How To Handle A Spouse Who Doesn’t Want To Homeschool
When homeschooling is on your heart, having a spouse who doesn’t feel the same way can be utterly devastating. Trust me on this. I have been down that road. I wanted to homeschool my children but my husband did not. In fact, when I first approached my husband Jason the answer was “No!” not a “maybe” or a “we’ll talk about it” a straightforward “no” that hurt.
When You Feel The Desire To Homeschool
My heart was on fire with the desire to homeschool. I had 2 children with one on the way when I first approached my husband about homeschooling. Initially, homeschooling was not even a blip on the radar for me. I knew nothing about, not even that you COULD homeschool your child.
When I finally came across my first homeschool blog (thanks Pinterest!), it was like a light was switched on. My son and I had been playing very intentionally since he was young. I tried directing him gently to learn things like his colors and shapes, counting and more. We grew a pepper plant, planted dill for caterpillars, we went on nature walks and did scavenger hunts. It was like we were homeschoolers, or maybe unschoolers, before we knew what it was!
But Your Spouse Doesn’t
I felt like homeschooling was something I NEEDED to do. I didn’t want to. I was going to have to do this. It would be such a blessing to my children to give them the opportunity to learn at home, at their pace, in their own way. We made homeschooling friends and joined a co-op for our preschool year, but still, my husband was insistent it would not continue when my son was old enough to enroll.
Being down the path that I have been I would like to offer you the best advice I have for your situation. I know that it is absolutely devastating to have something on your heart and for that desire not to be within your spouse. It caused me immense hurt. It almost felt like a betrayal that he did not even give it consideration at first. Let me lift you up in prayer, and offer you these solutions.
Pray over it
Ask the Lord to help direct your spouse’s heart towards homeschooling. No mountain can be moved without prayer. It took several months- maybe even a year before we could have a real discussion on the topic but little by little God worked on my husband.
Trust in the Lord
I was once offered this pearl of wisdom: “God does not give a husband and a wife separate dreams.” Since I felt so strongly about this, I knew that He would move my husband towards it too. I had never felt so strongly that something must be done. I knew with the convictions I had for homeschooling that it was a dream given to me by the Lord.
Do Not Force It
If you have to place your children in the care of the public school system for a season, it will be alright. There is plenty of time to shape them before and after school. Defying your spouse can cause much more harm then the public school system will. You still have the ability to advocate for your child if their needs aren’t being met if they are in public school for a season or two.
Find The Reason For The No
Why is your spouse against the idea of homeschooling? Do you know what the reason is? If you do there is plenty of information out there to contradict common homeschooling myths. For example, my husband had concerns over socialization *eye roll* so I took him to our co-op where we had 90+ homeschool family members running around! How is that for socialization!
Speak Softly And Know Your Facts
In the famous words of Theodore Roosevelt “Speak softly and carry a big stick”! So I know this old adage usually implies being cautious and willing to back it up with force. I’m going to switch it up a bit for our own use.
Speak gently and infrequently (I would talk about once a week instead of daily) about the notion of homeschool. When the time comes, be ready to have the big discussion. The “Big Stick” for our purpose here is to do your homework.
Eventually, when the discussion became real and in-depth, I knew the laws of homeschool in Pennsylvania like the back of my hand. I knew when we had to send our letter of intent, when we needed our first evaluation, and who was locally available to do our evals! I answered every question my husband had and more because I had done my due diligence and had my “Big Stick” ready!
Let me end with this, I am praying for your strength today, future homeschool mom. It is easy to get angry and fight over this. Stay strong and shape your husband’s heart with kindness and words of love. Lead him. Pray for his heart to be reshaped. Lean on the Lord, and know that you are in my prayers!