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5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials: The Homeschooling Mom

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

Homeschooling Mom, you have needs that must be met in order to effectively homeschool. So, I want to talk about the essential needs of a homeschooling mom and wife next.

I will share my personal story of struggle by sharing what I've learned from Todd Wilson's book, Help! I'm Married to a Homeschooling Mom, (aff link) and how it has helped our homeschool (and marriage!). This is a humorous, but seriously practical book and I highly recommend it for homeschooling dads and moms.

Todd Wilson, author, speaker, and father to 8, has a simple message for dads:
"Your unrealistic expectations, disapproval, and lack of interest further the burnout of your homeschooling wife until she's ready to throw in the towel."

While my husband was not lacking in showing interest in our homeschooling, he did have unrealistic expectations and I felt his disapproval at times.

I got to the point that I was ready to throw in the towel.

So, last summer, I stopped homeschooling and put my whole heart into meeting my husband's expectations.  I spent my hours and days doing nothing but cooking and cleaning and caring for children. The only "school" I did was a read-aloud at bedtime. After weeks of housecleaning, wifing, and mothering I proved that I could be a good housewife.

But, I can't do both.

I can't have two full time jobs. I can't be a full time housewife and a full time homeschooling mom.

And I started to reflect on why this was happening. My housekeeping standards had not declined over the past couple years. In fact, I was doing more housekeeping and less blogging than ever before. But, I asked him if he wanted me to stop blogging altogether and start doing the laundry again. (Do you know that he does the laundry so I can blog?)

He said no, but I was still hesitant to pour my heart into my blog. And I beat him to the laundry.

It was after many trials, much prayer, and marriage counseling that God opened my eyes to why my husband had such unrealistic expectations, or why they seemed so much higher, and why I felt like I couldn't meet them.

He was under stress, and I was feeling guilt.

I couldn't stop my husband from feeling stressed, but I could start praying for him in this area and I could stop feeling guilty that I couldn't live up to his expectations.

And thus, we began to rebuild our marriage {and our homeschool!}.

In his book, Help! I'm Married to a Homeschooling Mom, Todd Wilson outlines what homeschooling moms need. He says...

Homeschool moms need their husband's:

  • help

  • encouragement

  • leadership

  • listening ear

  • muscle

  • money

  • time

  • understanding

  • approval

  • prayers

  • sacrifice

Me... I needed my husband's understanding above all.

I appreciate how Todd Wilson highlights a Bible verse at the beginning of each chapter. Here is his version of 1 Peter 3:7 at the beginning of Chapter 8: Your Wife Needs: Your Understanding...
"You husbands [of homeschooling moms] in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way." ~ 1 Peter 3:7

Homeschooling moms are tired. Some days, I just need my husband to overlook the messes and piles, and understand that I am tired. I work hard to keep up the house, but it's just not possible to do it all. So, husbands are encouraged to live with their wives in an understanding way.

My husband is awesome in most of those areas. He gives me plenty of help around the house, with the children, and with the homeschooling. He is a wonderful encourager and is very supportive of me homeschooling.  And he is generally a very sweet guy and truly cherishes me.

He prays for me, offers a listening ear when I am fretting over curriculum, and he asks me how much we need to budget for homeschooling expenses so that we can afford to homeschool. And is willing to make sacrifices so that we can afford it. And he is wonderful about giving me time.  Every night that he is home for dinner, he takes over the after dinner clean up. If I ask him how I can help, he always tells me to go relax.

He is still growing in the area of understanding, but he is trying. He is much more relaxed, and I no longer feel guilty that I can't do it all.

And I am growing in allowing him to lead.

I am fiercely independent. It was hard for me to allow my husband to lead. But he is gifted in areas I am not. So, I am learning to listen to him in areas that I previously was not. It has always been his desire that we follow some sort of schedule and I've always been resistant to it. I'm convinced flexibility is a virtue, and in short, he is not. But, with his help, I made a schedule and started following it last week. My mornings are full and I have to stay on task to get through it, but it has helped me and I feel good about being so productive.

He was a little hesitant to lead in this way (for fear of stepping on my toes), but I assured him that I need his help in areas that he is gifted in.  In short, not only do husbands need to lead, as suggested in Chapter 3: Your Wife Needs Your Leadership, but as wives, we need to let them lead as well. Thankfully, my husband is an excellent example of a servant leader and trusts and values my opinion on most matters.

Help! I'm Married to a Homeschooling Mom will make you laugh and offer a perspective I'm sure you will relate to! I did. And it has helped our homeschool {and marriage!}. I think it helped him to hear from another guy what I've been trying to tell him all along.

In fact, Todd Wilson strongly believes that dads need encouragement, too, and his ministry, Family Man Ministries, is built on encouraging dads.  He is also a contributor to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's newsletter, The Homeschool Minute and offers encouragement and reminders of what's important.

I'll see you tomorrow for more homeschooling essentials!

We have 89 blogs participating in the blog hop this week!  You can read all of the blogs at the TOS Crew blog. I invite you to visit these lovely ladies this week:

Erica @ Be the One, Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story, Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessing, Christine @ Our Homeschool Reviews,  Sharon @ Life with the Tribe, Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio, Melanie @ FinchNWren, Brittney @ Mom’s Heart & Heather @ Principled Academy.

Disclaimer: I was not given this book to review, but rather a friend sent it to me to give to my husband in the midst of our trials. Thank you, dear friend! I contacted Todd Wilson and asked if he would be willing to give away a copy of his book on my blog during the Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop and he said yes! Thanks, Todd!  

Affiliate links are used in this post.