I’m a Home-school Dad. My daughter does not attend school at the public school. She attends school at home, at the park, in the vehicle as we go on errands, or as she visits friends and the babysitter’s houses. We strive to highlight the teachable moments that pop up in life. This is something that my wife and I didn’t do nearly as much of when my daughter was in public school. As a father, homeschooling has its ups and downs, but I am so glad we do it. You see, we have stepped into the stadium called Home School, crossed the stadium seating, and are now walking on the field of play…And we like it; a lot.
What caused us to home-school was not our dissatisfaction with the public school or our faith. The decision was made because it was the right thing for our family. We love the city that we live in and have high praise for the school district. The elementary school my daughter attended was great. As a matter of fact, my wife and I volunteered at the school at least once a month if not more for both years that she attended. She had great teachers and staff who cared about her well-being, but we did not agree with every philosophy and idea being shared. We did not agree with Harry Potter and Halloween parties. We did not agree with some of the music choices that was played. Although it was probably the best decision at the time for the teachers, we did not agree with penalizing the entire class over the misbehavior of a few.
As our daughter learns from her parents, she can….. wait a minute. I cannot type that sentence and just rush by it. Let me explain.
As home school parents, my wife and I are the teachers in our school. I don’t just let mom do everything. I’m my children’s dad. I matter. I have things I can teach and show my son and daughter that are meaningful. I don’t just expect my wife to teach them everything they need to know, while I work. That’s not my belief in homeschooling. At least not anymore. Before we put our daughter into the public/charter school system, my wife homeschooled her. It was the traditional way of homeschooling, where I worked full time and my wife stayed home, managed our home, and taught our daughter. It worked for us then, because my daughter was young, and my wife is a fantastic preschool teacher. When I would come home, dinner would be on the stove about ready and my wife and daughter would tell me about the adventures they had that day. It was great, but there was something missing. The dad component. I thought because of the fact I worked and made it possible for my wife to stay home and teach our daughter, that I was doing my part. I was partially correct in that statement, but there was so much more that I could have done. I could have helped with P.E. time when I got home or on the weekends. As a musician, I could have helped more with music. As a husband and “superintendent” of our home-school, I could have supported the teacher more with supplies, resources, and a sympathetic ear. I could have, I could have, I could have.
It is said the best time to have accomplished something is in that moment. The second-best time is now. Dads are parents. Both parents are teachers. Regardless of whether your child is 2 or 17. Regardless of whether your child is in public school, private school, or home school. Parents are the first teachers for their children. Dads are responsible in teaching things to their children. Not all fathers may be able to take the approach I do. I work a full-time job, run our business away from work, make time to teach my daughter 2 subjects, and co-teach physical education. There are only 24 hours in day and 168 hours in a week. I believe I should do whatever it takes to live for God, support my wife, father my daughter and son, and positively impact my community. So, for me, it takes extra work. It takes waking up early to prepare the assignment for the day. It’s worth it, to get up early to teach my daughter the weekly math assignment on the dry erase board. It’s worth it, to communicate with my wife on how she is doing daily and at our weekly Home School Staff Meetings. It’s worth it for me to be present, connected, and intentional in my role in the lives of my family.
As a father, I make a difference. As a home-school father, I am able to be even more intentional on the difference I am making in the lives of my children. When fathers are connected to their children, the children are healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally. When fathers are involved, their children are less likely to become addicted to alcohol and drugs. As a father, when I am involved, my children do better as students, are more likely to graduate college, and become successful. The impact I have as a father, a man, and as a leader of my home is phenomenal. I make a difference.
I challenge all of us Home School Dads to take it up another level. We can always do something more to raise our level of play. As fathers, husbands, and partners we may be doing a great job, but if you ask our wives or children, they may tell us how much more we can do. If you are a brave soul and ask your wife or child what you can do better, listen. I challenge you.
I challenge you to read to your child one more time than you normally read to them. It doesn’t take much to read an extra time. For some of us dads, that extra time of reading could bring our weekly grand total of reading to 1. For others the total may reach 8. A Harvard University Study said fathers do better when it comes to reading than mom. I challenge you to read to your child no matter what the age.
I challenge you to share a story with your child about your highs and lows of school. What did you like about school dad? What did you not like about it? What were your favorite subjects? Are there any tricks or things you know that you can help your child with in your favorite subjects? I challenge you to share with your child more.
Fathers, let’s raise our game. I could challenge you with more, but if you are still reading at this point, I probably may not be your biggest fan, so I will stop for now. I believe you get my point. Rise to the occasion Home School Dad. I know you are already doing a lot, but the extra you will do bless your entire family.
Oh, let me finish my previous thought from earlier:
As my daughter learns from her parents, she can be free to learn in an unrestricted environment, live her faith freely, and absorb information at her own pace (which quite fast actually). She can be free to listen to Christian music as she works. She can be free to pray in the morning before she begins her lesson or if she is getting stressed out over a new concept. She can pray without scrutiny from her friends and school staff. Home school is awesome because our son and daughter can be free to learn in the method and learning style that best fits them. As a home-school dad, it’s my job to help support that.
In closing, every dad can be a Home School Dad whether in public school or not. Learning just doesn’t happen in school. It happens everywhere. As fathers we get that opportunities to support that or to continually be self-consumed. I’ve been the dad who has been totally self-absorbed once I get home. I like being involved more. It’s a lot more fun and impactful.
D. David Bryant is a devoted husband, father, and entrepreneur. He is a noted fatherhood advocate and keynote speaker who has traveled the nation encouraging fathers and families. He is the author of the book, "And David Danced With All His Might" and creator of an original character named Bozo the H.O.Z.O. the Christian Clown. David is very charismatic and engaging. He has a way of breaking down topics that make sense to the audience he is speaking to whether it is a group of elementary students or a group of incarcerated fathers. To be added to our mailing list to receive more content from D. David Bryant click here. Find out more information about David at www.bryant-enterprises.com and www.bozothehozo.com.