Home School: Books, Children, Kitchen, and Husbands

Published with Permission

Written by Ronald E Johnson, C.Ph.D.


Someone once observed with tongue in cheek, that the best candidate for managing a Fortune 500 corporation would be a home school mother who successfully educated half a dozen children while keeping her marriage intact.  Anyone who knows anything about education, marriage and home management smiles in agreement.  The fact is that home education is no easy accomplishment.  It requires a genius level mental capacity, industrial level production, Wall Street management skills, and athleticism at the Pro-bowl level!  And oh yes, the effective home school mom demonstrates a good sense of humor, tough hide, romantic touch, culinary skills, and academic competency at the Ph. D. level. 

Nothing short of praise and admiration are due to moms who home educate their children.  The women who decide to train their children at kitchen tables and living room desks deserve credit far beyond the accolades splashed on traditional school teachers.  Not only do home school moms keep house (laundry, dishes, meals, diapers, mopping, and dusting), they are acutely aware of sensitive relationships with their husbands.  It is one thing to keep children focused diligently on arithmetic, grammar, penmanship, and science projects; it is quite another thing to maintain a positive and endearing relationship with husband after a grueling day with diapers, arithmetic, biology, grilled-cheese sandwiches, and research assignments.

Women who accept the responsibility of home educating children take on a role that can make or break a marriage.  Men are capable of being noble, generous, kind, understanding and protective.  A husband is also capable of being insensitive to needs of his children, demanding about affection from his wife, and absent from home when needed.  Life for a home educating wife becomes more than a little rough when the husband boasts, “I let my wife take care of educating the kids.”  Fortunate is the home schooling mom whose husband shares the load of active participant in the home by taking care of such responsibilities as finances, home and vehicle maintenance, spiritual leadership and superintendent over school matters. Even with a participating husband, the daily work load can become almost too demanding for wives who do not maintain a delicate balance among the role as mother, educator, housekeeper and wife.

More than a few marriages among home school families grow tense and fragile due to conflicts that stem from the wife’s overload during the day with children.  Operating a one-room school for multiple grade levels and academic courses requires lesson planning, instructional oversight and late-night paper grading.  Those tasks usually leave the wife exhausted and emotionally drained by lights out.  However, her role as wife still requires her to address her husband’s expectations for romantic intimacy.  Moreover, most home-educating families are large by design; the couples desire numerous children.  They may come along by surprise, but usually they are anticipated and wanted.  However, the larger the family, the greater are mom’s responsibilities for application of the Fortune 500 skills.  The husband and wife learn to involve their children in keeping the home manageable so mom can take care of daily school responsibilities.  Children make their beds, clean up their rooms, sort laundry, wash dishes, clean the carpet, sweep the kitchen floor, mow the lawn, feed the chickens, weed the garden, and prepare meals.  They become mom’s “extra hands” so she can “run the school” and “be a good wife.”

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