View Full Version : Weekly Poll: Do you and your spouse/partner share homeschooling responsibilities?

11-24-2010, 05:59 PM
Tomorrow is a homeschool "vacation day" for us, not just because it is a traditional American holiday, but because the hubster will be home. And strangely, when my husband is around, we tend to want to goof off. ;) My significant other is an obsessive outdoorsman. So, on those rare weekdays when he is off work, we tend to head out into the great outdoors and explore stuff. We take day trips to state parks, hikes near and far, and nature walks almost anywhere, and I've always thought that was just as vital a part of my children's education as the time they spent doing "formal learning." For that reason, even though he isn't drilling them in grammar or checking their Spanish, I still think of him as an equal partner in this adventure.

What about you? How do you feel about the contribution of your spouse/partner in your day-to-day homeschooling?

11-24-2010, 06:29 PM
I do most of the research, planning and obsessing, plus I'm home during the day so most of the responsibilities fall on me. However, DH is always interested in what we're doing, what I'm planning, how our day went, etc and plays an active role that way. If I want help planning something out--a history unit, say--he'll always chime in and always offers great insight. Before DS started taking guitar lessons, I vocally defaulted practice time and supplementary lessons to DH. I'm happy to take him to practice and listen politely but I can't help with the actual practicing and DH has at least a little knowledge in that area under his belt. DS also wants to start taking French, and since DH took French all through university it will default to him as well.

Of course there is so much more to homeschooling than just academics, and DH is absolutely an equal partner in teaching him all manners of things outside of our basic subjects. He is always involved and full of encouragement and 100% supportive. I voted "I do most of the homeschooling, but my spouse/partner occasionally contributes" but now I realize maybe it should have been "My spouse/partner and I share the homeschooling responsibilities equally". :)

11-24-2010, 07:06 PM
I oversee most everything - I pick curricula, I oversee assessment, I carry out most of the nuts and bolts of what's going on day to day. But, dh coaches our DI team with me and he's planning on co-directing our Shakespeare production. He has strange hours and works a strange schedule, so he often takes the kids to activities and knows all our homeschool friends very well. He takes them on field trips pretty regularly. He reads to them often. Also, he's home in the morning, so if we get stuck or I need to run off to take care of something or someone needs individual attention for a few minutes, then he's there and can step in. He's really, to my mind, the perfect homeschool support. :)

11-24-2010, 07:17 PM
I wouldn't say we split it 50/50, but I'd say his help is more than occasional. As in the rest of our life, we each have our responsibilities. He has his strengths & I have mine. I do most of the homeshcooling. I do all the research and have final say on materials. I'm the one that sets the school budget each year, determines if we can afford to go over it, and decides what materials are highest priority to purchase. I do all the planning and most of the teaching/facilitating/guiding.
We split covering Life Skills - I have sole charge of cooking/baking, organizing, child development & care, and sewing; hubby has sole charge of car maint; and we split grilling, yard work, cleaning, woodwork, and home maint.
For Music, I'm in charge of history, appreciation (though he regularly chips in) & singing, and he handles the more practical aspects (like theory & playing instruments).
For Math, we both work with Dea. I've tried giving it over totally to hubby, because he likes Math & did more Math classes in school than I did. He just gets too frustrated with Dea, though. So we have to kind of tag team Math with her. I pretty much do all the Math work with Jay right now, but intend to pass it to hubby once Jay hits Pre-Algebra or Algebra. Since Jay enjoys Math, hubby shouldn't get as frustrated working with him.
With all the other subjects, I'm mainly the one working with the kids, but hubby jumps in with his ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and does projects & experiments with them, when he has time.
I'd say it's more like 75/25.

11-25-2010, 09:41 AM
My ex-husband and I share the homeschooling responsibilities equally. When our son is living with him (as he is currently), my ex handles the teaching. And, of course, when our son is living with me, I do it. Though I do plan out the year, the curriculum, lessons, etc.

11-25-2010, 10:15 AM
I discuss curriculum choices with my husband, and talk about what we do, but I do all the teaching when it comes to the curriculum though. He is really good for teaching her some things when he cooks and he's always willing to answer her questions and explain things to her.

11-25-2010, 11:34 AM
I do most of the teaching on weekdays, though my husband will read to the kids or get one to read to him at bed time some nights. On the weekends he takes them hiking at wildlife sanctuaries, teaches them a little Latin (well, he tries to!), reads them Bible stories, and generally talks their ears off about whatever random subject comes up (WWII, Marco Polo, you name it!). The structured learning is my forte, whereas my husband is better at the spontaneous learning and field trips. He is also fluent in Latin and has a better understanding of higher level math, chemistry and physics than I do, so he will likely be more involved for those subjects later on.

11-25-2010, 11:47 AM
I do all the traditional type schooling. I pick out the curriculum but I usually discuss it with him and tell him how much I'm spending. ;)

We tend to skip our usual school stuff when he is home but he plays lots of games with the kids - way more than I do. Most of these are educational games, especially at this age so I count this as helping with school.

11-25-2010, 12:55 PM
My husband is my sounding board when needed for curriculum choice. He sometimes does some reading w ds 7. He sometimes helps a little w ds 14's math. He sometimes lets ds 7 show him what he's doing on T4L to encourage him. he watched one of our 'walking w dino' episodes. Its clearly my job but he lends a hand here and there when it makes sense.

I also thought there should have been something between 'occasional' and 50/50. Such as partner has full responsibility for portions of home school but i do more than half.

11-25-2010, 02:36 PM
My wife and I split activities but it's hard to pin down how much each of us does as it varies a lot and often as our schedules permit. But I chose 50/50 as over time I'm sure it works out that way. I did more last year but she's done more this year.

11-25-2010, 04:44 PM
I do it all, but hubby is a willing substitute teacher when he's home.

Stella M
11-25-2010, 05:17 PM
Ok, so I feel like I have a raw deal after reading the other responses. I do it all!!! Sometimes that's good - no negotiating over methods/curricula/activities - sometimes it's really lousy, because the childrens father gives very little feedback and offers very little help ( except for lifts sometimes ). He thinks its 'my hobby' and its a constant struggle to get him to see that its more than that and that its a choice made in the childrens educational interests. I think he likes h/s because he doesn't have to deal with school. Also he likes the progress the children make and is very proud of that. Venting now...will stop and go off to have my own private pity party :(

11-25-2010, 09:37 PM
I do it all. My husband leaves for work around 5 am and gets home around 5pm. When Dad is home, it's play time not school time!

With that said, I do get his input about what we're working on and if he finds something he thinks we'd enjoy he'll share it with me. He's interested and invested in homeschooling our children, but the actual work of it is left to me just out of convenience and necessity with his schedule.

11-25-2010, 10:47 PM
Right now, I do it all. But I'm trying to find a job and when I do he knows he will have to do the homeschooling--DD has a better "school day" when she starts school as soon as she gets up and around.

Miguels mommy
11-25-2010, 11:31 PM
My DH works four days a week. He teaches co-op every other Tuesday and drives us back and forth 7 hours Wednesday of the same week. He also does the cognitive training with Miguel when he gets home so I do it 2x and DH does it 1x. When we are doing normal stuff. He does writing, SS, grammar. I do "work books" for math, spelling & grammar, crafts, games and anything else to fill our day. Any Science project, movie, field trips, plays, the fun stuff we do together on his days off.

11-26-2010, 12:22 AM
We're somewhere between the unschool answer and the one about "I do most of the homeschooling and my spouse helps sometimes. We're going to start using a math program which I am planning to do with DD. If I run into difficulties, then DH will do this with her instead. Same with handwriting.

But even in child-led learning activities, there are certain activities which I seem to be better at doing with DD and some that DH is better at with her.

We like to go with the flow when we can. And in the long run, I end up doing most of the homeschooling because I am the one home all day with DD. And I am the researcher of homeschool activities.

11-26-2010, 07:40 AM
We try to split the work right down the middle.

Currently, I am responsible for math, science, geography, and anything involving the computer; my wife is teacher for reading, grammar, spelling, and history.

11-26-2010, 08:13 AM
Well if you asked him , he would say that I do it all! But he helps out in ways he doesn't even know! Like Topsy when he is home, we are off! ya know he is a sexy man! lol (sorry topsy you can edited that if you want, the mind wonders ;)

He is an artist so he teaches the boys all the time, he could also be considered their drill instructor I mean their PE coach;) if they have too much energy and can't go outside, then its push up, sit up and jumping jacks until they collapse. And he is my number one cheerleader, willing to help me out in anyway he can!

11-26-2010, 10:04 PM
My husband and I both work full time outside the home, therefore we share homeschooling responsiblities as well. While I am more laid back and like to do tons of field trips, he is more rigid and likes to sit down with them and teach one on one. At the moment, he is concerned about our ever increasing responsibilities with homeschooling and he is talking more and more about sending them to school. Does anyone else have this problem and if so, how are you handling it? He knows I never want to send them to school, but I am afraid I may have to if he pressures me... Any suggestions?

11-27-2010, 12:49 AM
Brandi said:
I wouldn't say we split it 50/50, but I'd say his help is more than occasional. As in the rest of our life, we each have our responsibilities. He has his strengths & I have mine. I do most of the homeshcooling. I do all the research and have final say on materials. <snip> I'm mainly the one working with the kids, but hubby jumps in with his ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and does projects & experiments with them, when he has time.

This is us, too. :)

11-28-2010, 02:34 PM
I do all of the traditional school work with the kids. I do all the planning, organizing, curriculum choices, record keeping, etc... I chose to answer that may husband occasionally contributes bc he is very interested in what we are doing. He asks the kids questions, reads to them, listens to them read, looks at their work, etc... He also is responsible for physical education. He's teaching the kids golf, swimming, and tennis, and he is usually the one to take ds to soccer practice. Although he was against homeschooling at first he is now extremely supportive.

11-28-2010, 10:04 PM
I do everything and I don't mind it one bit :) My husband works 60-90 hours each week.

11-29-2010, 12:39 PM
We are not exactly equal, I do more of the research and planning, but DH helps out much more than occasionally.

11-29-2010, 01:47 PM
I picked that he occasionally contributes because I wouldn't say he does 50/50 but he does help quite a lot. We try to do most of our "schoolwork" during the day but he reads aloud to the kids every night at bedtime and helps with projects. I'd say where he really picks up the slack is in helping me keep up around the house. I am a full-time student and he views that and homeschooling as my "daytime" job. He cooks most dinners and does the laundry and all of that sort of thing so that I have time to devote to the kids during the day. Many nights we are finishing up our work while he cooks dinner.

11-30-2010, 12:31 AM
Things in our lives right now are not as they normally are. Normally we spend weekends and other days that my husband has off outdoors exploring, just like Topsy talked about her family doing. My husband does a lot of "teaching" during these family exploration outings. But, my husband started grad school a few months ago and also works 50+ hours a week, so his time away from work is currently consumed with studying and writing papers. We have very little family time right now, much less time to explore anywhere.

Because of grad school my husband currently has little involvement in anything remotely educational with our kids. He did try to involve them this past weekend as he was working on remodeling a bedroom in our house, but that was the first time in a few weeks that he had done something like that. As of late his time spent with the kids is usually playing Wii with them, which the kids love. He's a gamer and our kids have caught the gaming bug because of him, so that's what they like to do together when he has a little time away from school or work.

When we decided to homeschool it was agreed that my husband was going to do the bulk of the science with our kids on evenings and weekends, as he has a science background and can teach our kids an immense amount of really cool stuff just from his head. Of course, then he decided to go to grad school, so he hasn't done a science lesson with the kids since the end of August. It's kind of a bummer, but once he's done with grad school I know that they are all (my husband included) going to enjoy having him as their science guru. I love science, but I struggle with having to actually teach it. My husband is also a history buff, and again while I love history it's not something that I am having an easy time teaching. I would love to have my husband's help in these areas, but for now it's just not possible. I cannot wait for grad school to be done!

11-30-2010, 07:57 AM
I do most of the homeschooling, but I ask for opinions about curricula, ideas, approaches. That's all I can ask, as he's usually traveling for work during portions of almost every week. I'm just glad for the support.

Sam I Am
12-01-2010, 11:07 AM
We're running into that issue as well. DW & I both work outside the home, and our increasing work load with home schooling is starting to overwhelm us. Going back to public schools isn't really an option, so we're considering other ways to work around it. As a nurse, I have a LOT of flexibility with work and we're considering me finding a part-time job (one day a week) that will basically match the income that DW provides. She'll go to school part-time & run home school. I'll help out on my days off.

We live in Dallas, and the public school system here is atrocious. Dealing with the school district was much more stressful than home schooling has been. Besides, the kids are much happier and they're learning loads more than they ever did when they were in "real" school.

As for suggestions, we've found that communication is paramount. We talk daily about what's working, what isn't, what the kids are struggling with, etc. We tend to divide the subjects as well; I do math expert and English (grammar, composition, etc.). We split science. DW does history, Spanish, and music. The curriculum we use sets daily & weekly schedules and updates automatically as lessons are finished. We print out the weekly schedule at the beginning of the week & cross the lessons off as they're done. When all the lessons are done for the week, the kids are done as well.

Good luck! Hopefully there are others out there with the same issues that can chime in with suggestions.

12-01-2010, 11:10 AM
My wife and I are pretty equal at the moment -- I do Mon., Wed., and Fri. while she works, and she does Tues. and Thurs. when she's off. I work at home and have a flexible schedule so I can plan my day around teaching. We each have our teaching strengths that we try to concentrate on -- I'm more of a LA, spelling, and Spanish instructor; she's better with science, social studies, and creative writing. Next year, though, she'll probably be scaling back her work hours as I get my home business off and running, so it'll be more 75% her, 25% me when that occurs. She's completely lost when it comes to foreign languages, though, so I know I'll at least be useful for that!

12-01-2010, 11:18 AM
I do all of the research and create a list of what needs to be done every week. My DH is home from 8-5 M-F so he does a lot of the school work. I help when needed and possible.

12-01-2010, 03:19 PM
At the moment, he is concerned about our ever increasing responsibilities with homeschooling and he is talking more and more about sending them to school. Does anyone else have this problem and if so, how are you handling it? He knows I never want to send them to school, but I am afraid I may have to if he pressures me... Any suggestions?
Aries, its a lot easier to address this kind of question if you tell us the ages of your children - perhaps you can edit your signature and put that info there so you dont have to remember to write it in every post

12-05-2010, 08:19 AM
I voted that I do most but spouse contributes some but this needs some clarification... I do all the research, decision making on sonny's education, and all the planning. I do all the curricula, resources, and materials obtaining/making. I keep all the grades and records. I attend the homeschool groups, meetings, and outings. I grade all the papers. The only thing hubby does is half of sonny's PE... hubby takes sonny to the gym 4-5 days a week to work out with him (sonny hates it! but dad won't relent). The other half of PE is martial arts class (which sonny loves) in which I'm a volunteer teacher in (I hold several black belts in various styles). I have persuaded hubby (an MD) to teach the dissection portion of biology later this year (we're still doing the microscope labs and I'm more than capable of doing the dissection labs myself). But sonny is now doing high school, so there isn't really any "teaching" on our part but there is still alot of "learning" on sonny's part, he is increasingly doing more independent work and delight directed studies on his own.

12-05-2010, 08:56 AM
I tend to be the one who decides how and what we're going to teach in the basic areas like numeracy and literacy (although I do consult him). I supervise the kids more, because he does more paid work. He steps in when I ask for help (ie the kids are asking questions in an area that he understands and I don't) or to do specific things he wants to teach.

12-09-2010, 02:40 PM
My husband tends to answer the more involved math and science-related questions, works with the older boys on scouting activities and occasionally works with them on their basic math drills. He's supportive with them going to classes and I use him a lot as a sounding board for ideas. So, I do most of it, but he contributes on occasion. :)