Would you trust your DP unschool the kids? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Would you let your DH unschool the kids?
Yes 28 60.87%
No 12 26.09%
Maybe 6 13.04%
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#1 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I find myself looking at the potential possibility of my newest part-time job turning into a full-time gig with... wait for it... a salary and BENEFITS!!!

In which case, DH says he'd like to stay home with the kids and go back to school.

Neither of us is willing to send the kids to school. And DH says there's no way he's sitting down and forcing the kids to do worksheets, so school-at-home is seriously not an option.

But he's not sure he's comfortable with taking on the responsibility for our children's education and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with letting go of the responsibility for our children's education.

What would you do, wise and supportive mamas?

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#2 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rockportmama View Post

Neither of us is willing to send the kids to school. And DH says there's no way he's sitting down and forcing the kids to do worksheets, so school-at-home is seriously not an option.
It is a simple role reversal thing. If you are going to work full time you are going to have to let him have the say in the day to day running of things.

I am the primary parent at home and I would be ticked if DH tried to tell me how to do things - he isn't here, lol. I need to be trusted to do stuff without second guessing.


That being said - if your Dh is worried, I would start with a flexible plan. Suggest he may want to research some resources (like cool educational/fun online games) plus find some stuff to do in your community on a regular basis (library, HSing groups, etc).
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#3 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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I would never let *my* dh unschool my dd. However, there are plenty of other dads I know that would do fine with that. In our homeschooling group, we actually have a couple of stay at home/homeschooling dads.

I mostly unschool. But we attend tons of park days, classes, and field trips. We also have the learn at home series at our house for inspiration and some stuff from the local charter school's home school program. Maybe there are options like that available to you guys?

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#4 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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I don't think unschooling would work for my dh, given his personality, but i think once he found his groove he would fine.

I think we would need to agree on a few set expectations though- right now, the girls need to do math and reading daily. So I would want him to continue this, just because it has really helped them keep motivated and working on skills.

Otherwise, he would need to follow the state regulations but how he would approach the subjects would be up to him.

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#5 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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My DH would be awesome at unschooling. He's super exited about the world, loves to talk to DD, does experiments, etc. He's a big part of our unschooling life, even though he works awful hours.

That said, the thing that concerns me about your post is that I can't tell whether unschooling is the default because he just can't be bothered to get involved in the business of school-at-home, or whether unschooling is his preference because he dislikes the coerciveness/structure of worksheets. If the former, I'd be very concerned. If the latter, I'd probably do some reading with him and make sure he understands what unschooling is all about and he's confident with that choice, and then go for it.
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#6 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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My dh is pretty engaged with ds at home so I think they'd do alright. They like to go to science museums together and we have 3 near enough to get into with our current membership. But I'd worry about the things I do falling aside. I actively look for opportunities ds would find interesting. Today, we went to a Birding Festival, for instance. He was excited to see a red tailed hawk because that is something he is particularly interested in right now. Dh is more likely to look for opportunities where the two of them share an interest which is great. But I tend to look for ones that are solely ds's interest, as well.

I organize the local homeschool group's parkdays. I arrange playdates, etc. I think I could still do much of that (mostly emails and posting online) and tell dh what the options for the day are. But some things might be more awkward. My son's friend's mom is comfortable with me hanging out, chatting, and knitting while our kids play. She'd be ok with dh hanging out but maybe not quite so comfortable. And it might be harder for a new friendship to get off the ground.

But I'd really rather not work full time, mostly because the idea of doing that and parenting is overwhelming to my chronic fatigue influenced mind.

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#7 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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I agree with the last poster.

We use to homeschool and we were both students. There was also a period where he worked while I was in school. We had to be good about posting a schedule and figuring out how things would get done.

say you like to read to the kids and study science with them. Then you schedule that on your day off OR you break out a science kit after dinner instead of watching TV. Say you like doing the laundry. Then you toss in a load when you go to make the coffee.

We found we definitely had to become a really good team. But, honestly since I have been home again our team fell apart. We did so much better with that bit of pressure.

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#8 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
My DH would be awesome at unschooling. He's super exited about the world, loves to talk to DD, does experiments, etc. He's a big part of our unschooling life, even though he works awful hours.

That said, the thing that concerns me about your post is that I can't tell whether unschooling is the default because he just can't be bothered to get involved in the business of school-at-home, or whether unschooling is his preference because he dislikes the coerciveness/structure of worksheets. If the former, I'd be very concerned. If the latter, I'd probably do some reading with him and make sure he understands what unschooling is all about and he's confident with that choice, and then go for it.
:
choosing to unschool and working out the form that works best for your kids = yay

doing nothing because you don't want responsibility = grrr

that said, I think it'd be a bit messed up for only one parent to be totally or even mostly responsible for the children's educations
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#9 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses so quickly! We've been mulling this over for a month now, and I appreciate all the great new ideas!


Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
That said, the thing that concerns me about your post is that I can't tell whether unschooling is the default because he just can't be bothered to get involved in the business of school-at-home, or whether unschooling is his preference because he dislikes the coerciveness/structure of worksheets. If the former, I'd be very concerned. If the latter, I'd probably do some reading with him and make sure he understands what unschooling is all about and he's confident with that choice, and then go for it.
To clarify: unschooling is the default because it's what I will/would do. Dh's big involvement in HS/US so far has been to trust my judgement. But he's not done any of his own research, which is probably part of what's bothering me.

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#10 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rockportmama View Post
To clarify: unschooling is the default because it's what I will/would do. Dh's big involvement in HS/US so far has been to trust my judgement. But he's not done any of his own research, which is probably part of what's bothering me.
That's what I appreciate most about my dh.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#11 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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hehehehehe.

If my DH were in charge of unschooling the kids I am 100% positive that they would get an awesome education. Between the two of us he is far more awesome at it than I am. He can turn ANYTHING into learning. Even just sitting there breathing air.

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#12 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's what I appreciate most about my dh.


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#13 of 20 Old 09-18-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Just to be nit-picky, because I'm guessing that's not your intention, I have to object to the idea that a person would not 'let' their partner do something with their own children(aside from safety issues).

Anyway! Your dh says he'd like to stay home with the kids and go back to school. But he's not sure he's comfortable with taking on the responsibility for your childrens' education, and you're not comfortable letting go. So maybe he wants you to design the 'curriculum' and then he'll implement it? Would that work?

It's possible that after a time you might become too busy to carry that responsibility by yourself, and he'd get a better feel for it, and develop his own ideas about curriculum, and he'd take over more of the planning.

I don't think that worksheets equal 'school at home'. As well, a lack of worksheets does not equal 'unschooling'. There's an infinite variety in between. You will both have a good time doing research into your options.

Good luck!

Edited to add,

Quote:
That said, the thing that concerns me about your post is that I can't tell whether unschooling is the default because he just can't be bothered to get involved in the business of school-at-home, or whether unschooling is his preference because he dislikes the coerciveness/structure of worksheets. If the former, I'd be very concerned. If the latter, I'd probably do some reading with him and make sure he understands what unschooling is all about and he's confident with that choice, and then go for it.
Quote:
To clarify: unschooling is the default because it's what I will/would do. Dh's big involvement in HS/US so far has been to trust my judgment. But he's not done any of his own research, which is probably part of what's bothering me.
Aha! I understand. That's what I was sensing from your 1st post.

Quote:
choosing to unschool and working out the form that works best for your kids = yay

doing nothing because you don't want responsibility = grrr
Totally. Sounds like you both together need to do some more research into this. Your dh needs to make an informed commitment.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-19-2010, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great ideas! I've been thinking about your responses, and I think y'all are right. I've definately been all/mostly responsible for the kids' education. And you're right that we can be a team at this -- and I don't need to pass over all edu responability to Papa. That in and of itself is a very comforting thought to me.


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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
That being said - if your Dh is worried, I would start with a flexible plan. Suggest he may want to research some resources (like cool educational/fun online games) plus find some stuff to do in your community on a regular basis (library, HSing groups, etc).
Excellent ideas! I think he's worried because his only experience is school, and while he doesn't want to replicate that, he's not really sure what his other options *are*.


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Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
I mostly unschool. But we attend tons of park days, classes, and field trips. We also have the learn at home series at our house for inspiration and some stuff from the local charter school's home school program. Maybe there are options like that available to you guys?
The learn at home series? What is that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post
but i think once he found his groove he would fine.

I think we would need to agree on a few set expectations though-
I think finding their groove is a good point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
But I'd worry about the things I do falling aside. I actively look for opportunities ds would find interesting... Dh is more likely to look for opportunities where the two of them share an interest which is great. But I tend to look for ones that are solely ds's interest, as well.
This is a concern for me, as well.


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Originally Posted by SandyBeachBums View Post
We found we definitely had to become a really good team.
Good point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
:
choosing to unschool and working out the form that works best for your kids = yay

doing nothing because you don't want responsibility = grrr

that said, I think it'd be a bit messed up for only one parent to be totally or even mostly responsible for the children's educations
At this moment, I think my DH's somewhere in between yay and grrr. My instinct tells me he's closer to yay than grrr, but how will I know when he's close enough to yay for this potential plan to proceed?

When you're doing the unschooling, you're tuned into your kids, you're with them all the time, you *know* they're learning and growing. But when someone else is doing the unschooling and you only see your kids evenings and weekends while you're trying to do dishes and laundry and get ready for next week's classes... how do you know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
So maybe he wants you to design the 'curriculum' and then he'll implement it? Would that work?

I don't think that worksheets equal 'school at home'. As well, a lack of worksheets does not equal 'unschooling'. There's an infinite variety in between. You will both have a good time doing research into your options.

Good luck!
Totally. Sounds like you both together need to do some more research into this. Your dh needs to make an informed commitment.
Excellent points. I think we need to find an "in between" that we're both comfortable with. I'm not sure yet how to do that, but y'all have given me lots of good ideas for us to discuss.

It occurs to me that while DH can't exactly replicate what I do with the kids, I couldn't exactly replicate what he could do either! DH is much more likely to get the kids out of the house to go fishing or metal detecting or even to the park than I am. Maybe I just need to let go of my control issues and be supportive. Maybe it's my turn to trust his judgement.

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#15 of 20 Old 09-19-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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One, I can't control anyone, let alone my husband, nor do I want to, which is part of why I unschool in the first place, so allowing or disallowing is not the way a situation like this would be addressed in my house. I'm sure that's just semantics and the actual question is "would you trust your dh to unschool?"

So all that nit-picking aside, I figure my dh could do no worse a job than I. I'm sure that sounds far less than positive, but at the age my kids are at, given the culture in which we live, the limitations of our resources, and the particulars of our situation, sometimes it's quite difficult for me (despite my tenure as a second-generation unschooler) to see that we're all getting what we need. There's always improvement to be made on someone or other's part. The immediacy of that varies like the weather. Sometimes even due to it.

So either you show a degree of faith and trust him or you don't. All the research I've done hasn't really prepared me for doing exactly the right thing all the time. Or even knowing what the right thing is in a given situation. I have to just trust my kids are learning and growing and get over myself all the time. I don't arrive at unschooling. It's a process. There's always tweaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
But I'd worry about the things I do falling aside. I actively look for opportunities ds would find interesting.....Dh is more likely to look for opportunities where the two of them share an interest which is great. But I tend to look for ones that are solely ds's interest, as well.
I think with the age the OP's kids are at, this is something that will be grown into. My kids still aren't really pursuing a lot of their own interests outside of our house. Usually we look things up and go to the library for the things that fascinate them. Or find friends with similar interests. But most of that happens by trial and error. There's not a lot of externships they'll be applying for at 5 and 8, you know?

When they're little, you just expose and expose and expose, in my experience. They take or leave what they want. When they really want something, it's easy enough to access, in my experience. I'm sure it depends on your community largely, however.

For example, my son got into the Percy Jackson series recently. He doesn't need to go to the Percy Jackson summer camp in Brooklyn to really enjoy it though. I mostly just got the books downloaded onto his ipod, we watched the movie in a hotel room, and we got a lot of books from the library about Greek myths and ancient Greek society. This interest connected to his interest in cryptozoology and he requested seasons of Monster Quest on DVD and we watched things streaming on Netflix. We additionally found monster books from the library. He plays Scribblenauts and Pokemon on his new DSi, and these have similar monsters. He talks to a friend at length about these in person and on the phone. He draws pictures of Hercules and Hydra, etc., and googles these things and searches for them on YouTube. For his birthday, he decorated paper bags with varying monsters and gods for favors. He's supposed to have an art show in New York and has prepared pencil drawings of mythical creatures that he then watercolored using professional paints.

It's all connected. I mostly just stay out of his way and buy things or put things on hold at the library. It's not that difficult or dramatic and I feel that as long as my husband listened to the kids, it'd happen. And if it didn't, well, then that's a conversation that would happen as issues cropped up. Because again, it's not a destination, it's a journey.

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#16 of 20 Old 09-19-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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DH is much more likely to get the kids out of the house to go fishing or metal detecting or even to the park than I am.
then go for it!
it would be super nice if dh (and the kids, if they are old enough to help) also takes care of enough household work so that you also get to have have some time to do things with the kids.

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#17 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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I think I can offer a unique perspective. I am the full-time working parent. DH has been SAHD and now primary homeschooling parent from the beginning. I am also a recovering control freak.

I am the researcher in the family. It's just what I do. It's what I do for a good part of my job too so I can't help but do it. I research things like crazy, but I talk to DH about it. I talk to DD. We're really in this together.

DD really prefers to have us lead her education to some extent. We have bought some curriculum to try to meet her interests. So, I don't think we're as unschooly as most. But, we work on plans together, and we have goals as a family. DD wants to be a stronger reader so we work on that together, for example.

I realized at some point that I would buy all these cool books that I would hope DH would share with her during their days, and it just wasn't happening. He had missed the conversation DD and I had about something, and just being 6, she didn't always remember what books I had told her about when she wanted to learn more later on. We basically had a real disconnect.

So, we're trying different ways to make sure DH knows what resources he has available. We have a wiki page set up now where I put everything I find. We have a folder on our home server where we share materials. We plan more together.

We've also divided up our focal interests. I work with language arts (reading, writing, spelling), art, and Spanish. He works on math and science (though I am former scientist.. I just don't have time during the day to do science with DD.. we read a lot about science). I say this is pretty loosely divided, though. It's more like we're the resident "go to" people on these topics.

I do have the benefit of being a full-time telecommuter so I have some flexibility, but I work for a huge corp and have to keep a basic corporate schedule and I have tons of meetings. But, I dedicate a couple hours every morning to just work with her. We read aloud, practice reading, work on Spanish, do something social sciencey (she loves learning about other cultures and religions). It's pretty much whatever we feel like doing in the mornings, but I do wrap it around these general topics.

DH and DD work on other things however they've chosen to do so for the day/week. He goes to all her activities with her--homeschool field trips, classes, etc. They do daily errands together, etc.

In the evenings, DD and I will often do something arts/crafty together before dinner, and after dinner we all usually play games together.

We've managed to achieve a balance that we're all pretty happy with right now. I still get to do the research, etc. that I love--they both tell me things they want to explore, I suggest things too, and then I help them find the resources. I am able to still be an active part of her schooling/living/learning too even though I work. There are some days, though, where they are so busy doing things outside the house that I feel like it's no different than if she were in school. I have to remind myself that is my perspective not hers...she is with her dad doing homeschool things, and that is much different than being in school.

Good luck!
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#18 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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I don't have dh (I have a dp) but I voted anyway.

If you've been spending more time witht the kids than he has, it might take them a little bit to hit their groove together. They can always tweak it if it doesn't feel like it's moving in the direction people want.

Congrats on the changes coming up for your family.
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#19 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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my husband is brilliant, he has an amazing ability to recall facts about things that i think most people forget :P

he remembers all his presidents and is the geography master

he is kind of our world tour guide, he has been to japan, malaysia, india, singapore, australia, hawaii, the UAE, and he has been to/lived in almost every state in the US. he is very helpful...

I stay at home, but i consider him a partner in our unschooling journey... i lean more towards waldorf education and I am the one that observes and picks up the kids cues and such. I do lots of research into topics they find interesting, and I have my own wealth of knowledge about the arts and science. I find we already compliment each other enough that if I had to work he could do his thing during the day and me do mine at night and the children would pretty much go on as they do now.

nak

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#20 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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I voted no.

I spent 1 1/2 years as the primary wage-earner, working from home, while DH was the SAHD. That time included all but the last month of so of DD's K year (we were doing school-at-home at the time).

We discovered that DH is just not cut out for homeschooling of any kind -- or SAHDing. He'd do most of the household chores while I worked, but his standards for cleanliness are far lower than mine. For example, we have white ceramic tile throughout our home. Honestly, if we want it to look decent, it needs to be vacuumed daily and mopped at least every other day. He'd sweep it sometimes, never vacuumed, never mopped, and when I took back over the floor was seriously grimy and required many hours of sitting on my butt scrubbing it.

He was similar in his interaction with DD, in a sense. He's easily bored and has a hard time communicating with young children. While he did make an effort, the fact is that most of the time I had to alert him that DD was talking to him because he'd be absorbed in a book or on the computer.

It didn't really work for us. I think he's just not cut out for the SAHD role and even less so for homeschooling or unschooling. He was completely at a loss as far as trying to engage DD and even when we were doing school-at-home and I wrote up all of the lesson plans, he had great difficulty actually implementing them.

Whether or not a person is cut out for unschooling a child (or homeschooling, for that matter) really depends on their temperament. My DH was just not suited to it. If DD had been a few years older I think it would have worked great.

--K
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