The Importance of the Homeschool Dad – Part 1

Editor’s Note: This month, in honor of Father’s Day, we’re turning over our article spot to a homeschool dad! We hope you enjoy this series and that it sparks some great conversations in your home.

If you are anything like me, it can sometimes seem a little confusing how we, the dads, fit into the magical homeschool brew we see before us day-in and day-out.  And if you are nothing like me, you’ve had this all figured out from day one and are a homeschool dad champ.  Congrats!  You may move along and go back to polishing your Father of the Year trophy.  No, not that one, the other one, on the left.  No, the far left.  There you go.  That trophy case looks great, by the way.

If you find yourself more lost than not, let’s go on a journey together.  Brad, if you haven’t grabbed the trophy polish yet, maybe you’d like to come along in case we get lost?  Thanks buddy!

Some of you might be thinking, “But Brent, I have a full-time job working outside of the house.  My wife is home with the kids  Doesn’t it make sense that she handles all of the homeschool stuff?  She takes care of the kids, I work to provide for my family.”

“Great point!” I might reply, somehow perceiving your thoughts and responding telepathically.

You do bring up an interesting phrase: providing for your family.  I assume you mean providing financially.  Super important part of the father’s role, no argument there.  But did you know there are more and sometimes more important ways you need to provide for your tribe?

It is your job as a father not only to provide financial security, but also to ensure spiritual, emotional, and physical needs are met and cared for.  I was shocked the first time I heard that.  I’ve watched enough 90’s era sitcoms to know that going to work for a paycheck, then being a bumbling idiot the rest of the time pretty much summed up fatherhood. Got a job?  Check!  Now excuse me while I get back to my According to Jim reruns.

Then perennial Dad of the Year winner and Fatherhood G.O.A.T., Brad, taught me the importance of the other means of provision, and how they can actually all relate to and be implemented in the homeschool rhythm. We’ve done a great job as a society realizing our talents and abilities and outsourcing where we lack.  Unfortunately, we’ve outsourced essential functions of fatherhood.

Provision for my family’s spiritual needs?  That’s what my pastor and youth pastor do on Sundays (in an hour-long gathering with hundreds of other people – on the weeks we can make it).

Provision for my family’s emotional protection and needs? Emo-what?  Sounds girly.  Wifey, can you handle this one?

Provision for my family’s physical protection and needs? Oh!  I’ve got this one!  There’s a Louisville Slugger in the corner that will find the temple of any intruder! (You say, as you watch Sunday Night Football kick off in a game you really don’t care about, having also watched the 12 o’clock and 4:30 games, and your 6th grader comes in showing you the latest Fortnite dance move he unlocked after countless hours of playing.)

Now, I do not mean to come down so hard on football and Fortnite, but I think you see the point.  You’ve already decided (or are considering) to take back the outsourcing of educating your child(ren).  Let’s now consider taking back the other areas too.

It is our responsibility as fathers to ensure ALL of the protections and provisions our family needs are met.  Look, I can’t speak into everyone’s specific situation.  And what works for me might not work for you.  In fact, a certain amount of outsourcing might be exactly what your family needs to make it all work.  And that is ok!  But know that the responsibility to ensure the needs are met remains with you.

In part two, we’ll look at how the homeschool dad can practically meet our family’s spiritual, emotional, and physical needs, and how we can apply them to the homeschool rhythm.

Thanks, Brad, for coming along, too.  Now back to your trophies!

Brent Zimmerman

Brent is married to his elementary-school-sweetheart, Kyrie, and is the father to an ever expanding number of children through foster care, adoption + the good ‘ol fashioned way. He fancies reading Tolkien + C.S. Lewis, learning about the Bible + riding his scooter to take out the trash. When he’s not climbing a tree with his kids, you can find him helping with math or facilitating their morning midrash discussions and dreaming up ideas for their family’s ministry, Revival Lancaster.

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