From the Coalface {SQT} Loving the difference.

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Head over to her blog to check out all the other Quick takes!


This year I decided to ask my husband to actually help with some of the nuts-and-bolts homeschooling..  After 7 years of pretty well keeping a handle on it all, I was finding I was actually struggling as my son is now in his first year of high school.  I thought I would ask my husband who is much more mathsy and sciency than I, to help with the science side of things.



One morning each week, he goes to work later so as to be able to do science with the kids.  I was thinking, “great, he can get all the experiment write-ups done so when our teacher visits come around we will have that bit done and I can tick off that box.

Based on previous experiences, I tend to be very focused on the end product, rather than the means.

My thinking:

  • tick off that box
  • just get the work done even if you have to grit your teeth
  • if you are gritting your teeth then you must be really working hard
  • you don’t have fun when you are ticking boxes.  That is not the point.
  • Learning is ok as long as there is EVIDENCE to show you have done something

My husband’s thinking:

  • I have NO idea what he is thinking.. maybe he’s not thinking.. but I think it is something like this
  • As long as it’s fun then it’s learning
  • Flip around from one topic to another depending on how you feel at the time
  • No need to record anything.  The teacher will take my word for it
  • As long as I’m having fun doing all the science experiments I missed when I was younger


When our mid-year teacher visit came round, I didn’t really “check” the work before I showed it to her.  I guess I heard the lesson going on, and figured it must have been working like the smoothly oiled machine I imagined it would be.  This was a BAD mistake.  Wives:  take note.  Always check the work your husbands do with your children before showing to strangers who don’t think it’s cute that they made a big mess in the kitchen and laughed a lot but just drew random pictures that were not related to the topic AT ALL.



Imagine my slowly rising blush as I pull out our children’s science workbooks and say with a stammer.. “oh.. dear… umm.. kids.. where is all the work you have done with Dad in the past 6 months?!?”  The blush and stammer then turn to a more accusatory tone as I call my husband out of his office and ask him with the silent teacher sitting there waiting to see their work.  I ask, “What did you actually do with the kids this semester?”




My husband, who is far more likely not to die from a stroke due to being over-conscientious casually calls to mind a few random experiments which are neither recorded or even listed in the text.  He has never been a big one for reading instructions.  He has, however, quite a bit of enthusiasm to convey to the teacher about the fun they had together, and how it is great to do this with the kids.

So it’s fun Dad and policeman Mum back again!



What have I learned from all of this?

  1. My kids would die from hard work and boredom if it was all up to me
  2. They would, however, have beautifully presented workbooks to show for it
  3. I need my husband to stop them from dying of hard work and boredom
  4. I must always check the work before showing it to random strangers
  5. That’s why I married him.. life would be far too predictable otherwise




And so, to all those hard working families out there, sharing the load and somehow muddling along, take heart!  If it’s any consolation, we even have Pope St John Paul to back us up!

“Love for his wife as mother of their children and love for the children themselves are for the man the natural way of understanding and fulfilling his own fatherhood…

In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God, a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all members of the family: he will perform this task by exercising generous responsibility for the life conceived under the heart of the mother, 

by a more solicitous commitment to education, a task which he shares with his wife,

by work which is never a cause of division in the family but promotes its unity and stability, and by means of the witness he gives of an adult Christian life which effectively introduces the children into the living experience of Christ and the Church.”

John Paul II: Familiaris Consortio 25

Have a great week everyone!


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