Friday, November 4, 2011

Why "Abi homeschools too"?

It’s been a goal of mine to homeschool my children long before I was married.  In fact I first discussed the idea when I was in high school.  I was far from impressed with my own experience and believed that there must be a better way.  Although the average individual would always make the standard refutations of the social impacts, the lack of quality education, along with all of the other fallacies, I was never shaken in my belief.  Anyone that went to a public school, and then took the choice to homeschool their children, is aware of the sheer difference and the results speak for themselves. 

I thank God that my wife was never opposed to the idea.  One of the main things you need in homeschooling is the support of your spouse at the bare minimum.  Whether your classroom is run by Mrs. Mom or Mr. Dad, both parents play an equally important role in a child’s education. Discouragement can come in many ways, sometimes from Parents, or In-laws, or just peers.  This discouragement seems to be rooted in an insecurity felt by parents who see homeschoolers as attacking the integrity of the public education system by removing themselves from it.  They assume we see them as lacking in their love and concern for their children and their educational development for not homeschooling.  This results in the defense tactic of; “your child will be an outcast, won’t have friends, or will lack the educational skills to intermingle with society”, in order to justify their position.  These claims are all baseless and only arise from ignorance. Certainly experience takes the edge off of criticism. Again I thank God for the support of my wife, and she’s since become our head teacher. 

While I praise our sisters who have taken the greatest career choice, of being full time mom’s and homeschooling their children, there seems to be a stigma that homeschooling is a mom thing.  While I can’t deny that even in my own household mom is doing more than I can keep up with, I believe I must play a very important role in a child’s homeschooling education.   I don’t think that I’m alone out there, but one small search through homeschooling blogs and you will find that the fathers are missing from the dialogue.  I think it’s great and encouraging that so many mothers have such concern in the development of their children, and I would like to be a part of that encouraging movement, but I want people to know that Abi homeschools too.

My goal of this blog is to encourage more dialogue about a father’s role in his child’s educational journey. Furthermore I hope to be an example for Dads who either have children that are predominantly homeschooled by mom, and  or Dads who may be contemplating homeschooling but are on the fence, by letting them know that Abi homeschools too.  Fathers have different dynamics than mothers, especially if the mother is a stay at home mom and the father is the breadwinner.  Time is clearly a constraint, but through my experience I know it can be managed.   I am a full time student and teacher, my schedule can be exhausting, but the stakes are too high to not play an important role in the development of my children.

Although I’ve stolen the spotlight with the name of the blog, my wife homeschools too, and I hope she’ll share her experience with us.  We hope to network with other homeschooling mom’s and dad’s to learn from their experience, and hopefully benefit others through sharing our own.  I hope you’ll not only read along, but comment, give suggestions, and help us to improve ourselves, our teaching methods, and curriculum. 

* For those of you who don't know, Abi means "my dad" in Arabic, so that's what my kids call me.