Our blog cruise topic for this week is “Making time for dad”. Hmmm…that is an important consideration. I mean, one of the main reasons we homeschool is so we can have more family time, but then of course, because we are often busy with school, daddy time can fall by the wayside! While I am the one primarily responsible for schooling in our home, I do think it’s very important that my boys get quality time with their father, so, I try to make sure they get time with him whenever he is home.
First, my husband is a firefighter and he works 24 hour shifts, so when he is gone, it is for a day at a time. He also works 2-3 overtime shifts every month (because we need the money since I am not working), so there are times he is gone for 48 hours at a time. This can be difficult, especially considering he is often very tired when he gets home and then has limited time to catch up on house chores and projects he is working on. Fortunately, his job is pretty family friendly, and when he is working a 48 hour stretch I usually load the boys up in the car and we go to the station and have lunch with him if he isn’t too busy running calls.
On the days he is off, it is nice, because he is often around for us to hang out with. On those days I plan bigger meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we all get to eat together. It is also cool that during school break times, my boys can go out in the garage and hang out with dad while he is working on something (and these are frequently bonus learning opportunities too!! 🙂 ). On the days I know he is going to be home, I try to plan our bookwork for the morning, because this is usually when my hubby takes a nap after work, or goes surfing. I try to leave our afternoons a little lighter, so we have the flexibility to all head to the beach or hang out in the pool if my husband wants to.
My hubby’s schedule also allows him to accompany us on field trips with our homeschool group, and we do plan regular breaks in our school year so we have time for a camping trip, a visit to family, or just for hanging out together.I also try to schedule my heavy “chore” days for the days my hubby is at work. Those are the days I do the mopping, dusting, laundry and homeschool planning so that when he is off, I am not tied up with that stuff and have more free time to be with him.
And occasionally, about once every two months or so, my best friend does my hair and we grab lunch together. I schedule these appointments for Fridays (whichever one my hubby has off), which is our lightest school day. The boys grab their planners and get to work (I always go over everything with them the night before to make sure they know what they are doing), and my hubby is available to answer questions as needed. Usually, my boys finish up by lunchtime on these days, and the rest is a “daddy and boys” hang out day. This month, they went to lunch at McDonalds (a treat for my kids because we don’t go there often), then ran some errands, going to Lowe’s, an auto parts store etc. Then they came home and put up some new shelves!! I got home and they were all in such a good mood. Later, my husband told me how much fun he has on those days. (and it’s a nice break for mom too! 🙂 )
As I said before, one of the main reasons we homeschool is because we want to spend as much time as possible with our kids. They grow up SO fast, and before we know it, they will be off living their own lives. We believe that this time we spend with them now is precious, and it sets up a bond that will last a lifetime. I am very thankful for the privilege of being able to homeschool my boys, and I am grateful that my husband works so hard to make that happen. Because he works a lot, and his schedule is a little crazy, I have to be more flexible in our schedule to allow regular “daddy time” to happen, but it is so worth it!!
To see what other members of the crew had to say about this topic, click here: