My children get excellent grades because I’m sleeping with their teacher! Yup, we home school our kids. By we, I mean my wife does the brunt of the work while I offer my math skills by being the answer key to my older two daughters’ homework. It was a difficult decision to make but in the end it was the right one as we are ultimately responsible for their entire education – academic, spiritual and physical. As difficult as the initial decision to home school was, we’ve found it to be a rewarding experience, even with the many challenges it produces each and every day.
Perhaps my biggest area of apprehension with home schooling the kids came when my wife taught them sex education. You see, I have only daughters and was way out of my element on this one. Fortunately, a good friend recommended a book to teach sex ed in accordance with our Catholic faith. It uses beautiful language (the expression “marital embrace” being my favorite) and reinforces the expectations we and our Church have of our children when it comes to sex and being truly responsible. And, like I said earlier, my wife did the brunt of the work so I was largely in the clear. Plus it was only for our two oldest – had all four been old enough I would’ve left town for a month. So I was feeling just fine about the whole thing.
Then came the day they completed the book. My wife told me over the phone when I called her on my lunch break that they had finished and I should ask the girls about it when I arrived home. I must admit that my trepidation grew with every mile of that short drive. It hit a peak when not only my wife, but my wife and two oldest girls, opened the door as I made my way up the sidewalk.
After the customary welcome-home kiss and hugs I asked the girls how school went. My second-oldest said, “We finished the book!” Our oldest was looking partially mortified hanging in the shadows at the time.
“That’s great,” I said. “Did you like it?”
“Well,” continued kid number two, “I didn’t really understand it.” Then she looked at me with hopeful anticipation. Even our oldest leaned in and lost her expression of mortification. I looked at my daughters; then at my wife. She gave me an encouraging smile and nodded. I knew there was no way out.
I looked back at my kids. I pointed down on myself and my wife and said, “This goes there.”
“GOT IT, DADDY!” Thumbs up and smiles all around. Then the sweet sisters trotted off to play. A smile broke across my face. I had done it – I had successfully engaged the children in home schooling. I was a proud papa!
Then I looked at my wife’s face…
Needless to say, THIS didn’t go THERE for quite some time.