Beyond Lesson Plans: The Crucial Role Husbands Play in Homeschooling Hearts and Minds

This is what I tell men when they ask…

I remember driving up to North Charlotte about 5 years ago to meet David and Jason Benham for the first time. I was so nervous!

I don’t know if you remember them, but they were keynotes at our events a couple of years in a row and they were a hit. Personally, I love them. 

I remember walking into their business offices in North Charlotte and feeling a little intimidated. The two brothers are twins, and they share an office for accountability. They are always with each other. Honestly, I seldom see them apart. 

They are also always “ribbing” each other the way you would expect from brothers that love each other. 

They invited me into their office, and we started to talk about our Teach Them Diligently Conventions. Our philosophy. What makes us tick!? Why we do the events? 

Putting together the agreement for them to speak was the shortest part of the meeting. 

Then they started asking me personal questions. 

They asked me the question that I have been asked hundreds of times from men of homeschooling families. 

“How can I do more to help my wife homeschool the children?”

Now, when most men ask this question, including the Benham Brothers at the time, they are looking at homeschooling from an academic perspective. 

The funny thing is that the Benham Brothers absolutely viewed homeschooling as discipleship. Yet, those old habits are hard to eliminate. They still got stuck in this rut of looking at homeschooling only as an academic pursuit. 

“Can I grade papers?” 

“Lesson plans?”  

“Teach math or science?” 

First, let me say that this question was asked out of a perspective of love. They wanted to help. They wanted to engage in this important thing that was happening during the day. They wanted to help their wife who seemed so tired at the end of the day. 

Here is the way I answered them and the way I have answered the hundred or so other men that have asked the same question…

The greatest impact that a husband can have on the homeschooling of their children, especially from a “heartschooling” perspective, is to direct. 

Here is what I’m saying…

As husbands, our first role is to love our wife.

If you have heard me talk on this before, you know that I am going to say that Paul was a genius when he wrote Ephesians 5. He broke foundational concepts that would cause a home to evidence the Gospel into simple phrases. Most theologians would write a 500-page treatise if asked to write a book instructing people on how to have a home that testified to the goodness of God and the love of Jesus. Paul used simple phrases.

Paul simply said to love your wife. 

One way to read that is to see it as a command to love your wife. 

The other way to read this is that she needs you to love her. God created her to want and need love. Simply put, she operates better when she knows she is loved. 

Now, when I say “operates” better, I mean that everything inside of her works better under the shadow of unconditional love.

She thinks better;

Eats better;

Cares for the kids better;

Works better;

Everything just goes better when she knows you love her unconditionally. 

But, here is the kicker on this…

It has to be communicated in a way she understands and perceives as love. Every woman and girl perceives love in different ways.

Some need to be told.

Others need to be hugged.

Others see it in what you do. 

So, back to this question of how can I, as a husband, help in homeschooling (Heartschooling!) my children.

The answer is that the first thing is to make sure and to prioritize that your wife knows without a shadow of a doubt that you love her

The second is that you as the husband make sure that your home has a vision.

Don’t just assume that there is an overarching vision. Make sure there is a vision. 

To use a sports analogy, no football coach worth anything goes into a game without a game plan. And, this game plan has been communicated to all of the key people on the team. 

They don’t just fly blind!! Winging it on the fly.

Have a conversation with your wife about the vision and goal of what you guys are doing! Don’t dictate…talk to her. Ask questions! 

And, if you have a vision (a game plan), your role as the husband is to help everything stay on track. Again, you don’t need to be authoritarian and demanding to do this. Just ask questions…


Life sometimes knocks people off route. We get distracted and drawn off course by a strong current. Your role as the husband is to help everything stay on track. 

Ask her how the day went…

What were the challenges? 

Who threw a tantrum? 

Who is excelling? 

How does this help us meet our goals?

Ask lots of questions…and don’t dictate or be judgmental. 

Of course, you can teach some classes if you want. I am not saying that you should not. 

Grade some papers if you wish. 

But, the two things that a husband can do that will help more than any other is to: 

1) Love your wife and let her know it 

2) Make sure there is a vision and help everything stay on track 

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