that he should be performing the same
tasks the principal of a school would.
This is almost impossible to do in situations where the dad is gone all day.
I have seen some mothers gradually
lose respect for their husbands because
they couldn’t deal with disciplinary situations that arose during the day, or because they didn’t want to be involved in
the selection of curriculum materials, or
because they showed no interest in attending curriculum fairs or workshops.
The attendance at my workshops is
typically ninety percent women. There
are usually two or three couples attending
together, and I can tell that some of the
other moms are jealous. When you really
consider it, though, isn’t it likely the other
dads are at home spending time with the
kids so that the moms could have a little
time for themselves? Even in the event a
few of them are actually out fishing, maybe that is exactly what they need to get a
fresh outlook on life and return in the evening recharged and ready to go again!
The Bible gives us two major com-
mands when it comes to the father’s role
in the family. Ephesians 6: 4 says that fa-
thers should “provoke not your children
to wrath: but bring them up in the nur-
ture and admonition of the Lord.”
To me, this means the father should
also be the spiritual leader of the family.
That includes insisting that children be
obedient to and respect their mothers,
even when the dad is absent. It certainly
indicates a need for the dad to participate
in prayer times and Bible study and to es-
tablish a consistent, loving environment
to help the children gradually develop
Other than that, the exact roles of the
dads will vary. Mostly, they should be good
role models and share themselves and their
own interests with the children whenever
possible. My own kids learned a lot of biology from cutting up fish after fishing trips!
That is certainly not something they would
ever have learned from me!
Every family’s situation is slightly different. There are many traditional families where the dads go out to work each
day, and the mom stays home to take
care of the house and educate the kids,
but there are also families where there is
a reversal of roles. There are single moms
who homeschool, single dads who do so,
and even grandparents who step in to
take on this responsibility. Therefore, the
exact roles will sometimes vary, but the
overall concept of a family learning and
working together will usually work a lot
better than trying too hard to duplicate
the structure of a school.
Mary Hood, Ph.D., and her hus-
You have individual relationships with your children, not a classroom.
band, Roy, homeschooled their five
children since the early 1980s. All
have successfully made the transition
to adulthood. Mary has a Ph.D. in
education and is the director of AR-
CHERS for the Lord, Inc. (The As-
sociation of Relaxed Christian Home
Educators). She is the author of The
Relaxed Home School, The Joyful
Home Schooler, and other books,
and is available for speaking engage-
ments. Contact her via her website,