Mistake #2. They are not in agreement with their husband. Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” If your husband is not in agreement, ask God to speak to him. In the meantime, keep quiet. God will convict him if that is what He wants you to do. There may be a reason why you should wait that only God knows. Only when you are both in agreement, should you homeschool.
Although homeschooling was my idea first, my husband never disagreed with it. I could say he was indifferent to it initially, not realizing what it was all about and how directly related it is to parenting, especially intentional parenting. So while I never had to wait for my husband to agree, I did have to wait on God to slowly unfold what part my husband was to take in the home schooling of our children. Waiting, for me, included learning to communicate to my husband where we were in our schooling at the moment and what challenges we were facing. And my husband was always thoughtful enough to ask and desired that he was kept updated. The first time some of the children took standardized testing and they scored quite well, homeschooling got dad’s attention right away. This thing isn’t such a bad idea after all, he seemed to say. He became more supportive, patiently hearing me out when I was deciding on curricula as well as more consciously sharing the workload at home (doing groceries, preparing meals, cleaning, etc). As we got deeper into home schooling, it became evident that character training took precedence over academic training, though both remained valuable to us. Home is the place we can start “making disciples”.
Consequently, my husband realized that home schooling isn’t something he can just agree to and have his wife accomplish. It didn’t work that way. The spiritual upbringing of our children, which permeates their education, was his responsibility first. Author of the bestselling book “Pointman”, Steve Farrar, quotes Douglas Wilson’s proposed job description of someone who took his male leadership in the family seriously. Douglas Wilson suggests that part of a man’s responsibility at home is,
He will not allow his children to be taught, educated, or raised by men and women who live and teach in rebellion against God. He will remove his children from government schools and educate them at home or in a godly school.
In discussing this issue in his book, “Getting There”, Steve Farrar states further,
Thank God that there are some fine Christian teachers and administrators in the public schools. May their tribe increase! But at the same time, we must admit that they are swimming upstream in a system that is anti-God, anti-Bible, and anti-truth. It’s not a God-fearin’ system. So the question is this: If you are a God-fearin’ man with a God-fearin’ wife trying to raise God fearin’ kids, then why would you hand them over for eight hours a day to a system that is opposed to everything you stand for? That’s the question you have to answer from your gut. You can’t avoid that question and be a man. You have to take it on.
So, since our children were already at home, my husband sought to take an active role in teaching them God’s word. This included instructing them in the ways of God and bringing them up in fear of Him. It is not always easy since God probably gave this mandate specifically to parents so that we can teach them more effectively by example. As Tedd Tripp writes in his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart, we stand before God, as sinners, both above and with our children,
…dealing with disobedience is a wonderful opportunity to draw alongside our children. As you learn their internal struggles with sin, you have an inside track. You, like they, are a sinner. You can use your insight into the nature of temptation to help them understand their own battles. You can also encourage your children that the unending grace and mercy that you have found in Jesus Christ is offered to them as well. In him there is righteousness that we cannot produce, forgiveness that we cannot merit, and power that we cannot generate. There is hope for needy people in this one who became flesh and dwelt among us.
Eventually as we entered the high school years and our children’s programs became more specialized, we realized the need for my husband to take on some academic areas as well. There were, indeed, some subjects that my husband could handle better because of his own training and background. The complimenting skills and personalities my husband and I have further enhance our children’s instruction. We continue to work out the details of how we will share the load of teaching high school but that is the beauty of home schooling: we are ALL learning along the way!