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FAQ: Can both parents share the teaching?
by Beverley Paine, Apr 2019
"My husband and I are keen to be a home parenting “team”, able to commit to this on a full time basis. Does anyone have any advice or experience doing this? We have quite different styles (in everything we do) but we also want important things to be consistent. How do you manage your roles, responsibilities and communication?" Liz
Off the top of my head I recommend you don't worry about consistency regarding home education - let both parents be who they are and help the children learn in their own unique way, using the talents and abilities they each have. The kids already know that you are different people and treat them differently accordingly and are used to it - actually expect it, so doing things differently for home education will probably arouse suspicion and confusion
The things that are already consistent - in particular the way you handle and share the parenting decisions - are enough.
Roles will depend on the different talents and abilities of each parent. I'm a writer and organiser so obviously keeping track of home education was my responsibility. I tended to keep an eye on subjects such as reading, writing and history, but I'm also really keen on geography (it was my favourite subject at school) so I'd promote projects and learning in that area too. And I love plants and gardening. The kids' father is a DIY wonder, a handy man that fixes anything and everything and has a great understanding of all things physics, chemistry and maths. He has the muscles so he did all landscaping work in the garden I planned. Our personal interests and abilities set the scene for what roles we played as home educating parents.
Responsibilities will depend on available time - who is free when and what needs can be met during that time. And that may come down to personal work habits. For example I do my best work in the morning, I'm more alert and on task then, way more organised and motivated. Robin liked to do the chores and any building tasks he set himself early too. So on the days when earning an income out of the home didn't set the daily schedule I'd work with the children in the morning and then we'd do something together - usually science, environment or technology related - in the afternoon.
Excursions played an important part of our home education life too. Having both adults on hand meant we could all engage in the educational aspect of wherever we went.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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