I have two boys, 3 yr. and 18 mo., that I want to homeschool. With much research and reading, I’ve decided that CM is the best approach for my children and me. I’ve even started the habit training using SCM’s Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook. The problem is my dh, who believes the local public schools are the place to send them, doesn’t even want to entertain the possibility of homeschooling. Although our schools are the best in FL, I don’t believe this is the answer. I believe his primary reason is money. First, the materials will cost money; second, I won’t be going back to work, i.e. not earning more money. Unfortunately, I also believe he has some notion that our children would be social misfits and have a substandard education if they don’t get the “experience” of traditional school – public or private.
Have any of you had this dilemma? How did you resolve it?
Pray:) My dh wasn’t on board w/homeschooling at first. My eldest was about 2 and my other child wasn’t born yet when I started to feel led. He thought that as long as we were in a good school district, public schools were fine…and we lived in the best in the area. I even tried to manipulate the situation by encouraging us to move to a neighboring town where homes and taxes were cheaper (and schools not so good:) Terrible, I know!!!!
But he eventually came around and now is very supportive. We decided to take it on a year by year basis. That can be easier to stomach, since it’s nearly impossible to mess up Kindergarten:) Would you dh be open to at least reading a book? If so, I highly recommend “The Hows and Whys of Homeschooling” by Ray Ballmann. He’s a homeschool dad w/doctorate degrees. He has a forward by Dick Armey, former majority leader in Congress. Chapter Titles include: Winning Over Friends and Relatives to a Point of Understanding, Public Education: retarding America and Imprisoning Potential, Why Homeschooling is the Best Alternative, Common Questions, etc.
You still have a couple years. A lot can happen in that time. I’d try to not be pushy and just casually bring it up, share articles at times, and pray. HTH some, Gina
My dh was mainly against homeschooling in the beginning because he wasn’t exposed to it and had the old attitude where families who homeschooled were isolated. During the past years our dh has gotten to know some homeschool families through our church and opened up to the idea. However, he wanted to send our dc to ps for elementary because we knew many of the students and teachers (most are Christian) and the school has a good reputation. Also, in the back of our minds we saw financial value of my returning to work part time when the children were in school. Dh was also of the mindset that the tradional school “experience” you mentioned would be of benefit to our dc. Last year, when having to make a final decision about our ds beginning his K year, we both prayed….dh leaning more towards ps and me leaning more towards hs. Dh and I felt God’s blessing to send our son to ps this school year, me moreso hesitantly. After one month in ps my dh saw that the traditional school experience was overrated. We do love our son’s K teacher and overall this year has been a positive experience for our ds (having some mild frustrations with ps ways which we know will turn into big frustrations if we continued ps education).
After one month with our son in ps K, I got less content with the idea of sending our children to ps for the long run. I asked questions on this forum and some of the ladies prayed for our family to be led in God’s direction for our children’s education. It was a short time later that dh’s uncomfortableness with the ps system grew and he said I could research homeschooling further. After much research, I presented all my findings as to what curriculum options I liked that would fit into our limited budget, got plugged into the homeschool community around us, and found some extracurricular activities that we can afford. Dh and I prayed again, that time with dh being more educated about homeschool. Now our decision for next year is to start a CM education at home for our ds (6) and our dd (4). It is a blessing that dh is now fully on board with this, as a year ago he would have half-heartedly given the okay if I insisted on homeschool. The Lord has really worked on dh’s heart to bring him the encouragement he needed to go this direction in our lives (no one in our families have homeschooled). With the budget being a big issue, we have chosen to live with less material extras and more faith.
I believe no amount of begging to your dh or preaching all the pro’s of homeschooling can change his mind. I would suggest you lay your heart’s desire before God and ask God help you and dh to have full agreement on these major family decisions. In addition, tell your dh why you want to homeschool and ask him to be open to exploring the opportunity. I pray that his heart opens to considering your desire. If his heart doesn’t open at this time, keep praying and having other mature women pray with you.
Men tend to like hard facts and numbers. You might expose him to some of the scholarly research on the success of homeschooling from Dr. Brian Ray over at the National Home Education Research Institute. Be sure to check out the Research, News, and Store tabs in particular. There’s some good stuff there.
I didn’t read everyone’s responses, but wanted to say that my dh was like this. In fact, almost exactly as you described. My suggestion is to PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY! I was praying about it and within months, my dh met a homeschool family who he just plain fell in love with and also found out two other families in our church had homeschooled up until high school. This really open his mind about it. He was still unsure and we even decided to enroll our oldest ds in a private K program at our church. While it was a great program, our ds did not thrive in that environment at all. We discussed it some more and I said, “Let’s try homeschooling for one year.” He did not want to pull our son out mid-year so we agreed that we would homeschool the following year and see how it went. Well, God opened other doors and we ended up moving that year, so we did pull out son, started homeschooling, and have never looked back. We are finishing up our 2nd full year of homeschooling and he is my biggest supporter now. He’s actually very vocal about homeschooling now and the positives of it.
Prayer is of course the BEST solution… and then there are some gentle ways to expose him. Be sure NOT to nag or make him feel like you are right and he is wrong (trust me – I’m good at doing things the wrong way and not finding success!)
If you know of some “normal” homeschool family at your church have them over for dinner. Husbands like to meet other “cool” dads whose kids are homeschooled.
It doesn’t sound like he’s ready for this, but pray about the opportunity to take him to a homeschool convention. It’s very helpful to see the variety of people that homeschool and also for dads to see all the materials available for homeschooling, this gives them the confidence that their wife CAN teach biochemistry some day (or at least find a way for their kids to learn it!).
Get your financial house in order! If you’re not in debt and are able to save and not stressing about money, it may be easier for him to go with it. I highly recommend resources by Dave Ramsey. You’ve got two years to build an emergency fund and pay off debt and put together a budget that will provide for your kids homeschool needs.
If money is an issue I would research cost more to give him some concrete numbers for curriculum (like a max limit) and then work on your household budget and spending habits. I know that I have a HUGE impact on finances with where I buy our clothes, if we swing by McD’s while out, planning meals well, etc.
Thank you all for responding to my post. It has definitely given me more hope than I felt this morning. Prayer is a strong part of this decision in my life; I was a career woman and always expected to work, so this was a complete change in direction for me at age 40, but this is where God has led me. I will get the book “The Hows and Whys of Homeschooling” by Ray Ballmann. My husband and I read constantly, so maybe I can get him to read if after I do. We’ll see.
As for finances, we have only our mortgage which will be paid off in about 8 years. We’ve already made some significant changes in our lives since the dc were born. As DINKs we pulled in quite a bit – and saved huge amounts for retirement and to pay for college plans for our dc. I only work about 16 hr/week from home now, so the drop in income was significant. I am a software engineer, so my work is very flexible and doesn’t interfere with my being with the kids. I am going to make more changes in my purchasing decisions, so that we can save more now and hopefully the cost of homeschooling won’t seem like such a burden to dh.
Oh, and if interested this article hit home to me when I was considering homeschooling: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1000631,00.html. I kept copies around in case I had detractors:) It’s a bit dated (2001). The homeschool #’s would be drastically higher now. But I thought it interesting that a mainstream magazine like Time would be on the positive side towards homeschooling.
Homeschooling really doesn’t have to cost much. Nowadays, you can download books for free/cheap. I get a lot at used curriculum sales and on used sites. I’d say we spend roughly what it would cost to send the kids to a month of private school and we get a year of schooling. And I could do it much cheaper if I needed to, esp. in the younger years. There are many curriculums/books I find for 1/2 off used and re-sell for about what I paid for them after my youngest is done with them. Good luck w/purchasing decisions. Have you read/heard of Miserly Moms? The author quit her high paying job to be home with her kids but still managed to stay in their nice CA subdivision by making radical changes as far as purchasing, but not really affecting lifestyle. Good luck:) Blessings, Gina
i did not read nor do I have a lot of time… but..
time I sent my children off to school for my oldest 2 years. Each year from pre=pre school of this child I would ask about keeping them home and then one year, before registartion I asked thinking there is no way, I am due to have a baby in Sept, we have 2older school age and 2 younger. But with God’s grace he said yes and has never looked back and only looks further.
So short and simply pray, not push, I only asked 1 time a year and accepted his answer each time humbly.
One thing i do know is that if you try and do it without his blessing it will not work.
When our DD was preschool my dh and I were both of the opinion that the perfect scenario would be a private christian education. For K-5 we sent her off to the best private school in our area thinking that was that!!! Six months later we both couldn’t wait for the year to be over!!! We grew very tired of having to reprogram her thinking every evening. She also was so stressed about test and school work!!! We were concerned with the changes we were seeing in her. She went from being happy-go-lucky preschooler to grumpy, always tired kindergartener. We both realized that we needed to give HS a chance. We are finishing our second year of HS and have no plans of doing anything else. She is back to being her happy-go-lucky self! It took about half of her first grade year to get her to stop stressing out when we did “school”. (This is one of the main reasons we have decided to use CM methods.)
All that to say, if you and your dh can’t come to an agreement I would send them to school and continue to pray. Your dh might not agree with HS now, but a few months of PS might end up changing his mind. It would be much better for your little ones to have Mom and Dad on the same team and spend a few months at school than contention between you and your dh!
BTW- My husband has become a huge advocate for HS in the last few years!!! When I get discouraged he is the one that starts pointing out all the benefits of HS and the progress that our dd is making and what a wonderful job I’m doing, Etc. You definitely want your dh’s backing before embarking on the HS journey!!! Once you have his support, he will be your #1 fan and encourager!!! Just a thought, many HS conventions offer free registration or free workshops to Parents of Preschoolers. Would your husband be willing to attend something like that if it were just to get info??? This would give him an opportunity to see the large HS community and meet HS dads/families.
Another book recommendation: Family Matters by David Guterson. He is a public school teacher and I think the tone of his book would appeal to men in particular. Many “why to homeschool” books have more of a warm, fuzzy emotional appeal and his is very matter-of-fact, get straight to the point.
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who contributed to this discussion. After much prayer, presentation of information, discussions with other homeschooling parents, and conversations between us, my husband agreed to try homeschooling in the fall. I knew he was sincere when he bought me a copy of the CM books for my birthday!
I have talked to him about the CM method, what it entails, and why I think it is the best approach. Recently, he asked me what we were going to do for Kindergarten and why we couldn’t just buy a “kit” that had everything we needed in it because it would be faster and easier. I tried to explain; but I did a poor job. Well, then we got this little notice about the Enjoying the Early Years video. I bought it. I watched it – conveniently while dh was reading his iPad in the same room. He has asked many positive questions over the last few days and seems content with the relaxed plan now, he’s even encouraged by the emphasis on the nature study. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for SCM.
That’s great! It is a wonderful style of learning.
Praises! This is wonderful!
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