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If Your Husband Doesn’t Support Your Desire to Homeschool

Lately I’ve gotten quite a few questions (on the Hip Homeschool Moms Facebook page) from moms who want to homeschool but whose husbands don’t approve. If you happen to be one of those moms, what should you do? I have some advice that you might want to consider and that I hope you find helpful.

First, it is my personal belief that you should not homeschool unless your husband agrees to it. A homeschooling mom needs her husband’s support. You will need your husband to be “on your side” if you have difficulties. (And we all have difficult situations to deal with now and then!) You will want his input and suggestions and support. You may need his help from time to time. This may not be a very popular opinion, but I honestly believe it’s not a good idea to homeschool unless your husband agrees to it.

So what should you do if your husband won’t consider homeschooling yet you feel it’s the best option for your children? I have some suggestions. First, pray. If you are a Christian and you truly feel like it’s God’s will that you homeschool, then leave the decision to Him. A former Sunday School teacher of mine used to say that we should “pray it on them and not lay it on them.” In other words, pray that God will change your husband’s heart toward homeschooling if that is what He wants for your family, but don’t spend a lot of time trying to convince your husband of it. This is a hard one! But if we really believe that God is in control, then we know that He can do a better job of helping your husband see what’s best for your family than you can. (Moment of truth: I’m a do-it-yourself kind of gal, so this one is particularly difficult for me!!)

Next, collect some good information for your husband to look at. Men like to know the statistics. They like to see the results. They like concrete information. Below are some resources you might want to show him. Then give him time to read and consider it all and don’t press him for his “new opinion” right away.

http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/rudner1999/Rudner0.asp The Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998: An independent study by Lawrence M. Rudner, Ph.D., Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.
http://www.hslda.org/research/ray2003/homeschoolinggrowsup.pdf HSLDA’s synopsis of a new research study on adults who were homeschooled. (This includes information about socialization, getting into college, getting a job, etc.) Conducted by Dr. Brian D. Ray.
http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/comp2001/HomeSchoolAchievement.pdf Home Schooling Achievement. Why are so many parents choosing to home school? Because it works.
http://store.nexternal.com/hslda/home-schooling-the-right-choice-p21.aspx This is the link to purchase a book called Homeschooling: The Right Choice by Christopher Klicka. It covers “the biblical basis for home schooling and the constitutional right to home school, as well as home schooling’s history and benefits, academic success through college, how-to tips, teaching children with special needs, handling social workers, rights in the military, and much, much more!” Because it was written by a homeschooling father, your husband might be more willing to read it. ;)
http://www.hslda.org/research/faq.asp Homeschooling Research: The best one-stop-shop for homeschooling statistics, studies, and information! (Once you reach this link, scroll down to see topics such as “Homeschool Achievement,” “Home Education Across the United States,” “HSLDA Issue Library: Socialization,” as well as topics covering how homeschool students compare to their public school counterparts, how homeschoolers do in college, and whether homeschool graduates can get a “real” job.

You might want to look through the above list of resources yourself to see which ones you want to recommend to your husband. Also, there are many more resources out there. This is just a short list of resources offered from HSLDA (The Home School Legal Defense Association) because they are a reputable organization, and I trust their information. (You can visit them yourself online at www.hslda.org or call them at (540) 338-5600. General information is available to anyone. More detailed or specific information is available to members only. I always recommend that homeschooling families join HSLDA.)

Give your husband a chance to express exact reasons why he’s against homeschooling. Don’t attempt to answer him or make judgments at that moment. Instead, “make a date” to get back to him with your answers. Think carefully about his concerns. Decide how you feel about each one (Be honest with yourself!). Then be sure to keep your date to discuss them with him. Maybe he has some good points that you need to consider.

Suggest a “trial” period. If you truly can’t agree on the issue, perhaps your husband will be willing to let you try out homeschooling for a period of time. (You may have to be willing to try it for a few weeks over the summer!) If your husband sees that you really can homeschool and that your children really will benefit from it, he just may see homeschooling in a whole new way!

What should you do if, after all of this, your husband doesn’t change his mind and is still against homeschooling? If that happens, I suggest that you:

Do keep on praying!
Do have your plans ready in case your husband changes his mind and agrees to let you give it a try. You don’t have to have elaborate plans, a syllabus for every subject, and tons of books and materials. Just have an idea of what you want to do and what materials you’ll need so you will be ready just in case.
Don’t “nag” your husband and point out every single negative thing that the children experience in public or private school. Be reasonable about what you point out to discuss with him.
Don’t have an “I-told-you-so” attitude if your children have negative experiences in public or private school. That is not a good way to gain his acceptance! He still may come around if you give him time and space to consider it.
Don’t allow a bitter attitude to grow in your heart if he doesn’t change his mind. Homeschooling your children is a wonderful endeavor and one that I strongly believe in. It is not, however, worth causing problems in your marriage! You will “keep” your husband even after your children are grown and gone.

Do you have any suggestions for resources that might be helpful in this situation? Do you have a story to share about how your husband “came around” to the idea of homeschooling? Any advice to share with moms who really want to homeschool but whose husbands just don’t agree? Please leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you.

Wendy

Wendy

HHM co-owner and owner/writer at Homeschooling Blessings
Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 20 years. Her oldest child has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is a little social butterfly and people lover. Wendy loves reading and quilting and will hopefully return to scrapbooking some time soon.
Wendy

Comments

  1. April Schwendeman says:

    When I originally began exploring homeschooling as an option for our family my husband was not in favor of it. It may seem like a long time but over the next two years God was not only speaking to my husbands heart about but also helping me to fix some thing I needed to deal with. During that time he was also helping us work out some health and financial issues that needed to dealt with in order for me to be home with the family teaching our children. I finally just prayed, “God, these are your children first, you know what they need. I ask your protection over them each day as they go to school. I know that you love them and know what is best for them. I asked God to speak to my husband if Hsing was what he wanted for our family and if not to give me peace knowing that we was in control and that I would have unity with my husband.” It was just a few months later that my husband decided we should indeed consider homeschooling. Its amazing how when we give things over to God and trust him just how faithful he is. That would be my advise, just give it to God.

    • April, that is wonderful! Yes, we can rest assured that God’s plans are always best for us and that we need to let Him be in charge. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  2. Kelly Coffman says:

    My husband was a little apprehensive at first, especially when I didn’t use the government-funded k12 program but he still supported me in this endeavor. Now, a year later, he is so glad we did it. It is a matter of de-programming yourself (or your husband) from the public-school mentality. Homeschooling was the best decision for my family.

    • I’m so glad that your husband supported you in choosing to homeschool! Many times the husband will “come around” if he will agree to give it a chance. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Kjerstin @ Homeschool101.net says:

    Giving him time helps, too. Plant a seed, then wait for it to mature.

    Before I was married, when my husband and I were just friends, I said that I very much wanted to homeschool my kids. I was homeschooled, and I feel like I got a wonderful education out of it… and besides, how else am I going to have an excuse to visit the zoo or the natural history museum or the aquarium every weekend if I don’t have a school discount and a unit study to back it up? (Once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler…) He was lukewarm on the idea, and expressed a lot of concerns about socialization, the quality of the education, how most homeschoolers he knows are terrible at math (true, unfortunately), etc. etc. Since then, though, he’s had a lot of time to think on the subject and has totally come around — he actively wants to homeschool our kids and is completely supportive.

    So give it time, and keep pointing out successful homeschoolers or mentioning cool things you’d like to do as part of a homeschool curriculum… Most people are pretty reasonable, and if your husband can see that 1) you’re committed, and 2) it really will be a great education for their kids, they’ll jump on board.

    • Good suggestions! I agree that most men will agree once they realize what good outcomes most homeschoolers have. You are also right that it may take time, though. And most men don’t respond well to repeated “reminders” and questioning, so it’s very important to give them plenty of time to think about it and warm up to the idea before bringing it up again.

  4. Kjerstin @ Homeschool101.net says:

    Ahem, I meant *he’ll jump on board. Oops. :)

  5. My husband and I have agreed to homeschool our 2 daughters (now ages 2 1/2 and 4 1/2). The problem I am having is that my son (who is from my previous marriage) is currently attending our public school, in the third grade, and would love to be able to be homeschooled. However, my ex-husband is against the idea and I am not sure what means I have to convince him. I have physical custody but we do share joint custody. Anyone out there in a similar situation? Any advice?

    • Julie, I’m so sorry about that! I’m sure it must be very hard for you and your son too since you know he would like to homeschool. Do you think you ex-husband would agree to discuss it with you? Or would he perhaps be willing to let you try it for a year and see how it goes? There is so much research out there that explains the advantages of homeschooling. If he would be willing to look at some of it, he might realize that it could be a very good thing for your son. I hope he’s willing to consider it!

    • Mary Davis says:

      Julie,

      I have a 16 years old from a previous marriage and I home school her. In our court papers its the same situation..I have custody but we have joint. It also states in the papers that I have last say in decision in medical, education and such type of decisions. I did discuss it with her father and let him voice his opinion and weighed from there. Look over your papers see how it reads. Talk with the father. I would not suggest doing it if he completely against it, does not want to talk about it. It can make it harder in the long run.

  6. What if it is not my husband that is giving me problems about homeschooling? My MIL recently made a passing statement that if I don’t put my (just turned 5) son in public school, then I would be sacrificing his chances at a good education because he is a bright child. Keep in mind that we have been homeschooling our 11 year old for 5 years and our 5 yr old for about a year on Pre-k. How do I deal with this when I have explained to her that I do not want his education soley focused on the FCAT. We live in Florida and that’s a test that controls everthing being taught in the school system. It is all they teach by. The only thing that test does is grade the teachers on their performance in a classroom and help establish their pay rates. They don’t even teach handwriting or spelling. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • I had the same problem with some of my relatives for years when I began homeschooling my children (15 years ago). Really the main thing that has changed their minds is simply seeing, all these years later, how well my children are doing both academically and socially. They’ve also seen that my children haven’t been exposed to so many of the unhealthy things that kids sometimes get into during the high school years. I would suggest that you try to remain calm and positive even when they question and/or don’t support you. Reacting in a defensive way might make them feel like you aren’t confident that you are doing what’s best for your children. (Although it’s terribly hard not to react that way!!) Also, you might want to encourage them to look at some of the research that explains the advantages of homeschooling and backs it up with statistics. You can find some at HSLDA (www.hslda.org). I hope this helps! It can be so discouraging when we are doing what we really feel like is best for our children and our relatives don’t support us! I hope it gets better for you.

      • Thank you for taking the time to reply to my dilemma. Before I came here to reply, I popped over to the website you suggested and it was really informative. I’m going to delve into it more tonight. Your advice is very helpful. My MIL works as a Para in the school system, so she’s a little biased. I truly hope that by watching our kids grow and learn as the years go by, she will come to understand the reasons we chose to homeschool in the first place. You are right when you say that it is very hard not to react in a certain way and end up doubting myself, in the end. I will take the high road. Once again, thank you for your advice!!

        • You are welcome, Michelle! My grandmother and mother were both school teachers, and I did understand why they felt strongly that it was best for my children to go to school somewhere else instead of homeschooling. I am happy to say, though, that not long ago my mother admitted that she is now glad I chose to homeschool. Looking back, she sees the advantages of homeschooling and sees how well-adjusted my kids are and how much they’ve learned. It was hard for her to admit it, but it made me feel great to know that she finally agrees with me about homeschooling! After all those years, it’s so good to have her support. I hope the same thing happens for you, but hopefully you won’t have to wait 15 years! ;)

  7. My problem is a bit different but related…maybe? LOL
    My husband WANTS me to home school, and took a 2nd job so I could quit teaching in order to be home with our own children. This made the financial transition a little smoother. He now works one full time job and goes to school full time to finish his computer science degree (so he is a ver busy man). My issues are the following:
    He leaves all schooling up to me and I am ok with that for the most part. However, when I ask him to look at our children’s work, he is too busy or doesn’t make the effort to. It as if he could care less and now this has crossed over to our children and reflects in their attitude toward completing work. I have voiced my frustrations to him and his reply was “I’m setting an example by faithfully working hard on my own school work.” Furthermore, due to his veiws, he consistently asks me to take care of things and wants them done right away. This forces me to put school of until another time, …frequently. It’s like he doesn’t get it? I am happy to take care of the household business (don’t misunderstand this) and I realize he is very busy BUT how can I lovingly communicate that his intrest and preservation in school time is precious? Forgive any typos as I am on my phone. Thanks for any advice in advance too!

    • Rachel H says:

      While this isn’t related to the home schooling – what it does relate to is the Husband one. Honestly – mine is the same way. And I just thought it was his issue until I read it in your aspect.

      He’s taken on working 6 days a week plus business trips. I’m happy to be home with the kids, but what I realize now is that I miss his interaction. I’m used to him being more involved, doing certain things, giving his input. He’s just blitzed and its hard not to take exhaustion as indifference. My consideration in involving him is only seen as hesitation or yet another thing for him to “do”. His day is so packed its busy-busy-busy…he just wants the tasks done quickly so he can enjoy some time to sit down or relax.

      So don’t take it personally. Take this opportunity however and own it. I’m not certain if you stopped working recently to stay home full-time. Regardless, that is a big transition alone. Get out of the house – its so easy as a SAHM to get overwhelmed where things just don’t get done. When your in the boiling pot all day its easy to miss things, think they really aren’t that messy, or get caught up household tensions. Then BOOM the kitchen looks like it exploded and tasks continue to build. Buy paper plates and cups if dishes are impossible. I’d rather have a extra bag of garbage then more stress. Find the things that take up your time and get those solutions that will work. I know a Mom that hired a woman to help clean every payday. This way every two weeks she felt caught up on things. Then when its all done, and the Hubs can come home to collect his thoughts – schedule in weekly sessions if you need to for him to “evaluate” all that great things that week. Find what works. You have a valid point that he needs to show interest in some format. Adjust your schedule accordingly and stop doubting yourself. Not that it started that way or that you mean for it to be seen that way. But our consideration and patience or waiting for joint discussion – isn’t working.

      You know traditionally, just working 40 hours people spend more time w/co-workers then they do family. We’re essentially running a household as a single parent. Except for 3 hours a day we get a team member coming in expecting the moon on a whole different playing field. That is why for me at least, its easier when he does leave for a business trip. I can get more stuff done! Not because I couldn’t have before – I just didn’t have someone else disrupting exact moment our schedule would naturally shift.

      Sorry to write a book. Good luck in finding the answers you need. And thank you in part for making me realize what I didn’t see either.

    • Debbie, I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment/question until today! I think you did the right thing by talking to your husband about the need for him to show interest in your children’s homeschool work. If he doesn’t see the need to be more involved, then you can’t force him to do it. You can, though, take every opportunity to point out to your children their dad’s example. Instead of allowing the kids to see or hear your frustration, it’s up to you to take opportunities to say, “Your dad worked really hard on his paper/test/etc.! If he can work 2 jobs and go to school and make good grades, let’s show him that you can work just as hard and make good grades like he does.” Those kinds of comments will encourage your children and hopefully motivate them to do well. Also, you could encourage your children to show their work to their dad. If they do a great job on something, remind them to show their work to their dad when he’s home. Hopefully those suggestions will help some, and they might even cause your husband to see that the children want his input and encouragement.

  8. This is great! Thank you! My husband is very much against homeschooling our children. I am currently pregnant and we have a 3 year old, a 6 year old, and a 9 year old. Our 9 year old is from my husbands previous relationship. My 6 year old is in Kinder at a great public school in a prestigious part of town. However, everyday she asks to be homeschooled. She loves her friends and her teachers, she is also on level. She struggles a little bit with reading, but is on level with her grade. Her biggest complaint is that it is too long. She doesn’t want to spend 7 hours at school, just to come home and do more schoolwork until bedtime. I 100% agree with her. I know she has the capabilities to be great. She loves dancing, music, and art, and I wish I could work with her more. I want to homeschool her, but because her and my stepson go to the same school, my husband does not want me pulling our daughter out of school. He will not discuss it and blows me off. My stepson is with us half the time, and with his grandparents the other half. His mother is only involved occasionally so there is no way they would agree to me homeschooling, especially since we have joint custody. I am torn. I understand my husbands objection, but I also recognize my daughters concerns and needs. I stay at home and work from home as a writer and blogger so I am at home all day anyway. Any suggestions on what to do in this situation?

    • This article was written with moms like you in mind. :) Take a look at the “do’s” and “don’ts” listed in the article. There is no guarantee that your husband will come around to your way of thinking or decide that he wants you to homeschool the children, but it is a possibility. If he doesn’t decide to support your desire to homeschool, then it’s my honest opinion that you shouldn’t do it. Homeschooling is rewarding, but it is also very challenging. Without his support, I don’t think it’s a good idea at all. Also, be sure to look at the resources listed. Maybe your husband will agree to at least read some of the suggested resources. Other than that, you simply have to pray that God will change your husband’s heart if it’s His will that you homeschool your children.

  9. Thank you for your article. We have three children, 9, 5, and 2. The two-year old is still with me; the five-year old is doing her Grade R (we’re in South Africa; I think Grade R is similar to your Kindergarten) at an informal playschool, and my eldest is in a public school. I have been toying with the idea of homeschooling since my eldest was a baby (in other words, for nine years now). I am also a work-at-home mom and have found it quite a juggle especially while I had a baby in the house. But my youngest is turning three in a few weeks, and we are not planning any more. So we really seem to be moving more and more towards a situation where it would be totally doable for me to homeschool.

    Besides, my nine-year old has been begging to be homeschooled for over a year. She does not really enjoy school and is a very sensitive child. My hubby has never been very much in favour of homeschooling, but I am really starting to feel an urgency about it.

    When I read your article, I actually cried – as the approach you suggest, is exactly what I have decided to follow. Firstly I am praying that if it is the Father’s will, that He will bring my hubby and me onto the same page about it. Secondly, I raised the topic a few weeks ago, briefly explaining why I think it would work and why I believe it would be a great choice for our family. My hubby did not respond in a negative way (praise the Father!) but he did seem a little uncertain and voiced a specific concern. I told him what I knew regarding that concern, but also said that I would do my research about everything, find out exactly how we could make it work, and get back to him. And I encouraged him to think about it in the meantime. So now I am in the active research phase. It is an exciting time but also quite challenging…and the biggest challenge, I find, is to continue having faith that if it is the Father’s will, that He will ensure that my hubby ends up supporting the idea fully.

    • Ena, I think you’re doing exactly the right thing! And I know that God will honor your prayers by either changing your husband’s heart toward homeschooling or helping you and your 9-year-old to be content with public school. I know it must be difficult to pray and allow God to choose the outcome (because don’t we usually think we need to help God out and make our own decisions?), but I also know that God’s will is always the best. I have to remind myself of that fact very often! Blessings to you!

  10. This is a great article. I have been awake most of the night wondering what to do with my daughter’s schooling. She will start school on Monday, we just moved a few days ago to a new town and the registration process has been so extremely difficult. I’ve always wanted to homeschool our kids (6,4,2 yrs old) but my husband worries that I won’t be able to handle all the stress. (Although I feel so stressed sending my little girl to school every day.) It also means I have less energy to focus on him when he is home. One of my happiest years was when I had 3 littles at home and home schooled my daughter for pre-k (in a 1 bedroom apartment!). I will keep praying. We are in a more spacious living situation now so I think my stress levels will lower and perhaps my husband will see that I can handle homeschooling my daughter.

    • Hi Kiasa! One thing you might want to try to do (which you may already be doing) is try to somehow work it out so that you aren’t stressed and running yourself ragged when your husband gets home from work. If you can show him that you have things under control, that may make him much more likely to see that you will be able to handle homeschooling. Also, it’s probably a good idea to try to set aside some time to spend with him in the evenings–even if it’s after the kids go to bed. My hubby, like yours, enjoys spending some kid-free time with me in the evenings. It’s really a compliment because there are many husbands who don’t want to spend time with their wives. Because your husband does want to spend time with you, he may be afraid that if you homeschool you won’t have any time left for him. I do hope it works out so that you can homeschool!

  11. I’ve been schooling my daughter for 3 years and my wife is dead against it. This sucks so bad. Wish she would help or even take over but I sacrifice and do it. She doesn’t have a job and I work from home. I also cook too. Anyway I am bummed. I wish God would change her heart but so far she is not there.

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