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OK, i'll be the first to admit it...
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: OK, i'll be the first to admit it... Reply with quote

BigDaddy wrote:
Yes, my wife brings home the paycheck in our household. Embarassed But when we first decided to homeschool, she earned more than I. Who said there was unequality between men and women in the workplace! Anyhow, I took on the task of homeschooling our 2 sons. Now, I have a greater respect for stay at home moms! I think it was much easier doing the 9-5 than it is teaching 2 boys and running the house.

Anybody else out there in the same position?


When we began eight years ago, I worked 11-7 nights and schooled during the day, while my wife worked the 8-4 schedule. Our kids were obviously much younger then and it took maybe two hours to complete their daily lessons. We had hired a part time nanny who did some project work from late morning till early afternoon while I slept. This worked out for awhile, but then their lessons required more time and the nanny became overwhealmed and left. Funny thing, since she was in school for early childhood development. Hope she changed her major... As our earning potential increased, we were able to have me cut back to part time. I then worked 12 hour, day shifts on alternate weekends. This helped tremendously with the sleep deprivation and how it impacted our family. We then had the entire week in which to do school. My wife's career continued to grow, she started traveling frequently and since our families aren't local, it was no longer a panic to find someone to be here while I worked. We lived that way for six years. Now the kids are older and more independent and for the most part, only require my supervision and occasional help. They also go offsight several days per week to do different things like AP classes, nature-based programs and the like. It's now costing more, so I have increased my work hours, actually to full time, but because it's three days per week, it doesn't impact schooling and our financial situation is now comfortable. My wife can adjust her hours somewhat and can at times, work from home, so it all works out fairly well. The schedule is indeed complex and everchanging but like all homeschooling families, we're very flexible.
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13
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Richard



Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Lansing, KS

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:11 am    Post subject: And Here I Thought I Was the Crazy One Reply with quote

"I don't know of any male head of household who has got away with doing as little around the house as she does... since Fred Flintstone."

Oh, yeah!

When I taught, I'd come home and my wife would either hand me our son in passing as she headed out the door to "get away for a while" or meet me at the car with the list of things to do. Now she comes home from work, changes, and hits the couch for some cross stitching or knitting.

This life isn't the pure role-reversal that most people think that it is.

And all this time I thought I was crazy for being the only one who saw it.
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: And Here I Thought I Was the Crazy One Reply with quote

Dear Richard,

I get the impression that you have more on your plate to contend with than a role reversal thing. Scratch below the surface a little more and find out why your wife hands the kid off at the door and sits on the couch to knit. Otherwise, you and she might end up doing both roles- each in a solo act. Good luck,

Another "Rich"
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13
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mykidsdad



Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:30 pm    Post subject: Mr. Mom syndrome Reply with quote

I too am in the same boat. My wife worksout of the home full time and I stay at home and homeschool one of my four kids and take care of the house. I am still fighting the stigma that comes with this decision but, it is a good one for our family. Both my wife and I are happy with the way it works. I so appreciate this site. Thanks edtheredhead for putting me in touch!
Kevin[color=red]
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edtheredhead



Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 81
Location: Northwest PA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEVIN!!!

Welcome. I'm so glad you're on these boards as well. We need as many guys around here as possible.
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Ed
Married to Margaret (1996)
1 daughter Belinda (1999)
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Gman777



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new to the group, my name is David. You know, I really don't have a problem in that my wife is the bread winner. She was the one blessed with an education. And her job allows her to bring home double of my income. When we first found out about our first pregnancy we felt compeled that one of us had to stay home. Well since my wages only covered only the mortgage and maybe one or two of the utilities, we immediately knew that it was she that had to be the sole bread winner and I who would get to stay home.

We know this sort of thing isn't for everyone, but we felt that it was our repsonsibility to raise our child, not a daycare center. We prayed about it and felt that if we truly trusted God in this, He would provide the means necessary to do this (which He has).

In regards to home schooling, that decision came about after several times strolling my daughter around this ajacent park that a elementary school shares for part of it's P.E. classes. Several things happened that made us realize that the public school system wasn't for our child and future child or children we would have. It's not that we are better than anyone else, but matters have changed drastically since my wife and I went to school and we don't see any improvement.

I've been a SAHD for over 6 years now and I love this job. Our goal is to eventually send our son and daughter to a Chrisitan private school. We have several good ones here in So Cal. Until we can save up enough, I will be home schooling our 2 kids. Anyway, glad to have found this group.
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David
Indentured Servant to Deb & Dan
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bartii



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 180
Location: Boise, ID

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,

Welcome to Homeschool dads. It has been quite slow around here lately. I have been so busy I haven't hardly been on the computer long enough to read e-mails.

I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.
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Bassnote



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello All,

I have been a SAHD since 2000, just before my our second child was born. My wife is the bread winner in our house, but I have a weekend job as a DJ. My wife does more than her share around the house as well.
We decided I should quit my job of 11 years when my wife was offered a promotion, which had her making almost as much as both of us working. It is much harder than I ever anticipated, but I think it is well worth the struggles.
Our two girls are 5 & 6. I am home schooling both. The youngest in preschool, and the older in first grade. They are both doing well, and the 5 year old is looking forward to Kindergarden next year.
My wife and I are both very involved with our church as well. We both are AWANA leaders (Cubbies 3 & 4 year olds). I am also a leader on one of our music teams. Our girls both go to AWANAs and Sunday school. there are several home schooling families in our church, so i get plenty of support when I need it.
My wife is the one who found this site, and I'm glad she did. I'll be posting more in the future.
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Bassnote
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bassnote,

Welcome! I'm glad you're wife found this site too. You will find others with a musical interest here as well. It's amazing how many things I've found to have in common with some of the dads posting. It really feels like brotherhood.

Peace,

Rich
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13
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RB



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:50 pm    Post subject: The Role Reversal Learning Curve Reply with quote

Eight months ago I posted the following:

"When I taught, I'd come home and my wife would either hand me our son in passing as she headed out the door to "get away for a while" or meet me at the car with a list of things to do. Now she comes home from work, changes, and hits the couch for some cross stitching or knitting.

This life isn't the pure role-reversal that most people think that it is.

And all this time I thought I was crazy for being the only one who saw it."

Back when I posted this I was a very frustrated stay-at-home home schooling dad.

Many years ago my wife re-enrolled in college because she was not happy staying at home full time with our son. I left my teaching career to stay at home after my wife completed her math degree. She found a lucrative job with plenty of potential for advancement. She entered the work force in the same month that I left teaching. It was a lateral move financially. Five years later she has almost doubled my last teaching salary. I never would have made those financial gains in the classroom. It was, for us, a smart move.

Foolishly, I thought that life would be the same when we switched roles: the ground rules that she established when I worked would be the same ones that she held herself to when she worked. I could not have been more wrong. Almost immediately it became clear that there were expectations placed upon me once I was at home full time that she did not hold herself to when she was at home full time. Specifically, the amount of work that I did at home when I completed my teaching day was not assumed by her when she returned home after her work day. This caused a lot of tension. There was no such thing as meeting her at the door with our son and passing him to her as I headed out to “get away for awhile.”

Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t miserable; however, there were problems to be solved. We added a son to our family, and then a daughter 18 months later. Our daughter was born with a heart defect that landed her in the hospital for two months when she was four months old. That event turned our lives upside-down. We had pulled our son from the parochial school that he attended and began home schooling one month before she became sick. Shortly after she returned home we moved. This was far too many large events in a short period of time.

The following year kept us busy with multiple therapists visiting our home, multiple trips to doctors and specialists each week, and a medicine and feeding schedule that kept us on our toes from early in the morning until late at night. We were disorganized home schoolers, primarily because we didn’t lesson plan well and we didn’t have a good curriculum. And we were exhausted. The two of us held hands and white knuckled our way through this year, rarely arguing. We were able to put most of our disagreements on the back burner as we turned to each other to help us navigate problems that neither of us were prepared to handle.

After I posted the comments eight months ago, Rich replied with this post:

"I get the impression that you have more on your plate to contend with than a role reversal thing. Scratch below the surface a little more and find out why your wife hands the kid off at the door and sits on the couch to knit. Otherwise, you and she might end up doing both roles- each in a solo act."

I blew his response off with a wave of annoyance because it hit too close to home. We did have more to contend with than role-reversal. I did need to scratch below the surface.

As our daughter recovered we found more time, time which we could devote to our two boys and to our friendship. As life settled down some of the old disagreements bubbled back up to the surface. They had been put on hold, and returned as if they never left. (Well, they hadn’t!) I found the courage to sit down with my wife and say, calmly and without anger, “I am unhappy. This is what is wrong and this is what I need help with.” She listened. We have made some wonderful changes.

My wife is now more involved in our home schooling. She writes a week’s worth of lesson plans in advance. She created a cool Excel Spreadsheet grade book for record keeping. She teaches some lessons when I cannot get them in before I head off to my part-time job of loading planes at MCI. She aggressively pursues buying our curriculum as inexpensively as possible. And she pitches in around the house. That was a HUGE issue.

My wife did not say to me, “I am unhappy. This is what is wrong and this is what I need help with.” She did not respond to me with a tit-for-tat list of requests. She does make her needs known and I do my best to meet them. I think that she was feeling isolated from and uninvolved in our son’s home schooling. She jumped at the chance to get involved. As she did some of the pressure was lifted from me. I was happier. My happiness made the home a more pleasant place to return to. She was grateful. It all started to snowball – in a good direction.

It is now almost five years since we switched roles. In this time it has become clear that we may have changed roles but the change was not a role-reversal. I run the house differently than she did. She has to learn to accept that. She responds to the pressures of maintaining her job and returning home to her family differently than I did. I have to learn to accept that. I now see how much she does contribute around the house. I was blind to the contributions when I was expecting her to do things my way rather than seeing her way and being grateful for it. We each have our strengths and weaknesses. We have to be vulnerable enough with each other to trust that we can be ourselves without fear of the other person’s expectations. More often than not we find each other picking up the slack. We’ve got each other’s back.

The learning curve has been steep.

RB- home schooling father of Noah, Jonah, and Ada Potata
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: The Role Reversal Learning Curve Reply with quote

Hi again, RB,

Have we also corresponded on the topic of the importance of good spelling?

After reading your story, I was left both humbled and awed. You and your family have experienced so many life changing events in such a short time while simultaneously dealing with their accompanying gut-wrenching emotional challenges. You've had career changes, role reversals, births of children, a critically ill child all while home educating your children. You didn't skip a beat. As a side note, I worked in the cardiac surgery unit at The Children's Hospital in Boston and saw first hand what that was like for the kids and their parents. Not only have you survived those events, but you and your wife have managed to evolve into a mutually empowering couple who could by now, I'm sure, tackle anything without a flinch. What a rare occurrance that is when you consider how many marriages fall apart with little challenge.

Thanks for taking the time to write a follow up. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that you set a great example of how to be a great husband and a great father. Please extend the same to your wife. You folks are today's kind of heroes.

Thanks again,

Rich

BTW, how is your daughter doing now?
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13
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RB



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:39 pm    Post subject: Spelling Ada's Recovery Reply with quote

Hello Rich:

Yes, we did share a posting about spelling.

My daughter is doing quite well. She was born with an anomalous left coronary artery, a rare birth defect that has an 82% mortality rate according to one of the cardiologists who treated her. During an angiogram prior to open heat surgery (September 2004), she suffered congestive heart failure and a stroke. She was four months old. Ada spent the following ten days on ECMO. Aortic reimplantation was not possible so her surgeon completed the tunnel operation, aka the Takeuchi repair. (ECMO, anomalous origin of the left coronary artery, and Takeuchi Repair each make for fascinating reading on Google.) Her heart has recovered remarkably. After successful open heart surgery and a long, well medicated recovery, it is functioning normally.

My daughter is walking proof that God is alive and well, listening to our prayers and answering them. More than a few doctors, nurses, and therapists have referred to her as a miracle child. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not look at her and realize that God performed a miracle in our lives. While Ada does have stroke related deficits and developmental delays, she is closing the gap between her chronological age and her developmental age. We continue with weekly therapy and daily medicine and more than a little awe. Next month she turns two.

One of my passions is teaching writing. I cannot begin to imagine how to teach writing to a dyslexic child. How is your son doing? What strategies do you use to overcome this challenge?

RB
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Spelling Ada's Recovery Reply with quote

Hi again RB,

Yes, the informatrion available on the net for medical conditions and treatments is staggering. We in the field consult the web on a regular basis to keep updated. It' great to hear that your daughter is doing so well and it sounds like she will continue to make gains. We never exchanged ideas about the presence of God but I concur with you. Being in the field of medicine, I see His miracles every day. Sometimes they appear very differently but from what you've written, it sounds like your daughter is a miracle indeed.

On the subject of teaching reading and writing to a dyslexic person, or child, my knee-jerk reply is that it depends on the individual. I believe that there are degrees of affliction but common elements asl well as a number of coexisting issues that impact the students learning as well, like ADD and ADHD. It would be hard to address one condition without addressing the other. My son has both and I really find it hard to differentiate which is impacting more at any given time so, I hit both equally.

I have explored a number of curricula including that which the local school used for remedial reading and have decided that there is no single published program that is best. There are however, characteristics that a good language and writing program should possess. Phonics instruction is primary and so few schools teach it. Back in the early 60s, I remember learning phonics myself in the primary grades. It was a subject by itself and ironically, I don't remember hearing that poor literacy was a large issue among my generation. There are a number of programs that offer phonics instruction but as you know, it can be presented in a dry and tedious way. The Spires program, which our local school uses has a phonics component but the cue cards and pictograms are poorly illustrated and black and white; read BORING. We didn't use it even though it would have been provided at no cost. The Lindamood-Bell program is touted as being the best especially for dyslexic students, because it concentrates on the sounds and how they're formed by the lip and teeth positions. I learned about that and wanted to use it but in the mid nineties, I would've had to purchase the entire program for $5,000 and spend six weeks in Anaheim, CA, learning how to use it. Now, there is a school system in a nearby town that uses the program but it's too late for us. Saxon has a good program which we did use. It is heavy into multisensory instruction and repetition which promotes recall, but my son had trouble maintaining his attention throughout the lesson. We took our time and took frequent breaks but, I think we were at an impass. He wasn't on medication at the time and I think he was just burning out, as was I. Around that time, second grade, he was having his first psychoeducational assessment done. We also learned about another complementary program called Brain Gym, that proved to be invaluable. We used those techniques in conjunction with especially difficult lessons and began stimulant and impulse control medications. We had been using ABeka for the girls all along and the following year, began using it for him. The reading and language program, especially the phonics core, was well organized and had all of those features that I attributed to Saxon. The difference really was that he enjoyed the books. They were more colorful and exciting. At this time, I departed from tradition and relieved him of some of the reading. ABeka is a "high bar" curriculum which is literature based. I required our son to do the reading assigments himself, connecting the skill being learned with the subject matter however, I read his history and science texts to him while he listened. What happened here, was that he still learned the material and scored well on the tests but didn't struggle with the reading part. Over the next year we used the ABeka DVD curriculum which was extremely successful because video was a new approach therefore, novel. It allowed me to share the teaching responsibility because although I was around to help there was a "video teacher" who instructed. I administered all of the tests and graded all of the assignments. That worked for two years and then our son went off-site to a nature based schooling program. This was a great experience for him because he greatly enjoys the outdoors and wildlife. He learned survival skills, nature conservancy and a lot of self and social awareness. The instruction is heavily influenced by Native American traditions. What wasn't great was that the academics weren't as rigorous as he was used to and there was a lot less structure around the class time. It was a perfect environment for a self paced and self motivated learner but not for a dyslexic kid with ADHD. This wasn't a full time program so when he was at home and placed "into the yoke" to do school, he resisted a lot. Consequently with this program, he lost some ground academically but learned a great deal of other really important things. This brings us to current time. He goes offsite to a homeschooling co-op and works in groups of 3-10 students with tutors. His sisters do this as well. This is a great local program for middle and highschool students. In general, it's pretty advanced learning where the students have tutorials lasting 1-2 hours with short breaks and a lot of assigned reading and writing. He has done fairly well with the work but we've had to put considerable pressure on him to accomplish it. He says he's enjoying himself, the work is getting done and the environment is great. He was re-evaluated earlier this year and we learned that he reads above grade level, not too bad for a dyslexic. He does however, still struggle with writing. This year, he worked with Sylvan Learning Center on writing and study skills and made some strides. He was taught outlining skills and mnemonic tools for approaching the different styles of writing. Another thing we learned from his assessment was that his biggest weakness is in frontal lobe functions. Executive processes like organizing, making use of tools and processes, tracking time, etc. are all things he struggles with which are hallmark signs of information processing disorders. So, the issue I have is that he has learned the skills but has difficulty using them. He's to start highschool next year and I will begin teaching him at that level. He will also continue with the co-op tutorials and there's been some discussion about sending him to the local highschool for shop classes. He really enjoys using tools and tinkering so we will reward him with that. The thing that we want to be cautious with here is that he is fairly impressionable yet. He's still too trusting although he's demonstrated good common sense in relatively safe environments. He will be really on his own in highschool so, we have some preparatory work to do beforehand.

Well, RB, you probably have more than you want to read through here but it felt good to write it. Take care and thanks for asking.

Rich
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13


Last edited by Rich on Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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RB



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:22 am    Post subject: On Phonics, Dyslexia, and Struggles Reply with quote

Back when my wife and I had our oldest in parochial schools, teaching phonics was a make-or-break factor in choosing which school he attended. If the school did not teach phonics then our son would not attend that school. It narrowed our choices very quickly. After two years it didn’t matter as we pulled him from school altogether and began home schooling.

Your last post is both informative and obviously cathartic. You have a tough row to hoe. You are also working at it diligently, honestly, and with more than a little care and concern: read “love.” Kudos to you, and to your son. I have seen too many parents and students simply give up when the struggles of dealing with learning difficulties seems to be too much to handle.

Thanks for the post!
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geekboy



Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:34 am    Post subject: In the minority Reply with quote

Well my turn to add my bit. I'm a single dad of three wonderful kids ages 5,12,13 and am returning to HS'ing after a year in public school.

I work full time during the day doing computer security and keep busy trying to run the home at night and on the weekends. God has given us so much grace and mercy through some very difficult times over the past 1.5 years that I cant even begin to count the blessings.

A mom found this site and sent it to me and I'm glad she did. It's wonderful to find other dad's out there that believe and believe in doing HS'ing.

God bless

Michael
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