A homeschool works best when one parent can be dedicated to the effort while the other fills the essential support roles. Because homeschooling requires such a major time commitment, the person who doesn't have a full-time career outside of the home is typically the person who carries the bulk of the load in terms of planning and running the homeschool. However, a homeschool will benefit significantly from the enthusiastic participation of a spouse. To be the supporting part of the homeschool team, the spouse can do the following:
- Encourage. If there is one thing that every homeschool manager needs, it is encouragement. When you are slogging through what can sometimes be a daily grind of homeschooling, it is important to have someone to encourage you along the way. When enmeshed in the details, it can sometimes be difficult to see the progress that is being made. A spouse can encourage the homeschool manager by recognizing this progress and being the homeschool manager's cheerleader to help get through the inevitable rough spots that occur for every homeschooler.
- Support. In the best scenario, the spouse of a homeschool manager will provide the financial resources needed to run the homeschool. Support, however, doesn't stop there. The spouse can also support the homeschool by helping make some of the many decisions that are required to run a homeschool. The spouse can also support by just listening when the homeschool manager needs to share frustrations or joy about what is happening. And because everyone needs a day off now and again, the spouse can also take over the homeschool once in a while to give the manager a break.
- Be involved. A homeschool will work best when the spouse who isn't managing the homeschool is still involved with it in a significant way. There are many ways a spouse can be involved even if they aren't the primary teacher or manager. For example, the spouse can help make curriculum decisions. Or, the spouse can teach topics outside of the "normal" school time. Of course, just as with a traditional school education, students need help with their work from time to time a spouse can be really helpful by being available to assist students with their work.
- Do special projects. The best homeschools include a variety of activities, such as field trips, projects, and so on. A supportive spouse can be helpful by taking on some of these short-term activities. For example, a spouse can arrange and lead a field trip. Or, a spouse can plan a home project with the idea of incorporating it into school activities.
|Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://quepublishing.com/title/0789732777 to order your own copy.|