A Dad’s Turn at Homeschooling - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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A Dad’s Turn at Homeschooling

{Caedin, Quincy, and Jonas – photo by Aaron Hilton}

Before the break we heard some inspiring words from a few SLOCA dads following Dads' Days, and today we have another dad’s perspective to share with you! While it is most often the mom doing the homeschooling, we do have some dads who take on that role, either entirely, in part, or temporarily. Today we have a first-hand account of one dad’s experience taking over the homeschooling for a time.

Aaron and Cindy Hilton are a Track A family in their 7th year at SLOCA with three children:  Caedin (LMS), Quincy (PreK), and Jonas (4th grade, public school). Aaron sent in this heartwarming account of his foray into homeschooling:

Recently my wife’s family had a medical emergency that took her away from our daily life for 2 weeks.  I was able to take time off from my job so I took on the task of filling in for her.  My normal involvement with home schooling is to check the occasional difficult math problem or help out with a costume for history day, basically not much. 

I was willing to step up to give Cindy this time with her family and… how hard could it be?

I felt confident that I could handle this task since in my job I am responsible for coordinating multi-million dollar construction projects.  

The first day: 3 boys up dressed, lunches made, hair brushed, missing shoes (but found some old ones), 1 on the bus, 2 off to SLOCA: success!   

The first afternoon: …I have to pick them up???, snack??, Violin practice (what do I do with the little guys?), dinner??, When do I get to sit down and relax? Everyone is asleep: success??

The second day: 1 up and dressed and on the bus (middle son, with special needs, goes to public school), 2 up (not dressed) ready for homeschool, homeschooling done 1hr (this is easy), clean the kitchen (the rest of the house can wait until tomorrow). Time to relax: success!

The second afternoon: Check in with Cindy, Grid??, Narrative??, I guess I can’t just ask Caedin what he needs to do, find out that there was a problem at the public school and our middle child will be home with me for a few days.

By this point I realized that I was in over my head but I put on the brave face and told Cindy that I had it all under control.  I reassured her that the few things that had slipped through the cracks would be caught up by the end of the week… or the weekend.  I was developing a deep appreciation for the work that goes into daily life around our house.  I was not prepared for the constant drain on my energy, by the end of the day I was exhausted.

By the end of the 2nd week we did have a certain rhythm, no we did not finish all of our work but I did get to hang out with my boys and learn first hand the hard work Cindy does every day.

I am used to making schedules, telling people what to do, and things happening.  I liken it to running a well-oiled army: there is the occasional glitch but for the most part it runs smoothly.  My 2 week stint running our household felt more like herding cats in a rain storm – there was a constant barrage of “needs” that drained me, and I realized that my needs were going to have to be put on the back burner.  This experience taught me that, while I do not want to trade places with Cindy and I was very happy to go back to “work”, I need to be aware of Cindy’s needs.  I need to make it a priority to take care of her, because all week long she is giving out and not getting much back.

My best quote: somewhere in this 2 weeks Cindy asked about baths… I said “if we go in the hot tub that counts, right?”

Thank you, Aaron – this both entertains and affirms homeschooling parents everywhere! You did a great job taking over the role, and thanks for sharing what you gained from the experience. Support for the homeschooling parent is so vital, and your words are highly encouraging to moms and dads alike. 

Do you have a homeschooling experience you’d like to share on the blog? Email Down Home and tell us about it!

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