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Balancing Your Marriage and Homeschooling




4 Ways to Keep the Balance Right Between Your Marriage and Homeschooling

I know, this may sound silly, but if you’re married…and you homeschool…sometimes one can get in the way of the other…

Balancing Homeschooling and Marriage

Think about for a moment:

In many homeschooling families, the day typically starts when one parent – usually dad – heads off to work. Mom continues the day’s activities with a combination of lessons, chores, activities, play dates, and various other events… A rhythm and life-flow develops between all the family members at home, and then Dad arrives back at the end of the day. Mom and the kids struggle in varying degrees to get him up to date to keep him in the loop, with varying levels of success…

 

When these efforts are not successful, this is what happens:

  • dad becomes disconnected and/or withdrawn from the family,
  • mom becomes resentful and assumes a “head of the household” role, and even more seriously in extreme cases,
  • there develops an underlying stress in the marriage.

I suppose if you think about it, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, right? I mean, when any group of people are together 24/7 (for the most part) they are most certainly bound to become close.  And even when and as the kids gets older, most homeschooling moms can attest to the great amounts of evergy that are required of them throughout the day – even when it’s “just” helping older children keep up with online or co-op studies. And in addition to the day-to-day stuff that needs to get done, you have those added responsibilities to your co-op or homeschool group or church or… Well, you get my drift!

So by the time dear old dad gets home from work…well, sometimes there’s not a lot of “you” left…

It’s the wise spouse that sees this happening, and then takes steps to safeguard the priority relationship…

 

So what can you do when your homeschooling gets off-balance with your marriage?

1) Don’t settle

First of all, understand that this is totally normal.  That being said, however, don’t settle! Develop an antennae to recognize when your spouse is out of sync, then immediately get to work on a plan to remedy the situation. Also, keep a finger on your own needs for “me time”, and ensure you get it! You’re not good for anyone else, if you’re no good for yourself

2) Get to work

Here’s where the plan part comes in. Don’t expect your spouse to fix things, because often he won’t even know he doesn’t know what’s going on.  Plan and ensure you have periodic times together to talk one-on-one about:

Figure out how he processes information, and then deliver updates in that format. This might mean short, quick phone calls or texts throughout the day, or emails, or occasional “parent-teacher meetings” at home, or a date night designated as a homeschool update opportunity.

3) Maintain an attitude-check

Hey, nobody likes to feel like an outsider; this extends to your husband, too. Resenting the fact that he may have checked out does no good whatsoever, and is totally counter-productive. During the day, prep the kids to share their successes and frustrations with dad when he gets home, perhaps during or after supper. And make sure you give yourself the same pep talk! But remember that whatever you do is helpful only so far as your attitude is concerned. Whatever you do to strengthen your marriage in the context of your family life, make sure you’re doing it out of a heart of love and a desire to have a whole and healthy marriage and family.

4) Give it time

Remember that the issues and problems and habits didn’t happen overnight, and they don’t get fixed overnight, either. Make little changes on a consistent basis, keep tweaking as needed, and you’ll find that your husband get back in the game, you’ll have more energy and feel more support, and your family’s homeschooling efforts will make your marriage all the more strong and rich, healthy and fulfilling!

I have to tell you that as I write this, I’m getting a much-needed reminder to self. Balance isn’t easy for anyone…and if you’re sitting back all smug and secure-like, let me just warn you that you’re especially at risk!

The bottom line:

Whatever's required of you to homeschool should never trump what's required for your marriage. Click To Tweet

While not only being a tool to give your children a quality education suited to their individual needs and unique gifts, homeschooling can and should be another extension of life with your spouse, adding depth and richness to the marriage relationship.

What are some suggestions you can pass on for keeping a healthy balance between time and energy spent homeschooling, and time and energy spent strengthening your marriage?

 

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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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8 Responses to Balancing Your Marriage and Homeschooling

  1. Lisa Nelson March 24, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    These are good suggestions, but it takes two to make a marriage work. There are a lot of things that get in the way of a marriage, that have nothing to do with homeschooling. It’s important to realize that both have to work hard to make a marriage work.

    • Pat March 24, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

      Absolutely, Lisa – no argument there! However, I always tell my kids that the only person you can change is yourself… I’m only referring to things that WE (homeschooling moms) might be doing that could be detrimental here. It is DEFinitely something that requires both parties to contribute to…

      Thanks for stopping by…and for your input!
      Pat recently posted…Beyond The Cross – What Has He Done for You?My Profile

  2. Bekki @ A Better Way to Homeschool March 21, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Prioritizing marriage is huge, and a struggle.
    After 16 years of homeschooling I can can clearly see the difference between when hubby is first or last.
    My boys need to know that I have my priorities right. They seem to have a radar that detects when I am out of balance.
    Nothing in a school day is as important as my marriage.
    Date nights, leaving energy in my tank for him, taking care of his needs, setting time for each other: top priorities.

    I am embarrassed by how quickly I can slip into my homeschooling rut of kids and school. I need to constantly remind myself to keep everything in balance.
    Have a great week!
    Bekki @ A Better Way to Homeschool recently posted…From 8th Grader to Man: Homeschooling through High SchoolMy Profile

    • Pat March 23, 2016 at 6:51 am #

      Oh Bekki, all I can say is “Amen, amen, amen!” to ALL your thoughts! This is yet another area that I have to exercise constant diligence, too. So don’t be embarrassed – you’re in good company here! Honestly, I think that’s why I write at least half the posts I do…as a “note to self”!!
      Have a great week…and a blessed Easter!

  3. Simply Knowledge Homeschool March 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    Thank you for sharing on Top-Notch Tuesday! This is something a lot of us struggle with. I appreciate the help and encouragement.
    http://www.simplyknowledgehomeschool.com/top-notch-tuesday-link-up-party-2/
    Simply Knowledge Homeschool recently posted…Top-Notch Tuesday Link-Up Party #2My Profile

    • Pat March 16, 2016 at 6:28 am #

      Glad to be there! Hope it helps to know that you’re not the only one struggling with it… To encourage each other to do the right thing: that’s what we’re all here for!
      Thanks for stopping by; have a wonderful week…

  4. Mother of 3 March 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    We try to make it a priority to get away from the kids (and don’t talk about homeschooling either) just having a fun night or weekend to ourselves; remembering why we chose each other to begin with.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Pi Day CelebrationMy Profile

    • Pat March 15, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

      Time away is SO important…that’s great that you do that as often as you can 😉
      I have SUCH a hard time *not* talking about the kids, tho, don’t you? LOL
      Thanks for taking the time to share with us – have a great week!
      Pat recently posted…Why You Should Attend a Homeschool Convention This YearMy Profile

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