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Home > Support > Family Life > Difference in opinions between wife and husband over home schooling...

First, I wanted to thank you for the work that you do in creating such a wonderful curriculum. It is simple and easy to use, and my children love the lessons. Truly, it is a gift from God. In more ways than one!--Please read on! My children are very young, indeed, but they are also prone to being easily influenced by outside forces. This is one reason that I chose your curriculum. It's simple and to the point; basics that my children need. My oldest, who is 7, has attended public school and done very well. He is well liked, a good boy, obedient, and hardly ever causes any trouble. His most recent teacher even admitted, when I decided to pull him out to homeschool, that he was her favorite for just those reasons.

It was exactly because of those reasons that I decided that schooling him at home would be best. He was GREAT at school. And then he would come home and "disturb" our peace by acting out, treating his sister terribly, talk back, and generally just be very difficult to handle. There were times when he even resorted to physical tantrums. He's a very big 7 year old, and I'm a very petite 5 ft 1 inch so it was quite the battle trying to get him to obey about anything, because he took to getting physical and bullying me. I know he is a good boy, and I wanted to protect those things in him and help him to grow. And I desired a good and holy relationship between him and his siblings which I came to feel would be accomplished through schooling him at home and giving the children the opportunity to grow and learn together.

Well, he's been home for three weeks now and it's been really great! The kids are getting along great, he's excelling in his work, eager to learn, and is generally much more pleasant to be around! Not one tantrum! Not one single abusive out burst. We attend ice skating lessons together, home school co-op activities, library time and lots of other things. We've been having a great time. And my son is having the chance to make GOOD friends, whereas while he was in school he was prone to being pushed around and following along behind the "bad boys" because he's easily influenced and bullied.

So what's my concern? Well, despite all these good husband thinks this is the wrong thing to do, (homeschooling that is). And he can't really pinpoint the reason for me which makes me feel really frustrated and defensive. I want to be in agreement with my husband on big decisions, but he is in the military and gone quite a lot, which forces me to sometimes have to make decisions he may not agree with. My husband does not also practice the faith regularly, which often times seems to drive a wedge into things. I've prayed, and prayed, and continue to pray for discernment on this, and keep coming back to the fact that if it's somehow not right....why do we feel so much more peaceful as a family? How can the peace that we are experiencing be wrong? He's even gone so far as to ask my son, (on the phone because he's deployed right now), if he wants to go back to school. Of course he's going to say "yes"! It's what Dad wants! Dad is a super hero! I'm "just" mom. I'm really struggling. I don't want to have this huge thing between my husband and I, but I just feel this is the right thing to do and he's not here to SEE what is going on. Any thoughts would be warmly welcomed! Thanks so much, A Peace Seeking Mother


Dear Parent,

What a tremendous gift peace is in a home! Peace is a gift from God, and it is worth working and praying for.

Your comment that your husband is not at home to see what is going on hits the mark with many homeschooling mothers. You yourself can tell the difference, and your daughters and son can probably tell the difference in your home life. However, your husband's life is spent primarily away from home, and when he is home, you are not usually focused on schoolwork but on enjoying his presence. This situation is difficult for fathers. They rarely get the opportunity to see their children doing the normal home schooling activities. They do not see many of the interactions between mother and child and among the children, so this advantage of homeschooling can be missing for them.

Give your husband an opportunity to have some control over the homeschooling. As a father, he wants some control over his household. This is natural, but in cases where fathers are deployed or otherwise employed far from home, they lose nearly all sense of control. This tends to make some fathers want to lay down the law, any law, as long as it's their law. This is how they can attempt to regain control. Yet your husband can regain some control while he is away by teaching his son (and daughters) about what he is learning wherever he is. Assuming he is in a foreign country, he could teach the children some of the language and the customs. 

Be sure to keep him informed about what the children are learning and ask for his advice regarding lesson plans, especially in his areas of expertise. Although I have been teaching and tutoring for a long time, I pay attention to the criticisms, constructive and not so constructive, which I'm given because I can often find something useful to apply. I may not follow someone's idea exactly, but I try to apply it to my students' specific situations.

You might also remind your husband that when he returns, the family will be able to drop everything and spend some quality time with him. If your son were in school, that might not be possible.

Regarding your husband not practicing the faith regularly, remember the advice of Saints Peter and Paul: First Peter 1:1-2 and Philippians 4:4-7.

May God smile upon you,

Sandra Garant 





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