After the pandemic led to an increase of families choosing to teach their children at home, more and more studies are showing that increase may be here to stay. The Household Pulse Survey (HPS) conducted by the US Census Bureau, recently showed that the number of homeschool families in the US has nearly doubled since 2019, rising from roughly 3 percent to almost 6 percent.  That growth has included growth in a surprising number of dads choosing to be the primary educators for their children. The data comes from a Washington Post poll of 1000 parents of children aged five to 20. In 2019, 5percent of homeschool families were led primarily by the father. By 2023, that number had risen to 40 percent.

The increase could be from a variety of reasons, including the increasing leveling out of gender roles within the home and the increase of remote work. After the pandemic sent more workers home, many fathers were finding themselves spending more time with their families. Even after pandemic restrictions began to lift, a number of fathers chose to remain working from home. Harvard’s Making Caring Common project conducted in June 2020 found that more than two-thirds of fathers said they felt closer to their children after the pandemic started. “For a lot of dads, this was a profound experience,” director of the Harvard project, Richard Weissbourd said. “It was really getting what a wonderful relationship with your kids could be like, and it was gratifying.”

A quick Google search leading to a Reddit thread shows a diverse group of fathers responding to a prospective father’s question about homeschooling. “I am under the impression (without any firsthand experience) that this subculture is dominated by moms. That’s great, but maybe a little harder for me to relate,” writes the Redditor in the thread. A number of homeschool dads respond, some being the primary homeschool parent, others on more of “sub” basis. “Dad here, working full time, homeschooling two kids now (one is older and needs a lot less direct instruction) and my wife is at work so much I can go a week without seeing her for more than 20 minutes total. It’s hard and sucks at times, but my kids are worth the effort and at least I can sleep on the weekends,” responded one Redditor.

Neil Shenvi, a Christian apologist, homeschool dad with a PhD in theoretical chemistry, and author of the recently-released Critical Dilemma, offers tips for parents on homeschool. “A major benefit of homeschooling is that the student is being taught by a parent, someone who knows them well and who can adapt the lesson style, schedule, and content to fit his interests and needs. That advantage is also what makes it difficult, and perhaps undesirable, to give one-size-fits-all homeschooling advice on The Right Way(TM) to educate your children. What works for one family or one child may not fit all families or all children,” he writes. He also encourages parents to focus on the essentials. “Focus on what matters most and give the non-essentials a seat at the kiddie table,” he writes. “For me, that means reminding myself daily that my primary goal as a father is not to create child prodigies but to raise children who love God and love other people.”

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad