336 | Friendly Advice to the Homeschooling Father (Sean Allen)

336 | Friendly Advice to the Homeschooling Father (Sean Allen)

Show Notes:

A new homeschool year is upon us and there may be no better time to speak to all the homeschooling dads out there. As most of you recognize, your wife is doing critical work. In fact, few other occupations in the world can compare with it. Why, then, do we as husbands find it so difficult to be involved in it? This episode of the Homeschool Solutions Show is my humble attempt to address all the husbands of homeschooling households out there in the hopes that they will take a more active interest in the education of their children and provide the support that their wives so desperately need throughout the coming school year. (Note: In no way am I attempting to shame anyone here. These are things that I often need to be reminded of myself).

Host biography

Sean Allen is the founder of The Well Ordered Homeschool, husband to his beautiful bride Caroline and a proud father of eight. He has a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and is passionate about creating materials to assist parents in the incredibly challenging, yet surpassingly beautiful, work of schooling and training their children at home.


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Show Transcript:

Sean Allen [00:00:05] Hello and welcome to another installment of the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Sean Allen and I am one of the many hosts that we have on the podcast. Each week you'll hear from one of us as we talk about this busy and blessed season of educating our children at home. And while the title of the podcast is Homeschool Solutions, it should come as no surprise to you that we do not have the answer to every question related to homeschooling. However, it is our hope that each episode will encourage you to look upward and seek the counsel and direction of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, as we endeavor to train our children in the way they should go. We're so glad that you decided to join us today. Before we get started I'd like to take a moment to thank our sponsor. The sponsor of this episode of the Homeschool Solutions podcast is Medi-Share. Medi-Share is an affordable and biblical health care alternative. We invite you to find out more at MyChristianCare.org for their ongoing support of homeschooling families just like yours. With that, let's dive into today's episode.

[00:01:13] Well, hello, this is Sean Allen. I will be your host today on another episode of the Homeschool Solutions podcast. Thank you for joining us today. I'm glad that you're here. If you're anything like us, you are getting ready for the new school year gearing up. I think my wife is just about two weeks out and we're going to get started in earnest. Some of you school year round and others, if you are like us, you're just getting going. So I think this is a very good time for me to address a particular group of individuals that I would hope—and surely many of them are—would be involved in the homeschooling effort in your home. Of course, I'm speaking to the fathers and to the husbands. That's my focus for today's episode is to speak directly to them.

[00:02:15] I don't imagine that there are many men that listen to this podcast--I'm not saying that there aren't any, surely there are some--but most of you are probably women who are listening to my voice. If that's the case, I want to start out off on the right foot by saying this is not intended to be derogatory, it's not intended to tear anybody down or to discourage anyone. That's not my intent at all. Actually, if you hear anything over the course of this podcast that you think might be helpful to your husband in any way, I hope that you would couch it in that way--that you would present it to him in that way, and not in the sort of way that says, "Ah-ha! I told you so." Or, "I never get any help from you so why don't you listen to this guy? He's going to sock it to you." No, it's not it's not like that at all. Most of the things that I'm going to say today have either been said to me or I've said to myself, or I continue to need to hear over the years. Let's face it, we are men, we're human, and we forget. We've got a lot of other responsibilities that we're trying to tend to and so it's easy for us to push things off of our plate that we don't think are necessarily our primary responsibility--let's just put it that way. I'm not trying to excuse my own kind, nevertheless, there it is. Probably many of you out there are feeling this as well, perhaps that you're just not getting the help or the support or even the understanding that, perhaps, you want. This message is for you, but more specifically to your husband. Again, I don't want to be harsh against anyone. That's not my purpose. So please don't take this in that way. I hope that they'll be more like gentle reminders, I guess. That's my hope at least. Let's go ahead and get started with just a few things that I would like to say to the husbands, and again, I'm saying these things to myself as well. The first question that I would probably ask--that I would pose to the men out there, the homeschooling fathers, would be: "Where would you be without your wife's support?" It's a good question to ask yourself when you consider the role that your wife has taken upon herself to educate your children. I also want to be very clear--I want to emphasize that as well, that your wife is educating your children. So this isn't like your wife washing your car or your wife mowing the lawn--as much as you might appreciate those things if she were to do that. These are your flesh and blood, and all that entails. All the meaning and the gravitas and the value and the significance--there are so many other words that we could use--that's wrapped up in your children and how important of an endeavor that is. There's not a there are not enough descriptive terms that we could throw at it that could do it justice. It's such a wonderful and amazing thing. The privilege that we have been given by God to be able to raise our children, that's an enormous amount of responsibility to place on anybody. So if you could think of it in those terms, you know, what is it exactly that your wife is trying to accomplish on a day to day basis? I've said this many times over the few podcasts or episodes that I've hosted is we oftentimes tend to negate precisely what it is that we're doing here. It's easy to get bogged down in the particulars and to forget that we're raising human souls. We're assisting God in raising a human soul. Sometimes that gets obscured when they're sick and they're throwing up all over your carpet; when they're destroying your possessions; when they're screaming and whining and complaining; when they're doing everything within their power, so it seems, to keep you from getting your much needed rest; when you're engrossed in the minutia of life it's easy to forget precisely what it is that we're doing here. I think for men, a lot of times we easily get bogged down in that. I think women are better equipped to handle a lot of those things. Maybe it's because they have more patience, I don't know exactly, but they seem to have more of a nurturing nature; so even though they get taxed and worn out and frustrated and all of those things that are endemic to a woman's response to a lot of these difficulties, they seem to bounce back a little. That's been my experience, at least. They bounce back more quickly. It's almost as if they have a very short memory, in that sense. I think that also would apply to even just the act of giving birth. That's also very scriptural, obviously, that the turmoil that a woman has to go through to bring a child into this world and then she forgets it for cause of the joy that she receives the moment that she's able to to scoop that little baby up into her arms, it's almost as if it entirely passes from her mind. I'm not saying that that's always the case, but within a short period of time she very nearly forgets or at least we could say that the joy overwhelms the sorrow and the pain. That's also what enables her to do it a second time or a third time or a fourth time. It's just really a remarkable thing. I think this also applies to raising children. Men, on the other hand, we have long term memories when it comes to a lot of these inconveniences. It's almost like that's front and center with us. So men have the luxury, I suppose you could say, when we're speaking about raising children. At the very least, they have the luxury of stepping outside of the household, in many instances, and going about their workaday lives apart from from the goings on within the home and then they then they step back into that later in the day. Now, I know that the pandemic has upended that arrangement in many respects, and I know that some of you may work from home. I'm one of those who work from home so I'm in the midst of it all the time, and I don't want to get dragged down into that, but it's a very unique dynamic there. But traditionally speaking, men step away from that and they like stepping away from it because it really taxes their mental capacity, it taxes their patience. They feel that they could be better used or they would better serve the family by going and doing some yard work or working on various household projects or just going out and making money. With all that being said, your wife probably needs your support, and surely you've thought of this. I hope that you're not one of the men who have tried to very neatly and tidily compartmentalize your roles and your responsibilities like, "This little subset of of responsibilities are mine, they're exclusively mine, and then you have your exclusive set of responsibilities. Let's not overlap these things. I'll do my part, you do your part, and we'll leave each other alone." I want to say that in a healthy relationship or a healthy marriage, it doesn't really work like that. You need each other for everything. Everything that you're doing, you need each other. Now, that doesn't mean that one isn't predominantly responsible for carrying out a particular task over the other. I'm not saying that. You still need each other's support. Where would you be without your wife's support? Where would you be even in your work life without her support? Say you're coming home and you're confiding in her about the woes and the struggles and the difficulties that you experience on a daily basis at your work and you need a sounding board, you need somebody to talk to and need her support. How valuable is that support that you receive from her? Well, it's just as important from you towards her. She needs that as well. She needs that sense that you do care and you're there for her and you're listening and you're concerned and you're interested in how this very critical area of your family life is going. She needs to know that, she needs your support.

[00:11:22] We're going to talk about some more specific ways in which you can show your support to her a little later on. The other thing I would say is put yourself in her shoes. You have done this from time to time and it's not very comfortable, probably, you'd have to admit. It's not comfortable trying to do what she does. So here's the thing about growing into maturity--we were all children once, that much is obvious, we at one time knew what it was like to be childish and to act as a child and to enjoy childish things, but we've put those things away, haven't we? We've grown out of that. My wife and my children say that there's still a little child buried in me and that ten year old Sean will never die. That may be true, but nevertheless, I have grown to the point where there's a lot of childish things that--I don't know how else to put it, but they just kind of grate on you, don't they? Now there's moments when you see such beauty and such innocence in your children that brings you so much joy, but then there's other things that just-- let's be quite honest, how long exactly could you and I spend playing dolls or blocks or monster trucks or little farm tractors on the ground with your little boys? I mean, that's got a short shelf life with me, I don't know about you. Again, it's the burden of life that is constantly clawing at you. You're thinking there as you're sitting on the floor, playing with your children, that as enjoyable as that may be for a moment eventually you're going to be thinking to yourself, "I've got all these other things that I could be doing and I should be doing. They're very pressing and if I don't do these things my life is going to spin out of control. I need to get up off this floor and get to it." And that's the point at which childishness grates at maturity. Well, that's all fine and good for you, but put yourself in your wife's shoes. She immersed in that all day long, every day and she can't leave. She can't go anywhere. There's nowhere for her to go to escape that. You and I, on the other hand--speaking for myself, who again, I work from home--I oftentimes catch myself trying to find a way to excuse myself from having to change a diaper or to dress someone or brush their teeth or put them down for a nap or what have you. Now, if things are going to run smoothly, I think someone should be in charge of that predominantly, but we all need help and your wife can't do it alone. The more children that you have, the more evident this becomes. I think that we find a way, don't we? We we drum up little excuses as to why we're not available or even we try to convince ourselves that that's not even in our lane. I want to stay in my lane and you stay in your lane, you change the diapers and I don't have anything to do with that. That's just one example. But put yourself in her shoes. Why are you trying to avoid changing your children's diapers? Why are you trying to avoid feeding your little two year old? Why are you trying to avoid getting them dressed in the morning? Or why are you trying to avoid even sitting down at the table if you have opportunity to help with a homeschool assignment? Why are you trying to avoid that? That's because childishness grates on maturity. Now you've grown to the age where you've moved on to mature things, but put yourself in your wife's shoes. When is it exactly that she gets to make an excuse to escape these things, to get away from them? It's not easy. So, again, I want you to consider the fact that we oftentimes are so apt to want to find these excuses or to find a way out of these childish responsibilities than to extend that over or project it onto your wife. She feels that way, too, but she doesn't have a choice many times. She doesn't have any other option. There's nowhere for her to go. Help her out. Help her out. Give her a break. Believe me, she needs it. She needs it. Maybe not right now as you're gearing up for the year or for those of you who have taken the summer off your wife is probably pretty excited about the new school year. That's wonderful. And many of the children, I know my children are. As the year drags on, it gets later in the year, they're like, "Oh, homeschool. I don't know if I could do this anymore." But at the beginning of the year, everybody's like, "Yay, let's go!" They have that strength and that excitement, but as the year drags on that excitement begins to wane and your wife needs a break. She does. She needs recharge. She needs help. She needs somebody that's operating largely outside of that sphere to step back into it and to provide some strength and some uplift that she probably desperately needs. So the next thing I want to say is that--I want to say this on behalf of your wife, I hope that she'll give you permission to say this--is that your wife needs you to give her your blessing, whether you're there or not. She needs that. So, obviously, if you're homeschooling I trust that you've both come to an agreement that this is what we're doing. This is a mutual decision that you've made on your part. I'm sure that there are those out there that maybe one spouse or the other is not entirely on board, but I'm speaking to those who have made a mutual decision. Yes, we've come together. Yes, we've sized up the situation. Yes, we've determined that this is the best thing for our family to do. Now is not the time for you, husband, to step outside of the picture. I would hate for you to have just given permission, "Yeah, go ahead. Do it. I mean, homeschool. Fine," and then just disappeared and expected that she is going to almost entirely shoulder the complete burden of homeschooling. I hope that's not the case with you. I hope that she feels as if she has your blessing in the beginning and that all throughout the journey she has your blessing. She needs to hear that and she needs to feel it--that you approve of what she's doing, the job that she's doing. Now, if you don't, for some reason or another, obviously, it's time to have a conversation. You need to explain that to her. Oftentimes those conversations can get a little sketchy, because at times when I've attempted to have those conversations she's--and very rightfully so--she's kind of shot back with, "Well, you have no idea what you're talking about, do you?" So you got to be careful with that. Again, you're the head of the household. That's where God puts you. If you do not approve of the job that your wife is doing in schooling your children, you need to say something about it. You need to say it as respectfully as possible. Outside of that, your wife, as the head of the household, desperately needs to receive your blessing. And if that's on a daily basis, so be it. Certainly on a weekly basis. Don't go a whole year--and your wife is sitting over there and she's wondering, "I wonder what he's thinking about. Does he even care?" She might come to you and say, "Well, what do you think?" And you're like, "Well, honey, why do I need to say anything to you? I thought the fact that I'm not saying anything should communicate to you that I have implicit trust in your decisions and the way..." For most women, that's not going to fly. She's going to need to hear it and she's going to need to feel it. One of the most wonderful things that you could do is to check in on her and ask her how she's doing. How are things going? What's working? What's not working? And then what can I do? Is there anything at all that I can do for you now? I know that that sounds idyllic, but it's not unreachable. It's not unattainable. It really only can come from a husband whose heart is truly in tune to the work that's going on in his home. Again, these are your children, for heaven's sake. You ought to have a very robust interest in what's going on and how this whole educating business is going. You ought to have an interest in that. She needs to feel that you're concerned. She needs to feel that you're interested. You could do that in so many ways, but the easiest way, the most obvious way, would just be ask her. Talk to her. Asking questions is a sign of interest. I want to know. I'm really wondering. Now, it might not amount to anything much more than that, but for a lot of ladies that's going to be enough for her. And there are other ladies who are going to want more attention than that. You're going to know that better than I would. But I would suspect that most women, 99% of women, are going to want to have that sense from their husband that you're bestowing your blessing upon what she's doing and you approve of it. That is such a great strength, because homeschooling gets lonely. It's bleak out there sometimes. I think about all these public school teachers and--I don't wanna be too harsh or anything like that--they've got a lot of sounding boards, I would like to think. They've, got their administrators and they've got other teachers and they've got lots of resources out there and teacher conferences and whatnot. I'm not saying that can't be lonely too and very difficult that it's own respect, but when you're a home schooling mom, it's just you. You're the only one and the only person that you can converse with in the middle of the day is a four-year-old and a six-year-old and a ten-year-old. That gets that gets lonely. I'm not suggesting that she doesn't delight in it and that her heart is not fully committed to it, but she needs something a little more robust in that. There's no better place that that could come from than from her husband. So give her your blessing, whether you're there or not. Another thing, this is very closely connected to this, give her all the support that you can. That might sound like the same thing, but this is maybe a little more orthopraxy. The last one was orthodoxy, if you will. This is more pragmatic. This is more rubber meets the road kind of stuff. I've already said check up with her daily. This is a simple little act that you can perform every day that would probably mean the world to your wife: check up daily with her, check up on the troops, too, check up with your children and see how they're doing. Ask them how their day went, ask them what's going good. What subjects are you enjoying? What subjects are you not enjoying? What are some of the things that you are looking forward to on a daily basis? What are some things that you're learning? All sorts of things like that. You're the superintendent, of sorts. You're the principal, if you will. Go in there and check in on them and see how they're doing. Your wife will just--if you're not doing that, she will just absolutely adore that because that's giving her the support that she needs. She needs to know that someone is there backing her up and supporting her in her role, and that if she fails and that if she struggles and that if she's suffering from time to time, that there's somebody behind her that will lift her up--that's you! There is a blessing that comes from the fact that you are able to step outside of that sphere and garner the strength that she can't otherwise receive. You can come and lift her up. There's a beauty in that arrangement. This is also your opportunity to adjust some attitudes, if you will. I think most of you probably know what I'm talking about because as the year goes on, day after day after day, you're getting further into the school year and it's getting harder. It's like a tractor pull. Since I'm talking to the men, I think you probably know what I'm talking about there. The further you drive in a tractor pull the higher that sled with the weight in it gets up on the wagon, and the heavier it becomes the more diffcult it is to pull. Eventually the tractor just stops because they can't pull the weight anymore. Homeschool years are like that. You'll recognize that as you go deeper into the school year, you need to make more attitude adjustments. Here's one of the weaknesses with home schooling that I would say--there are some weaknesses, I just want to admit to that--with regards to public school or in comparison to public school, and that is that there's a lack of accountability. What I mean by that is, when you--and this is coming from a public school kid--when you're surrounded by lots of peers your own age there's a competitive quality to that. So when you're in class and you see somebody to the left or the right of you, they're trying to get good grades, they're trying to bring in good reports and whatnot. There's a competitive spirit to that. Not everybody taps into that and not everybody capitalizes on that, but it is one of the things that helps to drive students forward. There's a lot of other peer pressure source from other areas in public school that is largely absent from homeschooling, I'm sure you recognize that. They're surrounded by their siblings, and here is my teacher who also happens to be my mother and on any given day I can pick and choose how I want to recognize her. "Well, I'm going to start recognizing her as mom and not my teacher." That gets really old really fast. And there you might get into a particular kind of arrangement where your children are making it especially difficult on her, and they're living with her day after day after day, and they're going to start to pick up on her weaknesses and her frailties and what buttons they're able to push to kind of get their way. And again, it gets bleak. It gets lonely out there.

[00:26:14] And so it's good for there to be someone who can step in and back her up and not allow any kind of disrespect to take place. That's something that you need to really jealously guard, and she needs your help in that area too. If you get the sense that your children are disrespecting her in her role and what she's trying to do, you've got to—as Barney Fife would say—nip it in the bud. You've got to nip it in the bud. And it's okay to come down hard on that. I hope you don't misunderstand me when I say that, but be swift about it. Be decisive with it. Send the message to them that this will not be tolerated. Because the more you let that go on, the more swiftly her will to continue through the school year will erode. And I'm not saying she's going to give up. I'm not saying she's going to throw in the towel. But there are few things that are more corrosive to the woman's will—I guess you would say—to continue in this endeavor that a sense of a lack of respect from her children, particularly her older ones.

[00:27:29] I don't know if you know this about children, but children are very— they can be very insightful at times, and they're very sensitive to these things. And so when you're doing math and when you're doing science and when you're doing any other subject that they might not particularly care for, and they're going to try to find every little loophole that they can to get out of it, and they're going to start to pick at your wife's weaknesses. And I'm sure you've recognized this. I don't think I'm really saying anything that you don't already know, but I'm just I'm just throwing these things out here. As a reminder, you're going to start to pick at your wife's weaknesses. The point is that they want to wear her down, but they don't really want to wear her down because if they really knew what that was going to result in— the tears, just the angst and the frustration and the sorrow— I think if they could really see where it was going to bring her, they'd probably stop. But in their minds, they're thinking— all they could see is I just got to get out of this math because I don't see any point in doing it anymore. You can't let that happen.

[00:28:36] I mean, the first moment that you recognize that or she comes to you and says something to you about that, you've got to support her. Do not tolerate disrespect. Do not tolerate that. So not only does she need to feel as if there's someone behind her backing her up that she can turn to if she needs to, your children need to feel that too. You may not be there, but there needs to be a pervasive sense in your homeschool that Dad has Mom's back and he's serious about it. I'm not asking you to be cruel or overly harsh or to scream their heads off or anything like that. But you can send a message in a very definitive way that cannot be mistaken that I am here for your mother and I will not tolerate disrespect. That's very, very critical. I can't help but imagine that she would greatly appreciate that as well. And it strengthens her throughout the day. It strengthens her efforts to help to embue your children with a better attitude.

[00:29:41] And good character is such a critical part of this. And so we talk about all of the various subjects that you're trying to educate your children in from year to year. But the most critical subject is character. And character is the queen of all the subjects, I believe. Because if you've got sound character, it benefits every other discipline. If you've got a child with a good attitude and with a good work ethic, they're going to go so much further in their math and their science and their history and everything else, for that matter. And so they need a good attitude. They need sound character. And no doubt your wife is trying to instill those virtues in them on a daily basis. That's one of the greatest beauties of homeschooling that you can accomplish both of those things at once.

[00:30:32] So that brings me to the last thing that I want to say, because I don't want to go on too long today. The last thing— this is a very practical thing. And again, it's nothing new or nothing stupendous, but help your wife plan. Help her make a plan. I have recognized this in my wife. I feel that she desperately wants me to be involved in the planning and the curriculum discovery and what exactly direction are we going to go this year and what company are we going to research in order to find the right curriculum for this particular subject and so on and so forth.

[00:31:12] And I want to be honest with you. I want to speak from the heart here. It does not really resonate with me like it does with her. It just doesn't. And I feel bad about that. I wish it were different, but really what it amounts to is I need to try harder. You just got to try harder because, again, I'm going to go back to the list here. Where would you be without your wife's support? Put yourself in her shoes. Give her your blessing whether you're there or not, and give her all the support that you can. Because what she's trying to do is unspeakably important. And there's no way you can justify just totally disappearing and leaving it entirely to her. You can't. There's no excuse for that.

[00:31:56] And so one of the things that she has to go through each and every year is the planning phase. And she's gathering resources and she's on websites and she's reading reviews and she's talking to her friends and she's going to conventions and perhaps listening to this podcast, I don't know. And she's trying to figure it out. She's doing all this research, she's making the necessary comparisons. And the reason is that she doesn't want to make a mistake. It doesn't matter if she's been doing this for many years. There's still this nagging concern in the back of her mind that she's going to mess it up, she's going to make a bad decision. She's going to waste all this time and she's going to think, "Oh, I should've went with the other curriculum," or "I should have taken so-and-so's recommendation, but I felt like this would be a better path forward, and now here we are stuck with this thing."

[00:32:48] And she's also concerned about spending too much money or wasting your money, and then you're going to get upset at her because you're buying too much curriculum or the wrong curriculum. And because, again, you're just looking at it from a standpoint of there's a lack of understanding there. There's a lack of understanding of the lengths that she's gone to to get this right. And she doesn't want to waste your money and she doesn't want to waste your or her time. And she certainly doesn't want to see her children suffer because there's no there's no roadmap. There's no one size fits all curriculum that she could apply to your very unique family. She's trying hard. She has to go through the planning stage. And that is a lot of work. I've seen it. You've probably seen it. And there's just untold hours that go into the planning phase, and it happens every year. And the planning phase never really goes away. Oftentimes, she's still engaged in the planning phase throughout the year. She's swapping out curriculums or she's trying something new. And certainly at midway into the second semester, she— again, there's just the planning is ongoing. She needs you to help her with that.

[00:34:08] Help her as much as she's willing to allow or as much as she needs. You're not going to do everything. You may not do very much at all. But here's a thought: take an annual weekend and just sit and plan. Take her somewhere. Go to a hotel, go away for the weekend, go somewhere, go to a bed and breakfast, go to an Airbnb or something like that. Go plan. Go to a homeschool convention. And I know I keep shamelessly plugging homeschool conventions, but I see that a lot. You know, there are a lot of couples that are walking around. They don't have any children with them. They've taken two and a half days. They do it once a year. They go to a convention. We're going to go listen to the speakers. We're going to go peruse the curriculum hall and we get ready for the new year.

[00:34:58] And she doesn't need you to know everything. She doesn't need you to know the difference between AOP and Abeka. She doesn't need you to know that. But if you show an interest in it, if you ask her questions, if you just go with her from booth to booth, that's going to do wonders for her, provide even the opportunity for her or clear the space, the ground, clear the ground for her to be able to actually implement— or first of all, form a plan and then implement the plan. That's such a blessing. And that shows to her, again, that she has your blessing and that she has your support and that you are there for her when you can be there for her.

[00:35:46] Because I know it's important for you to make money and to provide for your family. That's wonderful work. But raising your children is just as important, if not more so. It's right up there with the tip top responsibilities that go on in your home. So I don't know that you can place one above the other, but they're all incredibly important. I'm not trying to diminish what you're doing. You do have that responsibility and God has given that to you. And I'm sure that you're not trying to shirk that. But nevertheless, what your wife is doing is equally important.

[00:36:22] I know that there are some homeschooling dads out there that exclusively homeschool their children and my hat is off to you. But I'm specifically speaking to those fathers who are primarily the breadwinners for their family, and their wife primarily the homeschooling parent. I'm speaking to you. So just help her plan. Find a way. And if the better way for her to plan would be to spend a weekend with her friends doing that or going to a women's encouragement weekend or something of that sort, again, carve out the space. Say, "I'll take the children. I'll watch the children Friday, Saturday, Sunday," or whatever it might be. "And you can go off and you can get re-energized and have some time to make a plan. Pull out your Well-Ordered Homeschool planner—" another shameless plug. "Pull out your Well-Ordered Homeschool planner and get everything situated for the year. That's such a blessing.

[00:37:23] So those are the things that I want to say to you. I hope that they're not— I hope that you don't take them the wrong way. And, of course, I don't know who's on the other end listening. I can't possibly be speaking to anybody specifically. I have no doubt that there are many homeschooling fathers out there that are wholly committed. They probably do everything on this list, and I know that I'm striving to be that dad or to be that husband. But I struggle and I'm weak, at times, and I'm selfish. And so these are the things that I need to be reminded of from time to time. I'm guessing that there are a few of you out there that do as well. I hope that's what this is essentially to you, is a reminder. It's a gentle reminder to you to encourage you to take a good hard look at what your wife's trying to do and all that that entails. And if you haven't been home while your wife is homeschooling, you really can't form a decent idea about everything that goes on or the stress or the the labor, the intense labor that goes into that.

[00:38:38] And you might be thinking to yourself, "Oh, I mean, well, you know, how hard could it be? I mean, we're talking about three year olds here." Well, you know, six year olds, seven, whatever. Try it sometime. Try it. Take a few days off and just observe. I know that when I was in public school, the principal used to peruse the classrooms from time to time, and he sat in the class. And you were—interestingly enough—you were always on your best behavior. The teacher would sometimes even give us a warning, like "The principal's going to be coming around. He's going to be sitting in this class and seeing how we do." And you're just like, "Ooh." Everything buttoned up real tight then. And so if you don't feel like you know— because I got my eyes opened when I came home from work. I thought I knew, but once I came home and started working from home, I realized I don't know much of anything. I'm really just kind of a blowhard at times when I talk about this stuff. But now I know. I can see it and I can appreciate the work that my wife does. And I can see that she needs my support. She needs my blessing as much as I'm able to give.

[00:39:40] So God bless each and every one of you as you enter into this new school year, both mothers and fathers. I wish you all the very best. And, again, I can't say it enough. I'm so thankful for what you're doing. And I am just— just let me say again: carry on. Carry on in this critical work. And I trust that as we do this together, even though we're very much apart as far as geographically apart, but we're very much together in the work of educating and rearing our children at home. And I trust that the Lord is blessing us as we do. So thank you for your time and attention, and we will talk to you again soon. Bye for now.

[00:40:21] Thank you for joining us this week on the Homeschool Solutions podcast. If you're looking for show notes and links to all of the resources mentioned in the episode, you could find them at Homeschooling.mom. If this episode resonated with you, we invite you to subscribe to the podcast and share on social media. Please use the tag @homeschoolingdotmom on Instagram. Also, we would be so grateful if you left us a positive review on iTunes. This helps our show to grow and it also helps other homeschooling parents like you find this great resource. And lastly, have you joined us at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions? The Great Homeschool Conventions are the homeschooling events of the year, offering inspirational talks from outstanding speakers, hundreds of workshops covering today's top parenting and homeschooling topics, and the largest homeschool curriculum exhibit halls in the U.S. find out more at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com. We would love to see you there, but until then, you can find us every week right here on the Homeschool Solutions Show podcast. Goodbye for now.

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