Confessions of a Homeschool Mom: Leave the Man Alone and Let Him Teach
In May I permanently handed Math and Science over to my husband, Tim. I have wanted him involved from the beginning, and now that he is it’s really hard to let go.
I had reviewed basic arithmetic with the girls for quite sometime. They had just finished turning fractions into decimals the week before. My 11 year old was really into it. She asked me if there was a way to predict how many places over the decimal would repeat just by looking at the numerator and or denominator. I didn’t know and said causally, “Ask Daddy.”
The next day she systematically came up with fractions and charted the results of turning them into decimals. My husband saw the pages and pages of it next to her piano music.
He asked where we left off and I told him. It was his big debut as the math and science guy and I was overwhelmed with a desire to tell him how to do things. I knew I should keep my mouth shut but the inner conflict was killing me. I wanted to go on about which kid is more verbal, which one is better at abstractions, their learning styles, their personalities, their quirks, which math materials were manipulatives, etc. Instead, I listened to what God was telling me and took my preschooler to run made up errands before I gave in to the temptation. Like Joseph in the Old Testament, I tend to need to runaway or I give in. That night, in our usual hour or so alone together after the kids went to bed, I asked Tim how it went. I was humbled.
He casually mentioned seeing Mercy's voluntary math charts and realized she was intuiting the idea of proofs, so instead of moving immediately into a first lesson in Algebra, he showed her how she could prove how the decimal pattern would repeat without actually having to do all that charting. Then he brought out the big guns.
Tim explained to them that the language of the universe is written in mathematics. “This pattern is God saying, ‘Hello. Here I am.’” Then he went on about various examples of how this shows up in science and math all the time, and that it is all evidence of a masterful design by God to let us know more about Him.
I couldn’t even speak. What would I have stolen from my children if I had given into temptation to tell Tim how, when, and what to teach them? Yes, what I would have done for that lesson would have been good and useful, but I would have let the schooling get in the way of their education. Tim didn’t. He was following our educational philosophy far better than I would have in this situation. I was just going to talk about variables.