Kathy and I were flattered and thrilled to discover that our blog has been nominated for the 2007 Homeschool Blog Awards, an informal organization of bloggers desiring to promote homeschooling excellence through weblogs.
Click on the image above to vote
|Since both of us write articles for our shared blog, we thought there was a natural fit with the Best Family or Group Blog category — we feel that our collaboration is a key factor in the success and uniqueness of our blog. Besides, Kathy is (by a two-to-one margin) the more prolific author, despite my earlier dominance over our entrÃ©e into the blogosphere. We were not, however, nominated for the Best Family category, and so we take joy in the category for which we were nominated: Best Homeschool Dad Blog.|
There is one very obvious problem: although all five of my children are homeschooled, as Dad, I don’t do a lot of the actual homeschooling. Oh, we started out boldly enough:
Me: “OK, sweetie, if we’re going to homeschool these kiddos, how are we going to go about it?”
Kathy: “Well, I can handle the Bible teaching, language arts, history, geography, spelling and read-aloud curriculum, but I could really use some help in Math and Science.”
Me: “No problem! I can just see it now — the kids and I doing experiments in the back yard, working math problems on the whiteboard, it’ll be great fun!”
Fast-forward with me, eight or nine years:
- Total number of science experiments conducted by Dad: 2
- Total number of math lessons given: 3
It turns out that I was mostly talk. I do help with specific math problems from time to time, and I am fairly vigorous in my role as principal and disciplinarian (especially when I work from home). I’m verbally and financially supportive of Kathy in her role as teacher-of-five, but when it comes down to it, I haven’t made homeschooling instruction a priority, in terms of my own time.
So now we come to the crux of the matter: I’ve been nominated for ‘Best Homeschooling Dad’, but I have minimal credentials supporting such a nomination. Will I have the ethical fortitude to admit this lack, or will I shamelessly promote myself in spite of my inadequacy? You be the judge, as I present this snapshot:
“A Day in the Life of a Homeschool Dad”, by Tim
4:59 am: Dad leaps out of bed cheerfully, a minute before the alarm, quoting an inspirational Bible verse for Mom’s edification. He quickly dresses in shorts, t-shirt and running shoes.
5:02 am: Dad wakes the kids and lead them in a rousing program of calisthenics and a two-mile run around the neighborhood, singing homeschool cadences while the children echo in chorus:
Happy homeschoolers run and think,
they don’t stop to take a drink!
They don’t rest and they don’t slow,
working hard to learn and grow!
Sound off: 1, 2!
Sound off: 4, 8!
Bring it on down: 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024!
Not our actual family.
5:45 am: Everyone hits the showers, the first one clean is appointed sous-chef and selects the breakfast menu. Children work together (under Dad’s benign eye as Chef de Cuisine) to assemble a five-course gourmet confection and serve Mom breakfast in bed on an attractive tray with fresh-cut flowers. The kitchen is cleaned by the tardiest two children.
Not our actual breakfast.
7:00 am: Dad prays with the children, and heads off to work, after distributing writing assignments and reviewing daily coursework lesson plans with each child.
Noon: After finishing his own Bible reading and prayer time, Dad spends his lunch hour editing and grading written assignments (submitted via e-mail) from each child, including an inspirational proverb and an encouraging comment in each response.
4:00 pm: Because of his efficiency at work and in order to demonstrate the priority he places on his family, Dad has arranged shortened work hours with his employer. He bursts through the front door promptly at 4 pm, and is mobbed by laughing children. Hugging each, he dismisses them for a short recess while he talks and prays with his wife (and presents her with a small gift he procured on the way home).
4:15 pm: Dad helps the children assemble the necessary equipment and ingredients for a science experiment and conducts a short lesson in the back yard. If it is raining, the experiment occurs in a gleaming utility shed/lab that Dad and the kids built last summer.
5:00 pm: All the kids and Dad work for an hour in the yard of an impoverished widow down the street, putting their love for God into practice as a service project.
Not our actual science experiment.
6:00 pm: Over dinner, each child reports on the things for which they are thankful, and Dad moderates a short role-playing scenario featuring peer pressure and temptation. Applicable Bible passages are read and discussed. Mom is thanked and praised for the evening meal.
6:45 pm: Dad washes the dishes and cleans the kitchen while the children complete their science projects. He fixes a few loose drawer handles and re-arranges the freezer while waiting for the kids to reassemble.
7:15 pm: Each child takes turns working math problems on the whiteboard while Dad corrects and grades their problem sets. Dad assigns extra work or other punishments to any who have come to Mom’s negative attention over the course of the day.
8:00 pm: Dad reads the Bible to the children and tucks them each into bed, praying with each one individually.
8:30 pm: Mom and Dad discuss the day, their dreams and hopes for their children, and re-connect emotionally.
9:30 pm: Dad sits down to write an insightful blog article about parenting, marriage, homeschooling, or theology, carefully supporting his position with scripture (in the original Greek or Hebrew, of course).
Not my actual profile.
10:00 pm: Dad corresponds with any church leaders or heads of State who may have written to him for ethical and spiritual advice or counsel.
10:30 pm: Mom and Dad go to bed, happily snuggling each other close.
As you now no longer have to imagine, that is exactly how my day plays out (I’m lying). So remember, vote early and vote often (according to the applicable rules, of course), for your favorite Homeschooling Dad!