Can homeschooling improve a husband and wife’s relationship? Emphatically, yes. Homeschooling generally enables parents to more easily prioritize their child’s wellbeing and meet their unique needs. Also, in taking full responsibility for their child’s rearing and education, parents find themselves being confronted with the true span of their influence, and this motivates them to model positive behaviors. Homeschooling tends to lead to more traditional roles in a marriage which can help create harmony at home. At the heart of the argument, just as in the picture above, are children. The point is how homeschooling is beneficial to them because what is good for children is good for their parents.
Mom and dad are not at peace unless they know their children are alright. Mothers seem to be particularly sensitive. A friend I worked with years ago lamented, “It’s so hard being a working mom. Every minute of the day you wonder if your kid is ok, if they’re being treated right. I wear my heart on my sleeve all day.” She often remarked that she would stress her husband out by constantly worrying about the kids while they were both at work. I learned she wasn’t overreacting. One day she left work in a rush to the ER because a preschool worker had tugged too hard at her young child’s hand and pulled her shoulder joint out of its socket. Another time she found her child in the midst of an asthma attack requiring treatment which had gone unnoticed by the adults in charge.
My child has a chronic condition and it’s a load off my husband to know that I am at home ensuring our child’s health is handled with the utmost of care and attention. I grew up with the same illness and learned that adults in institutions, despite their best of intentions, cannot compete with parents whose attention orbits their own child more than any other. As a 13-year-old on an overnight school field trip, my medication was taken from me because of a school policy. It was deemed “for my safety” but my teachers forgot it on a bus while we were dropped off at separate location. I got dangerously sick as a result. The worst part however, was my teachers holding me fully accountable for the incident. It was years before I realized it wasn’t my fault and that I had been manipulated into believing it was.
While my teachers behaved badly, my parents chose to leave me in the care of untrained school officials who shouldn’t have been entrusted with my precarious circumstances at the time. Most kids don’t have a serious health issue, thank goodness, but they can be traumatized, manipulated, and indoctrinated and they become stressed, anxious, and depressed. It is our responsibility as parents to have them in a healthy environment. The connection between a couple’s marriage and the wellbeing of their children should not be underestimated. When parents feel certain of their children’s welfare or of their genuine efforts to that effect, they’re much more likely to be calm and content with each other.
It’s not uncommon for parents who don’t feel in control of their child’s environment to turn to heroes outside the home since they both feel unable to personally see to their child’s wellbeing and education for much of the day. Again, women are especially vulnerable to this. In the midst of heartache and feelings of helplessness, a mother may be increasingly tempted to conjure up external solutions which are probably not as effective as her mere presence at home would be.
A fellow mom at a playground once asked me to sign a statement against kid bullies. I didn’t want to sign some arbitrary statement so I declined. I received an incredulous look and explained that of course I don’t approve of bullies but I homeschool my kids and that limits their access to bullies. On top of that, I’m raising them not to be bullies by not bullying them which helps to solve the problem of bullies for generations to come. What if more parents made sure of their child’s safety and positive development themselves instead of signing letters that demand others “do something”?
Homeschooling, with its spirit of self-reliance, helped my husband and I get into the habit of putting our heads together to troubleshoot our own solutions and model the behavior we want our children to emulate. You don’t have to homeschool to do this, but the precious motivation to do so increases when such a great responsibility isn’t delegated. Do you want to know how to keep the spark alive in a marriage? Honestly, it’s by being mature adults who are both seeking to do whatever is objectively best for their children. And then going after that even if it’s hard and even if most people aren’t doing it. The pride and joy wrought from this noble endeavor will keep a couple glued together.
Homeschooling couples tend to live a kind of modern luxury. The spouse working “outside of the home” benefits from the peace-of-mind involved in knowing the kids are optimally cared for and are learning under the guidance of someone they trust who is reinforcing their values, not undermining them. They often come home to a cozy and welcoming house. Their partner can fill them in on what they missed pertaining to the kids. There are no mandatory worksheets to help anyone complete. The spouse who stays with the kids, who is usually, but not always, the mother, benefits from the comforting proximity to the children as well as from being able to fit in some valuable self-care and dedicate their time, energy, and talents to the family’s overall success.
I’m in a robe and slippers when my husband heads out into the elements each morning. It makes me quite aware of how fortunate the kids and I are. He’s our hero. This inspires me to carry my weight and be productive while he’s gone. My husband feels admired, respected, and cared for and that motivates him to be the best husband and father he can be. It’s a family-sustaining cycle which is highly conducive to a happy marriage. I can’t recommend it enough.