Providing children with a home education has many benefits for children. Before jumping in, however, it’s important to think about what homeschooling will mean for the family as a whole — including your relationship with your partner. Experts show that homeschooling can have both positive and negative impacts on a marriage.
Negative impacts if not managed properly
Susan Evans, who is a speaker at homeschool conferences, leads discussions about how homeschooling and marriage intersect. She teaches that “homeschooling often puts a strain on a marriage.” This can happen quite by accident, and the pitfalls can be avoided or fixed if you fall into them. Here are the two main potential negatives.
Homeschooling becomes all-consuming
The homeschooling journey is an exciting one, and sometimes it becomes all-consuming. To avoid this pitfall, have an open discussion with your spouse before the adventure begins. If you or your spouse starts to behave out-of-balance, the other one can keep them mentally in check.
Homeschooling drains your energy
Author and homeschooling expert Kimberly Williams refers to moms who homeschool as “over-worked and under-rested.” This can lead to conflict within the marriage if her fatigue limits her emotional availability or ability to listen and nurture (as it often does!). The same could happen with a father who takes on homeschooling responsibilities and ends up feeling drained.
The two key words here, “over-worked, and under-rested” point to the exact fixes for this problem. Husbands and wives who take on homeschooling need to practice healthy time management to avoid burn out. Make regular rest a priority.
Homeschooling can have positive impacts
We just looked at the ways homeschooling can put stress and strain on a relationship. But it’s important to note that it’s not all bad! Homeschooling can have positive impacts as well.
Traditional schooling comes with a set schedule. But with home education systems, the plan is much more flexible. Online classes or homeschool classes may have a deadline for completion, but the way the student meets those deadlines is up to you. This frees up your schedule so that you can take extended trips as part of your homeschooling.
In addition to scheduling freedom, homeschool families also have the freedom to live in different geographic locations all over the globe. When you and your spouse feel excited, fulfilled and happy, your marriage is more likely to succeed.
Sometimes parents need the freedom to travel and explore to feel their best. If this is the case for you or your spouse, home education could enhance your relationship.
Home education has the potential to have both positive and negative impacts on a marriage. The good news is that the negatives can be avoided if you work as a team and talk openly before starting the homeschooling journey. The positives are likely to bring your family closer together through greater scheduling and geographic freedom.
This article is written by Sally Perkins.