then you are ahead of the game. But it took me the full first year to begin to really entertain the different educational philosophies. And I only did so as I saw that the ps framework was not working for dd.

 

If he is agreeable to reading, I would give him some reading material, starting perhaps with TWTM. I might share with him some anecdotes from other families that have been doing what you want to be doing. But be patient with him while he ponders and processes these ideas which are so very foreign to him. Be willing to compromise if he feels strongly about doing something in a different way. He may not "get it" until he sees that it doesn't work. (If our roles were reversed, I don't think I would have been able to just trust dh with all of the education decisions.) Going through a short time of things not going well is worth it if it means that you ultimately end up on the same page.

 

Just my .02.

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I usually make the decisions regarding curriculum, but I do consult dh and bounce ideas off of him. He listens well and gives me intelligent answers. He also teaches art, leads some of the more daunting SOTW projects, and this year he's going to be in charge of a whole 7-week unit on Rocks and Minerals (he's a gemologist), and explore Electronics with ds for 6 weeks. It works out, as I have a baby due on Feb 6!

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DH knows what we are doing because we are lucky that he is home when we are learning. He is proud of the kids, and he tells me often that I am amazing for homeschooling. The best things he does to support our homeschool are; he cooks dinner since he knows I am working hard with the little people during the day. He often does science experiments with the kids, even though he has a tendency to go overboard. (just ask me about our iron welded and PVC constructed anonometer that will require a hurricane to turn) He also enjoys field trips and hearing the kids recite memorizations or what they learned or enjoyed. Oh, and he cuts wood I need for projects.

As for choosing curriculum. Nope. He knows the whys of what I am teaching and we discuss the Classical method, but he trusts that I am researching and making the best choices with the info I have, and is patient when I spend way to much on school materials. And he is good about moving bookshelves. :D

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Because we are a military family, there are times that my husband is not available to be involved - due to wonky hours at work, deployments/separations, etc. And this is our first year homeschooling.

 

That being said, he is as involved as he can be in our children's education. He's read parts of TWTM and agreed with me that the classical method was the right educational philosophy for our family. He didn't have much input on curriculum, primarily because he didn't have the time to do the research. Add to that the fact that I am a teacher by trade and he tends to defer to me on educational matters. But he and my son are SO much alike that I went to him for insight on what he thought might work best for our son in terms of different curricula and his interest level.

 

My husband and I agree that a large part of our children's education should also be life skills and this is where my husband really gets involved. He's incredibly mechanically inclined therefore he involves the kids in all sorts of projects and garage-related activities: changing the oil on the cars, rotating the tires, minor household repairs, knot-tying, simple construction, etc. He also gets involved in some of our history and science projects if possible.

 

I like that he's involved when he can be and appreciate the latitude he gives me on selecting curricula. I think we work well as a team which is how most things in our family work.

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I am not sure it matters how much other people's dhs are involved. I think that ideally both parents have some involvement and they work together to figure out what is best for their dc. But that means different things in different families. And whatever that means in your family, I think that it is absolutely vital that he feels that you value his interest in your dcs education.

:iagree::iagree::iagree: There isn't a one size fits all homeschooling set up. dh and I bring different strengths into our marriage and family. My dh was skeptical of homeschooling at first, but agreed to start after I did my research. He's on board with it now, of course, but works long hours in his busy season so it's my job. Personally, I like being able to make the curriculum decisions without him, but I tend to be very independent and always have been. Plus he learns very differently than my dds and I do, and somewhat differently than ds, although they're closer.

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My husband hasn't a clue what I am teaching........ and talking to him about it really is nothing more than talking AT him. He just nods his head as the words scatter around him in a heap. :D :lol::lol:

 

Mine, too! :lol: This thread is terrific!

 

Several months ago, I read an article, written by a dad, about how important it is to be involved. A small part of me was beginning to feel chagrined at dh's non-helpfulness. The more I mulled it over, and talked about it with dh, the more I realized how silly it was for me to feel that way, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. A part of me, I know, would be annoyed at dh telling me what to do. (Silly, I know.):glare:

 

Actually, dh IS extremely helpful, in that he trusts me SO COMPLETELY to do the major job of teaching his sons well, that he leaves all the decisions up to me! :) Frankly, I am the better qualified for the job in this household ( not bragging, just a fact that me dh wholeheartedly agrees with.) DH and I have often talked about this very subject, and are in complete agreement. He is also extremely helpful in nodding while I think things out aloud, and often praises me for the job I am doing. I thank him for doing his job at the office well, too, and supporting us.

 

Let's be thankful for our husbands! :)

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