Why Your Husband May Not Be Helping You with the Homeschooling

Why Your Husband May Not Be Helping You with the Homeschooling

Now that the post title has gotten your attention, let’s talk about ways in which our husbands participate in our homeschools. Some of us may have very active dads and others may feel like dads could do more. Why Your Husband May Not Be Helping You with the Homeschooling is meant to inspire families today to see how dads already are contributing and perhaps you’ll find a few more ideas to include.

General Thoughts on Including Dads

Wherever your husband falls on the helping out scale, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • Is Your Husband in Agreement with Homeschooling?– This is probably one of the biggest factors in how involved Dad is going to be. Even if he is not in the day to day, you need the support of a cheerleader who can encourage you when you enter difficult periods. And, you will.
  • Outline Expectations– How much time does your husband have? Does he travel? What is he good at? All of these go into choosing how he will contribute to your homeschooling. Be realistic. No one likes to be set up to fail.
  • Do Your Best Not to Compare– Your husband is uniquely qualified to work with his own family. Capitalize on his strengths and don’t compare him to other dads. I’ll be sharing how Dan works with us and it’s not meant to brag or bring anyone down. On the contrary, I’m hoping that something we do will inspire you in ways your husband can contribute.
  • Take Advantage of His Strengths– This probably goes without saying, but maybe not. Choose to include dad in things he’s partial to or good at. Even if you want someone else to grade papers, try not to save all things you hate just for him!
  • Focus on the Big Picture– Dads are usually good “big picture” people. Dan likes to have input over large homeschooling direction, but he prefers me to handle the details.
  • Go Beyond Academics– Remember that things don’t have to be strictly academic for it to count toward homeschooling hours. A talk about bicycle safety at dinner is part of health. Helping with the building of a model rocket is science. Helping dad service the lawn mower is mechanics. My guess is your husband could and probably does include your kids in many endeavors which can be recorded as homeschooling.
  • Let Them Go– Dads spend time with their kids differently than moms. Let them enjoy the time and try not to micromanage how your husband helps out. If he knows what his task is and he’s ready to go, then let them help. No hovering or complaining allowed!

Why Your Husband May Not Be Helping You with the Homeschooling

Ways to Involve Dad in Your Homeschooling

Time to brainstorm a list of the ways dads can contribute to homeschooling.

  • Read Aloud Time– This is a great way for dad to help out. Bedtime reading comes to mind or it can be any other time.
  • Take on One Subject– Hand over one subject that dad handles. Math is a popular one, but maybe it will be history or geography.
  • Weekend Projects– Set aside time for special projects when dad is around. This is a great idea for traveling husbands too. Work on something that’s in dad’s niche during these times.
  • Book Discussions– Reading dads influence readers and being able to discuss books and learn dad’s perspective is a worthwhile opportunity.
  • General Discussions– Spending time talking with your homeschoolers is a positive investment for any dad. Shaping values and a student’s character is so important.
  • Share Expertise– This is one of the best ways a dad can help with homeschooling. Whether it’s a skill or a wealth of knowledge, dads have a lot to share with the kids.
  • Teach at Co-op– Dads sometimes teach at our homeschool co-op. We have a two hours for ten Mondays a semester type co-op and classes are extra curricular in nature. We’ve seen dads teach dulcimer building, LEGO robotics, supervise recess, courage and character for teens among other things.
  • Assign Special Challenges– I know lots of dads challenge kids with a special project, research, reading, etc. Kids thrive when dad focuses on what a particular child needs and assigns special, more challenging work with a goal.

Why Your Husband May Not Be Helping You with the Homeschooling

How Single Moms or Moms with Dads on the Road Can Include Dad

This topic wouldn’t be complete without a discussion on homes where dad is not present or is not home often. It requires extra effort and provides more of a challenge. I’m not an expert, but I’ll offer a few ideas:

  • Use Skype & Other Technology– Computers can bring kids and dads together across the miles. You can save spelling practice and reading aloud for Skype time. There are a lot of options for your kids to enjoy time with dad and have him be an active part of their homeschooling.
  • Find a Mentor– Every kid needs a male presence. How about a grandfather or a trusted family friend? This could even be an instructor from an extra activity.

Why Your Husband May Not Be Helping You with the Homeschooling

How My Husband Participates in Our Homeschool

Ok, this section is a shameless shout out to my husband, Dan who works tirelessly to care for us and to be our hero. I hope it will help you to think of all the ways your husbands are supporting you in your homeschooling!

  • Master Explainer– If one of the kids needs help or has a question, they love to ask Dan. He uses a our slate chalkboard or a white board to illustrate. Our daughter will often ask for a chalkboard explanation.
  • Reading Aloud– Dan will often read to the kids. This was especially true when they were younger. He even took them walking once when I was out of town and brought a book to read when they rested.
  • Coaches LEGO Robotics– Dan spends a lot of his free time working with our kids and others on the teams for FIRST LEGO League. This is a perfect combo of teamwork and engineering. He mentors teams and has even recruited a few other dads for the job.
  • Takes Kids on Field Trips– He is particularly good at keeping an eye out for interesting events on campus. He works at a university so there are a lot of outreach events we can take advantage of.
  • Loves a Good Discussion– Not only does he explain, but he also discusses things with our kids and will often challenge them with various perspectives on a topic.
  • Spends Time with Our Kids– Just in general. He seeks out time with them together an individually. He might play a game, do an activity, or just talk but he is available. If he’s not, then he lets them know when he will be.
  • Encourages Our Kids in their Niche– He will take the time to talk to them about a project and offer suggestions. He makes materials available and will build and provide project areas for them.
  • Researches Purchases & Supplies– If a kid needs something special or ordinary, he will do the research with them to find the best item.
  • Helps with Projects– No matter how big or small. From building electromagnets to programming to costume making, he can help point them in the right direction.
  • Assigns Special Challenges– Because he knows them and what they are working on well, he can make suggestions for special challenges. They love going to him for a new challenge and they are excited to share the results with him.
  • Involved in Our Homeschool Group– By helping out with filming events or photography, webmaster for our website, and at the time of this post we lead our homeschool group together.
  • IT Mastermind behind Blog, She Wrote– This list would not be complete without noting that Dan helps behind the scenes with my blog. I’ve been blogging since 2007 and learned a ton, but when he knew I was in for the long haul he joined me in the effort and it’s been a lot of fun. Plus, I’ve learned a whole lot more!

Thank you, Dan for all your hard work and commitment to us and to our children’s education!

More Posts Including Dad from Blog, She Wrote

Adventures of a Homeschooling Dad

Dan has been an active participant in our homeschool from the start. Below are some posts which highlight some of the homeschooling moments with the kids. Most of these are narratives of the activities he did with the kids. What does your husband do best with your kids?

Adventures of a Homeschooling Dad– This is a guest post by Dan from 2008 when I had major surgery and was hospitalized for almost a week. A fun read, Dan was out to prove homeschooling and housekeeping with four kids ages 10 to 3 years old was no big thing! This one is a reader favorite!

How to Keep up with an Accelerated Reader– Dan is our pre-reader since he has less regular homeschooling responsibilities and he reads fast!

Co-op: How Does It Work? A post about how our homeschool co-op works

Cool Dad Homeschooling Moments– An example of how Dan grabs an opportunity for the kids and runs with it. This one is about a temperature recording device.

Temperature Recorders Part 2 (or When You Have a Super Cool Homeschool Dad)– How Dan had the kids collect the data from the temperature recorders shared in the above post.

How to Engage Your Teen with Books– Great ideas for book discussions, dad included!

Why Your Husband May Not Be Helping You with the Homeschooling

If you feel like your husband could do more to support homeschooling, think on all the ways he contributes already– whether they are large or small. Consider realistic ways he might do more and approach him with some new ideas. Don’t forget to capitalize on his strengths and enjoy!

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100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Achieve Quality Family Time with Games

Games are a terrific way to spend time together as a family. Instead of discussing school and business, you can engage with each other on a common goal. Here are a few ways to make game time easier.

  • Games from the Hat– One rainy Fourth of July we voted on various games to play and threw them into a hat. We spent the day pulling games from the hat and enjoying them together.
  • Sticks in a Jar– Pictured below, the sticks have the names of our games on them. This is a creative way to remember all the resources you have to use and the objective way of making sure you use them!

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Preschool Games for Family Fun

There are a lot of games out there for young children. They make a great start into the world of taking turns and playing games together.

  • Moon Balance Game– a fun game of balance using a cylinder blocks on a rocking moon surface
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar– A feed the caterpillar game based on the Eric Carle book
  • Boggle Junior– fun preschool letter and word game
  • All Around Town– A lovely errand running game which makes a great go along for the book The Big Green Pocket Book.
  • Scrabble Junior– Word game for young spellers
  • Don’t Wake Daddy– Just plain fun for moving around the board and taking turns.
  • Silly Faces– Colorforms faces make for a lot of fun
  • Candyland– Need I say more?
  • Chutes & Ladders– Just when you get to the end, you have to start over! This is a great add on gift price.
  • The Ladybug Game– Nice first game for preschoolers
  • Sequence for Kids– An animal themed sequence game for young players
  • Goodnight Moon– Memory game based on the book by Margaret Wise Brown
  • ABC Game– by Eric Carle on letter recognition and sounds
  • Clue, Jr– a young player version of Clue introduces kids to the game play of figuring out the mystery. Each version has a theme that is kinder than the murder mystery of the regular game.
  • Rivers, Road, & Rails– Path laying game for younger and olders, but game play starts at preschool age.

Math Games

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Games for Kids of All Ages

Parents everywhere get sneaky with math games. What’s not to love? Whether you are practicing computation, strategy, or visual discrimination these games will make it all a fun time.

  • Monopoly Jr– Counting money skills for young players. This one requires no strategy. It’s all in the luck of rolling and landing.
  • Spot It– visual discrimination game
  • The Amazing Labyrinth– Gather all the artifacts by navigating the moving labyrinth board
  • Blokus– Spatial reasoning game for all ages
  • Triominoes– Triangular domino game
  • Dominoes– These come in various configurations with as many as 12 dots on the highest domino. If your kids aren’t playing a game, they can use them to build tracks
  • Monopoly– Classic game of money domination, fun for all
  • Monopoly Empire– Buy brands and win by having the most money
  • Monopoly Millionaire– Great game for teaching place value in large numbers, the first player to one million dollars wins!
  • Monopoly Electronic Banking– Use an ATM card to handle all your money and there’s a machine to keep track of the big sums
  • Math Dice– Roll the dice and use the numbers to come as close you can to the target number. You can use any operation in your skill set so this is a great game for abilities (just not maybe all at once!)
  • Math Dice Jr– Same as the original with larger dice and simpler operation suggestions and a scoring mat
  • Yahtzee– Roll the dice and try to score points as you collect elements of a poker type hand. Great for practicing adding.
  • Zingo 123– Number recognition with two levels of play starting with preschool and going to 5th grade
  • Sumuko– Number tile game based on multiples

Geography Games

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Geography games are a lot of fun! They are a great way to practice geography skills and facts. The trick is to keep an up to date game. We also love classic games like Where in the World or USA is Carmen Sandiego, but obviously the world edition is behind the times. Which ones are your favorite?

Card Games

These are wonderful for quick games or having games on the go. We keep ours stored in an IKEA box so we don’t have so many individual boxes.

  • Uno– The quintessential family card game. There are MANY forms!
  • Blink– Fast paced visual discrimination game
  • Professor Noggin– Trivia games based on lots of topics
  • Linkology– Card game of relationships based on various topics of science
  • Timeline– See if you can put the events in the order they happened.
  • Set– This is a great math game too for visual perception!
  • Sabateur– You are dwarves trying to get to the gold but there is a player who is secretly the sabateur
  • Monopoly Deal– A fast paced card edition of Monopoly
  • Ziggity– Card game from Cranium
  • Labyrinth– Navigate the labyrinth by laying down cards and collecting the artifacts. Card version of the board game.
  • Waterworks– Lay down pipes to finish the job and try to avoid the leaks to win the game!
  • GeoCards World– Educational world geography game
  • Scrabble Slam– Fast word building game with cards

Dice Games

These games all involve rolling dice as a primary part of the game play. Which ones are your favorites?

General Games

This category holds all the plain old family games we grew up with along with some new games.

  • Sequence– A combination of cards and placing chips
  • Life– Make choices and live a life while going around the board. This game plays a little differently than the one when we were kids. We like the older version best!
  • Jenga– Build a tower and see if you can keep it from falling while removing pegs
  • Forbidden Island– A cooperative game for the whole family
  • Sorry– The classic board rounding race game
  • Trouble– Another board rounding race game with a popping bubble to roll the dice
  • Clue– Solve the mystery! There are several editions of this game, but the classic (or if you can find it, Master Detective) is best.
  • Battleship– Naval War game on a grid, it’s sold in a variety of forms now. I like the one we grew up with.
  • Othello– Turn over more of your color
  • CadooYoung family game for all
  • Family Fun– Similar to Cranium for the whole family
  • Stratego– Battle game
  • Cranium– Family edition, fun trivia and stunts for everyone
  • Pictionary– The drawing and guessing game in various editions. We still have two volumes plus a Bible edition from the Pictionary heyday!
  • Trivial Pursuit– Lots of editions to see if you know your stuff. We have a Disney edition, two genus editions, the 20th anniversary edition, and my personal favorite- the 80s edition!

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages

Word Games

No home is complete with word games! This would be our family’s second favorite category of games. You can’t beat word games for the vocabulary building.

  • Scrabble– Classic crossword building game. We like the Super version with the tile grid lock.
  • You’ve Been Sentenced– Build the best sentences given your cards and earn points.
  • Scattergories– Choose a category and try to think of words that start with the letter you roll that fit the category.
  • Spill & Spell– Cube crossword game
  • Very Silly Sentences– More sentence building
  • Silly Sentences– Sentence building games with picture cards and words
  • Word on the Street, Jr– Word category game using letters
  • Funglish– A word guessing game using only word tiles!
  • Apples to Apples Jr– Making word comparisons, is a great party game. Apples to Apples has much more adult sort of themes in the words to compare, but the Jr seems to be just right even for adults.
  • Boggle– Classic word search game still gets a lot of play at our house!
  • Bananagrams– Compete against players for building your own crossword and using all the tiles you pull. Fast paced and fun for the family

Strategy Games

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Family Games for Kids of Ages

This is arguably our favorite game category. We have some classic games we love to play, but our family goes big for the strategy games that take a long time to play.

  • Dominion– Build your kingdom by collecting resources and purchasing land. Short and fun, a family favorite along with its many expansions!
  • 7 Wonders– You lead an ancient civilization from its barbaric roots to a world power
  • Ticket to Ride– Love this game of rail travel by saving tickets and laying down routes
  • 1910 Expansion– Fun expansion with extra tickets for Ticket to Ride
  • Ticket to Ride Europe– Another rail game with a little different play than the USA version
  • 1912 Expansion– Extra set of tickets for Ticket to Ride Europe
  • Merchants & Marauders– Be a merchant or a pirate on the Caribbean during the golden age of piracy. Our family loves this game!
  • Settlers of Catan– Popular game of settling an island and garnering resources.
  • Cities and Knights Expansion– The best expansion set for Settlers of Catan including making larger cities and employing knights
  • Seafarers Expansion– Settlers expansion involving sea travel
  • Traders & Barbarians Expansion– A small expansion for Catan giving you extra resources
  • Munchkin– A little card game of role play. Very humorous if you’ve ever played popular role playing games
  • Axis & Allies– Game of World War II war strategy a lot like RISK
  • RISK– Classic game of world domination
  • Chess– This classic takes only a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master
  • Memoir 44– Short war strategy game based on actual battles
  • Carcasonne– Fun builders game where you settle the countryside, short game play, lots of expansions
  • Mastermind– Mind puzzle game where you guess your opponent’s color sequence

A Note on Junior Games

Play up when you can. Kids grow into (or out of) junior games quickly. The mechanics of many games are easy for preschoolers to get, it’s just strategy that is more difficult and since younger child games don’t have much that’s not a big concern! When it comes to games, I’m looking for the lasting game play. Most junior games just don’t have it. However, having a few around is great to get your game play started when all the kids are young.

Homemade Games


Some of our kids love to make their own games. How about yours? We like to keep game making supplies on hand for when the mood strikes. Ethan, our 16 year old, has made some really nice games in the past.

  • Game Making Supplies– From Bare Books include all kinds of game boards, pieces, spinners, dice, and money. All are perfect for serious game makers
  • Make a Game Prototype– Did you know you can send away and have a game made more professionally? I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s fun to think about.
  • Game Adventure Box– Have you ever visited any of my Adventure Box posts? This one is all about games!

Would you believe we own all the games I’ve listed here? Actually, we have quite a few more, but many are out of print or no longer available. Perhaps you have some of our favorites like Zooreka, Starfarers of Catan, or the Catan Card Game. Any one of these games will bring hours of family fun to your home.

What are your favorite family games?

iHN: 100 Things

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Summer Vacation Fun with Chalk Pastels

Blog, She Wrote: Summer Vacation Fun with Chalk Pastels

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Reasons to Take Chalk Pastels on Vacation

With everything else you need to prepare for vacationing not to mention you’ll be on vacation doing all sorts of fun things, why take the time and space to pack chalk pastels (or any other art supply) for Summer Vacation Fun with Chalk Pastels? Here are a few of our reasons:

  • Makes a great rainy day activity– Sometimes you get a wash out on vacation and bringing art supplies changes things up and keeps kids engaged when you can’t run around outdoors.
  • Feeds the creative soul in your midst– Rebecca hadn’t sat and created anything in a few days but was delighted to sit for an afternoon and paint. It was a balm to her vacation weary soul!
  • Provides a quiet activity when everyone needs some down time– At about the midway point in any vacation, tired kids begin to wilt. An art activity can slow the busiest person down so there is rest even for a little bit. My other go to for this is reading aloud- which we always bring on vacation!
  • Ensures a low cost way to enjoy your vacation environment– Some of us vacation on a tight budget leaving behind the attractions for something simpler. Make a memory by drawing your favorite spot while on vacation.
  • Add to Your Vacation Journal– Make a journal for your kids to have fun recording their favorite parts of vacation. Rebecca has one going for this trip to Maine and it’s been a lot of fun. You can include your memory making art in the journal and add some collages of brochure pictures.

Blog, She Wrote: Summer Vacation Fun with Chalk Pastels

Materials to Pack for Art Fun on Vacation

Whether you are flying or driving, save room for some art essentials. Our list includes:

  • Chalks– Since we flew to Maine, we packed a new package that was still nice and flat rather than our box with the smaller pieces.
  • Chalk Tutorials– We’ve been taking our Hodgepodge tutorials with us for years and whether we are camping or staying in a vacation house, they always come in handy.
  • Tablet– In our case our Kindle Fires so we can easily follow along with the pdf tutorials no matter where you are. This inexpensive tablet has been invaluable to us in our homeschool this year. If you don’t already have a tablet, this is a great investment without being too costly!
  • Drawing Paper– Rebecca likes to cut them into quarters making it easier to travel with and easy to fill space on when she draws.
  • Watercolor Paper-We like to travel with several media and watercolors are also easy to travel lightly with.
  • Watercolor Pencils– Much easier to be on the go with, watercolor pencils are fun to use on nature hikes and excursions. Then you can add the color later.
  • Drawing Pencils– Easy to carry on vacation if you have a sketcher in your family.
  • Sketch Pad– You can use any of these media in a sketch pad. Especially if you have one one meant for wet and dry media.

Blog, She Wrote: Summer Vacation Fun with Chalk Pastels

Rather than a sandy beach, Rebecca modified her beach to match the rocky shoreline here in Maine. That’s the beauty of chalk pastel tutorials, you can make them your own along the way.

I think one of her favorite parts of this painting was to outline the clouds in pink to indicate sunset. We always learn something new with each tutorial!

Blog, She Wrote: Summer Vacation Fun with Chalk Pastels

Just in time for summer traveling, Hodgepodge has released a new chalk pastel ebook! I downloaded it specifically for our trip to Maine and it has not disappointed. Rebecca spent an entire afternoon reading the book and making some chalk paintings.

Fill Your Sand Bucket with Art for All Ages!

If you are new to Southern Hodgepodge’s Chalk Pastels, you might be interested in a full bundle of books. These will provide you with a year of art curriculum which is guaranteed to be enjoyable even by your kids who don’t enjoy art. My 15yo loves to work with chalks and he finds art to be very effortful. It’s a forgiving medium and very pleasing to use.

From now through June 10, 2014 you can get $10 off. Just use the code: TCC614.

A Year of Art CurriculumSo, what are your vacation plans this summer? Be sure to put your art supplies, especially chalk pastels, on your packing list!

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