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Practical Homeschooling® :

You've Got a Friend

By Bill Pride
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #62, 2005.

What is the father/husband's role in the homeschool?
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Bill Pride

We just had all the kids home for Christmas, including our college kids, Sarah and Joseph, and our son Joseph's fiancee.

It was a great feeling to have everyone around the table again, all safe and sound. With all our oldest son Ted's health problems, which he has had since the day of his birth, we never take our kids' health and safety for granted. And with everything that's going on in the world, we also never take our children's moral and spiritual health for granted.

You Just Call Out My Name...

Singer James Taylor wrote a song in the 1970s called "You've Got a Friend" that included these words: "When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand... You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running... "

That perfectly describes my role as a homeschooling dad with a family business. When I'm not running errands or taking grad school classes for my Master's degree in math, I'm there to help out as needed.

In the last few days I fixed a computer problem for one of my kids who is taking online courses, went out and bought ingredients for my daughter who wanted to make a gingerbread house, helped another child with math, took a son out for a special birthday dinner, ordered nutrition supplements online for various family members, and picked up Chinese food when we were low on groceries and nobody had time to shop.

"No big deal," you say. "I do all that and more."

Exactly! While we homeschool dads all have varying amounts of time available to help out, most of us have a servant's heart when it comes to our families. We want to serve them. That's why so many homeschool dads are interested in starting home businesses.

People Can Be So Cold

"You've Got a Friend" goes on to say, "People can be so cold. They'll hurt you and desert you. Well, they'll take your soul if you let them, oh yeah, but don't you let them..."

There in a nutshell is my biggest reason for deciding to homeschool my children. If my kids were in school, I'd be unable to protect them from bullies, from intrusive classroom psychological tests and games, from indirect and direct attacks on their Christian faith, and from curriculum designed to promote premature sexualization and moral confusion.

Conscientious parents of schooled kids try to make a difference. They can spend hours drilling their kids in math facts and provide extra tutoring at their own expense. They can spend hours weekly attempting to repair the damage to their kids' souls. But often even that isn't enough.

One of our close relatives almost lost his son that way. He and his wife couldn't be more conscientious parents. But at school their son made friends who got him into drugs and other bad behavior. His parents confronted him, talked to him, sent him to counselors. Still his behavior become totally out of control. Luckily they had the money to send him to a private facility that specializes in straightening out these kids. And providentially his wife became a Christian through all this and began praying for her son. But what a tragedy this has been for them... and how helpless they were to prevent it from happening!

Safety in Numbers

As homeschoolers, we can be there for our kids to lean on in a way that's impossible for those with kids in public school. We can protect them from a lot. We have now moved to the "good side of town," educationally speaking. But we still need our homeschool version of "Neighborhood Watch."

That's where Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and our state groups come in. You can find them online at www.home-school.com/groups/

Because you need a friend, too.

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