The following is a letter I received and my answer:
Recently I had a conversation with a friend about a father's role in homeschooling, especially a father whose job requires him to be away several hours a day. Her view is that a father doesn't have much of a role in homeschooling, other than being supportive of the idea. I don't agree, but, I was at a loss for words as to why exactly I didn't agree.
Do you have any articles you could send me that address a father's role in homeschooling (and, again, from a personal perspective, my husband's job and my friend's husband's job are time consuming with occasional travel)? I would be honored to receive any insights from you! And if you have not written an article to this effect - perhaps I've sparked an idea
Your friend shortchanges herself by deciding that the father's role is merely of a bread-winning nature. What exactly does she mean by "being supportive" of the idea?
The father's role in the family is closely tied with his role in the homeschool, since both are inextricably joined (or at least should be). Christian education is not one choice among many for the believer; it is a command of God. If the family chooses to obey that command in the context of a homeschool, then if the father is not the head of the school, he has abdicated his God-give role. Should a mother want to usurp that role, she (and her homeschooling endeavors) are headed for trouble.
I would suggest you have this woman read my books, if she hasn't already done so. They are intended to convey a homeschooling mindset (Lessons Learned from Years of Homeschooling and The Homeschool Life) and a family mindset (The Biblical Trustee Family).
It doesn't really change the dynamic if the father's job calls him to be away during the day or sometimes travel. The way we dealt with this in our home was as a result of my husband understanding that his authority came from God and my authority was derived from him. In our household, if the kids disobeyed him, there would be trouble. But, if they disobeyed me in his absence, there would be more trouble. He let them know that just because he wasn't present, didn't mean that he wasn't going to keep them accountable. After all, we don't see God in the flesh, but that doesn't negate or nullify his jurisdiction over us.
Hope this helps.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].