Vote Early and Often!

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 entrée 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!

Family PT
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.

Gourmet Breakfast
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.

Science Experiment
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).

Self Portrait
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!


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22 thoughts on “Vote Early and Often!”

  1. So funny! I will surely share with David. He will be inspired by your role model. Then hit the couch for a Cowboys football game, where he will lecture the children at length in the myriad important reasons we are Cowboys and Michigan fans and why we never want Ohio State to win. (That’s PE at our house)

    (Just kidding, he is a very sweet and helpful husband and dad)

  2. Hymmm. I don’t think I can vote here.[

    But I do love the part about your supporting the true homeschooling partner in your hourse. And I do support your being a praying dad and family.

    And I do love you. Aunt Kate

  3. I thought it was favorite homeschooling dad BLOG, in which case I vote for this one all the way! But I must reserve my favorite homeschooling DAD vote for my very own beloved husband, who actually does all that stuff you wrote about (I’m lying too-but not about the favorite part).

  4. Hee hee. Whatever it takes to get your vote, dear sister-in-law. Your husband is a decent fellow, and I don’t begrudge your favor. :)

  5. That is EXACTLY how our homeschool journey began, and EXACTLY how our days go now. Especially the 4:59am leaping out of bed cheerfully. Congrats!

  6. where is the picture of not your acutal gleaming shed, built by your imposter, er I mean not actual sons and you last summer? :) Curious about that one.

  7. The funny thing, is that we KNOW a homeschooling family, large family, in the Air Force where the Dad actually DOES kick them all out of bed at 4 a.m. to go running…and they DO have family military like chants they call out….he’s a Col. Mike came home and said he had been thinking it would be a good idea…..we boycotted.

    Loved the post. I can only seem to vote once at my house….or I would have voted for each computer (as allowed by the rules, of course). LOL

  8. Please tell Aunt Kate that you don’t have to be a homeschooler to vote. (At least I’ve never seen that in the rules!)

    I’d been my dh up for jr. high science for almost a year. When I mentioned it–yet again–in September, he looked at me like I was nuts. And my dd was horrified. The only solace I’ve found (grin) is that I’m learning a lot more about physics. Uh, like the basics!

    I voted for you this morning, Tim. Kathy should have received some type of nomination too, she truly deserved it too. :)

  9. Har! What a vivid imagination you have! I can just imagine myself leaping out of bed and “quoting an inspirational bible verse for the edification of my wife” at that time of the morning. That edification would be returned via a book (the heaviest available from her nightstand) flying across the room aimed directly at my head. “Morning-averse” is an apt description.

    Love your blog; I’ll be checking in regularly.

    Another Homeschool Dad

  10. Thank you so much for demonstrating to others the role of a homeschool dad. I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only one out here with these high standards.
    You totally have my vote.

  11. Tim, I followed link from Amy’s Humble Musings, and I am sure glad that I did. Your blog made my day. I am just sorry that I have to wait for my dh to come home (with a smile and a gift, of course) to see his reaction.

    I am going to be checking back often.

    Janet, homeschooling mom of 12 (no, really!! We do have 12….but I only homeschool 6 of them, as the others have grown up.)

  12. Hubby thought this was one of the funniest posts he had seen. Maybe because it is so real. He was disappointed that you have to sleep so long.

    I just want to say that are husbands providing financially, leading spiritually and loving our families is such a huge blessing with which we can be extremely thankful! I know I can be free to homeschool knowing that he trusts and supports me.

  13. Thanks for the encouraging post! My husband will be glad to hear that he’s not the only one out there.

    He does play an important role putting up with, er… encouraging me and supporting me. He appreciates the many benefits of homeschooling and lets me know it!

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