Not to be confused with Home Schooling – though it is very similar, I have started something called “Dad School.” Now, all you home schoolers out there – don’t be offended that I’m not calling this home school, in fact, I’m seeking your advice! The only reason I’m making a distinction, is that home schooling is when you aren’t sending your kid to school. And my son does go to preschool and we will be sending him to full time school this fall. But in the meantime – I want to start pouring into him as his dad, while he is still in the home while he is young. There is so much I can teach him, and relationally the benefits will be huge!
I already do an evening “Family Pit Stop” for spiritual formation, but I’d like to invest just one hour a day in teaching my son other skills that he needs as a young boy, especially areas he is struggling with in school. We had our “parent-teacher” conference last week and learned where he is struggling, and what is a parent to do, say “O.K., that’s interesting?” Not me. I prayed about it and decided, just as it isn’t the church’s primary job to teach my boy about the Bible, it isn’t the school’s job to teach him his life skills either. If he is struggling – it is MY responsibility to step in and help. I took Luke for a walk that evening and we talked about school and where he needs help learning (turns out he is a lot like his daddy!) and we came up with the idea of “Dad School.” Of course, Luke loves the idea of a full hour with dad, but he also agreed that he would work hard – and I promised some rewards. We plan to surprise the teachers when the next test day comes around and they are surprised how well he does! He can’t wait to answer the question, “How did you learn all this?” and say, “In Dad School!”
So today was spent setting up Luke’s “classroom.” We got a really nice desk on clearance a few weeks ago at Pottery Barn kids (a floor display with a few bumps and bruises) and I took Luke to the “School Store” today, Lakeshore Learning Center. He is so excited! And I set him up on an old iMac we no longer use and he played his first learning computer game with Thomas the Train:
I’ve been a teacher in church for nearly twenty years, and I consider myself a pretty good parent – but I admit this is all new to me! I’ve got a bunch of supplies and a son whom I’ve earned respect and obedience from so I’m confident I can get him to focus for the hour (with a little wiggle room) but I’d love any advice on home schooling from you “pros” out there.
I have some specific goals for the next few months – many are obvious, the alphabet, upper and lower, numbers 1-20, learning small words, penmanship, etc. but then I want to get into some Christian history and biography and other areas that I know schools never touch. I remember the things my dad taught me informally (never calling it “Dad School,” though it was!) and I remember being at school and being surprised by the things my peers didn’t know that my dad had taught me. Its a heritage I want to intentionally pass on to my son now that I’m the dad.
So, all you home schoolers out there – I have the eager student, I have the “classroom,” I have the supplies, and I’m teachable!
Let me know your thoughts!
Update: O.K., I’ve had a few questions/requests if I had a “plan” and/or an actual lesson plan, which I do. Here is a copy of my first week’s lesson plan/overview. There is more behind it than I’m going to bother explaining here, but it’s just the skeleton to keep me on task and there is a rhyme and reason behind it – and more than meets the eye – but I do have a plan and a strategy. But it will give you an idea of where I’m headed at least initially.
Download: Dad School – Week One Lesson Plan/Overview (PDF 109kb)