Resist on Behalf of Your Children
A number of men have asked me about how to approach the topic of homeschooling with their wives, with the view of getting her agreement. I am a big weirdo so I can't promise any of this stuff will work on a normal woman, but here are some ideas:
0. Make your intentions known and clear in a confident way, make it a foregone conclusion. Make it seem like she would have to convince you to send them to school, rather than you having to convince her to educate them at home.
1. As a dad, have a mindset of liking your kids, you care about them more than anyone in the world is capable of caring about them. You enjoy their company.
2. Homeschooling life will be flexible. There is a lot of fun to be had with your kids on a Tuesday morning that can't be had on a Saturday morning. Even mundane things like grocery shopping, doctor appointments, etc., are easier to manage when your weekdays are flexible.
3. Homework for older kids takes as much time as simply homeschooling the first time around and everyone is tired and grouchy in the evenings.
4. Huge resources are available. You are not going to be cooped up in your house with your kids all the time. You don't have to reinvent the wheel with respect to curriculum. Your kids will have friends their age and their siblings' ages. Any activity school kids do is available to your children.
5. Encourage bonding, breastfeeding, cosleeping. I know not everyone is into this stuff, but maybe it will have the effect of bonding mom and kids and making them want to hang out more into the elementary years. Maybe it won't, I don't know.
6. Reminisce about all the bad experiences you had in grade school, nasty or indifferent teachers, bullying, ghastly diseases. Get her to talk about hers.
7. Be confident about money. Earn as well as you can and act like it's no problem living on one income. Be cheerful in your frugality and cheerful about work.
8. Homeschooling is economical. You can avoid the cost of living in a top school district or the cost of a private school.
9. Be supportive of your in-laws, if they are supportive. There should be no doubt that you are the man of the house. If your wife is going to be home with the kids, having her mom or sister, or someone there for a few hours a couple times per week could make a big difference. For a stay at home mom of elementary age kids, a trip to the grocery store alone is kind of a big deal.
10. The facts are on your side. Homeschooled kids do very well in life. They get accepted to great colleges and have very good outcomes in all areas of life.
11. Tell her she is smarter than any public school teacher you have ever met. Before they reach school age, why should minimum wage third worlders take care of her kids while she slaves away in some office?
12. It can be hard to be with small children all the time, people talk about needing more intellectual stimulation. To me, the best thing can be a short change of scenery. Be sympathetic on this stuff with your wife but don't get carried away with it either. Kids grow up fast and they get easier to look after. There will be stretches that are tougher than others, if the kids are throwing up, or a few nights in a row of bad sleep. In those cases, pitch in however you can. If your wife is chronically overwhelmed then something systematic needs to be addressed.
13. You get better at things if you practice them. Nothing can really prepare you for becoming a parent, and the same is true of homeschooling, but in both cases, you get a lot of on the job training. Build up routines and you will get better at them the longer you stick it out.
I welcome any comments or questions you have.
(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart