Enhanced – read by the author
water-color painting of RV
with Todd Wilson
5 Ways to Set Your Wife Up for Failure
husband cooking for wife

ad, this article is for you. You play a vital role in homeschooling your children. You may not teach a course, pick up a book, or map out a lesson plan, but your role is crucial to the success of your homeschool and the well-being of your wife and children.

I talk to homeschool moms all the time who, with tears in their eyes and strain in their voices, say, “My husband thinks I’m lazy… that we don’t cover enough… or he expects so much.”

The sad thing is sometimes I do or say those very things too. I don’t mean to and know I’m wrong, but I was thinking maybe you fall into the same patterns of discouragement.

To set us both straight, I thought I’d share the five things we do to set up our wife for failure and discouragement:

“You can relax, because God is going to help your kids become exactly who they’re supposed to be. He can be trusted.”
1. We use the wrong measuring stick.
If you’re like me, chances are you grew up in the school system and use it to measure your homeschool. Don‘t.

Don’t use their clock as your clock. Your wife can start late and finish early. She doesn’t have to get in six hours of school just because the public school does. Have you taken a look at how well they use their time? I can remember thinking as a kid in third grade, “This is a waste of time. They could distill all the learning we do into about fifteen minutes of the day and let us go home early.”

Don’t use their methods… which involve boring textbooks, long lessons, and pointless repetition and homework. We’re homeschoolers; we can watch videos, read good books, skip stuff we think is a waste of time, and do it all outside if we want.

Don’t use their standards. They teach to the masses and expect the masses to all be equal. Homeschoolers teach the individual and expect different results… and rejoice in the differences. So that means some of your kids will read early and some will read late. Some will be good at math and others won’t. Some will write up a storm and others will make other kinds of storms. And that’s okay.

2. We put unrealistic expectations on our wives.
The truth is your wife cannot replicate the entire staff of a school system. They have teachers (math, music, and art…), cooks, custodial staff, counselors, and supply buyers.

Your wife can’t do it all. So since she teaches your children, she may have to let the house go, forgo fancy meals, not be the romantic vixen you‘d like, and let other things slide as well. Cut her some slack… or pick up the slack, but don’t expect her to be Superwoman.

3. We don’t pull our weight.
While I know you may not have time to do any of the school teaching, that doesn’t mean you can’t shoulder the load in other areas. Instead of throwing your shirt on the floor, put it in the hamper. Instead of leaving the mess for your wife to clean up, handle it yourself. Instead of letting your wife have the privilege of putting the kids to bed, make it your responsibility.

In short, do some of the things around the home so she doesn’t have to and so she can give her energy to homeschooling. You certainly didn’t think she could do it all AND homeschool your children, did you?

4. We equate checking on our wife’s (children‘s) progress as caring.
Guess what? She doesn’t see it that way. Your wife sees it as you checking up on her. When you say, “Why isn’t little Shakim reading as he should?” she hears, “You’re doing a lousy job.” When you say, “Maybe we should have him tested,” she hears, “You don’t know what you’re doing, and he’s falling behind.” When you give her unsolicited suggestions or ask, “What did you do all day?” she hears, “You aren’t doing enough, or what you are doing isn’t good enough.”
5. We forget what matters and that God is in control.
My fellow husband, the best part of homeschooling isn’t all the stuff they will learn (and they’ll learn way more than in any school), but all the people they get to learn it with.

Relationships are what matter. Your children will be better friends with you and each other because they were homeschooled. I see it now as my children are older and have started families of their own. They want to be with us and each other… because home is the best place for kids, and we as parents are the best teachers for them.

Also, you can relax, because God is going to help your kids become exactly who they’re supposed to be. He can be trusted. After all, He entrusted you and your wife to teach your children everything they need to be successful in life. That means He knew you and your wife were capable.

I’m telling you, if we can stop doing these things that take the wind out of our wives’ sails and remember what really matters… homeschooling will be so much easier for them (even though it’ll still be hard). But she will smile more, enjoy more, and be discouraged less.
A digital signature mark of Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson headshot

odd Wilson, author of Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe and Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom, is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and gut-honest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. Todd and his wife Debbie homeschool their eight children in northern Indiana and travel around America in the Familyman Mobile. You can visit Familyman Ministries at: www.familymanweb.com.