Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Male Headship in the homeschool

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
1 Timothy 2: 11-15

Having home schooled all of our children, with two now in college, I have learned many lessons over the years. Perhaps one of the best, although not one talked about much is the need for male authority, not only in the home, but in the home school as well. In years past when we had an agrarian society and boys worked in the fields with their dads, or family-owned businesses thrived and children were expected to be a part of this you might more readily see the daily interaction of sons and fathers in areas other than purely dinner conversation. More recently there is less and less time for dads and sons (and dads and daughters as well) to spend important time together where men teach young men how to become men (or, where men teach daughters what to look for in men as men come courting).

How does one achieve this in today's society? Dads are busy, often having long commutes to work, leadership meetings within the church and even working on jobs at home. Well, I'm not going to speak to this... I don't care to preach to the men, I'll leave that to other men. But women, we have a number of options.

  • Make sure that the husbands/fathers are part of the home school. It may not mean that they teach a class or grade a paper, but please don't cut them out of the school time because "they are so busy" or "you know better what to do." I know that I did this in the past because as a "trained educator" I was "obviously" (NOT!) much better trained to educate our kids. Instead, have the kids share about their day with dad at the table, have papers out so Dad can see what they are doing, ask him about curriculum or co-op choices. So often the dads have a different and VALUABLE opinion about what to do that we simply can't see because of our intense daily involvement.
  • Do not "hide" your kids at home. For a while there was quite a movement to hide that you were homeschooling lest the authorities paid a call. If you are following your state laws, keeping good records and providing a good or "equal" education then there is no need to hide the kids at home where all they may have is mom, mom, mom all day... and no interaction with any males at all.
  • Take advantage, with your husband's say so, of using other methods of teaching: online schools with male teachers, co-ops where other dads may be able to teach or train, and by all means use the young men within your own church. We used 4 or 5 young men, and our senior pastor, in our co-op to help teach doctrinal ideas. We figured if it was right and good for the church it would be right and good for our home schools to not have the women teaching as authorities in matters of doctrine. Interestingly a number of these young men went on to attend pastor's college and have become wonderful leaders. Hopefully the blessing went both ways!
  • Be sure that you don't schedule your child's life so that he (or she) does not have time with Dad. Sometimes we are so involved "keeping up with the Joneses" that we have every minute of their day scheduled never allowing time to visit, share, question, talk to  or pray with Dad. He' s far more important in your child's life than you may realize.
  • Don't sequester yourself. Talk with other home school families and see what they do and if that might be something to try. Don't separate your homeschooling life from time with your husband. He not only needs to know what the kids are doing/learning, he also needs to know what you are teaching/learning. Be sure to share with him, ask his advice, come to him for leadership and share your prayer requests.
In the meantime, here are two recent blog posts on my pastor's blog that might be helpful to you:
Post number one and Post number two. Additionally, if you click to "As Thy Days" you will frequently find excellent posts on homeschooling (or a wonderful family life) and I would recommend paying attention. Anne is a quiet woman, but when she speaks it is worth listening.

Feel free to ask questions... that's how you learn.
Blessings, Kim


  1. You are such a devoted, wise, Godly woman my friend.

  2. I do not believe it is so much that I am wise as that I have had an encouraging husband, a teaching pastor and many good examples to follow. God gets the glory, but I am grateful He has helped me to learn this lesson more fully, although certainly not in totality... as my husband may attest!


So glad you stopped by for a visit. I look forward to reading your ruminations. (I like playing with words!)
Blessings, Kim