Men and women are gender aliens. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Pink talking and blue talking collide in waves of purplish conversations. How can we possibly cope when the two genders are so different? It’s important, though, because our children are counting on us to communicate effectively. We have to talk about important things, like education, family, and values, when it seems like we hardly speak the same language.
The content of this series ranks right up there with the Bob Jones and Saxon courses and covers the same topics in a very comprehensive way. If you are looking for a course that will teach the same content with the same format as courses for the classroom, this series is it with some extras.
If only there were some sort of secret decoder ring that came in our cereal box…
We just need some help so we can understand one another! Can’t we all just get along?
I talk a lot about translating our normal, natural homeschool into words and numbers that colleges understand; grades, credits, and transcripts. But long before we make a transcript, other communication issues come into play. We have to translate our normal, natural homeschool frustrations into words and phrases that our HUSBAND can understand. Some might say it’s even more challenging than converting a homeschool into educational-eze.
Here is my perspective. Men can be so hard to understand. They make everything so… what’s the word… LOGICAL! But my husband claims that I am hard to understand! After all, he says, I could simply start by saying what I mean in the first place. Ha! If only it were so easy! So I asked my husband, Matt, to explain.
“Never was this Venus/Mars thing more apparent than when we were homeschooling. There seemed to just be so many… oh, what’s the word… FEELINGS about everything related to the kids, their education and, surprisingly often, my parents. Most of those feelings were cleverly hidden under an enormous pile of… Oh, what’s the word… WORDS! The flood of feelings and words that would often greet me after a long day at work could exceed a teenager’s ability to text! Often I would come to full understanding through a painful period of trial and error, using my prodigious communication skills and through the careful employment of strategic clarifying questions like, “huh?” and “what??”
I captured some of those hard won lessons in a notebook to remind myself that some of the more common expressions Lee uttered did not always mean what they appeared to mean. Upon careful reflection and through the clarity that only weeping can bring, I was able to translate many of these comments and declarations into their true meaning.
It is in the spirit of love, service and above all, pity for my fellow homeschool dads that I share this battle-tested wisdom in the form of this “homeschool mom decoder.” If I can save one dad from one night spent on the couch, my job will be done.
As a public service, Matt and I are providing this Homeschool Mom Secret Decoder, below. Please share it with your spouse and Facebook friends for grins and pin on Pinterest to review later, when you actually need it! If you click the image, you’ll get a nice large version suitable for framing – on a very long wall in your husband’s office, perhaps!
(Click to view the image larger)
Guess what? Not every mom is the stay at home parent. Some dads are the primary educator at home. There are wonderfully successful single parents as well. Their voices are so important, and vital to the homeschool community.
Suzy says this decoder is helpful even for single parents. She was thankful for the reminders, because her inner-voice speaks the mom words, and she needed help translating her own thoughts into what she really means. “These are great! As a now-single mom I need to be reminded that the emotional expressions that are going through my own head (what I say to myself!) really may not be exactly what I mean. Your “what she means is” actually can be a help so that *I* can figure out what I really mean! May all of you married moms offer up a special prayer for your special, if sometimes bewildered, homeschool hero husbands!”
A homeschool dad felt slighted by the implication that moms are always the home educator. “Wives of male lawyers are not called ‘lawyer moms’ so I’m not sure why husbands of homeschool moms are ‘homeschool dads.’ I AM a homeschool dad, in that I have been my daughter’s primary teacher for 6 years. My wife works full time as a public school teacher. I appreciate that we are an extreme minority. Please appreciate that the label The #Homeschool Wife Decoder Chart. For more fun and laughs, see the original article here: http://www.thehomescholar.com/homeschool-mom-decoder.php @TheHomeScholar‘homeschool dad’ has a radically different, and mostly unappreciated definition for those of us who do this job.”
Rachel suggests the comparison to professionals working outside the home as well. “When I was first homeschooling and would get stressed out and try to talk through it with my husband, he would often reply that maybe we should just put the kids in school. I finally said, ‘What would you say if you came home to me to tell me about your hard day and I told you to quit your job? Because that is what you are doing to me. I don’t want to quit my job, I just need to talk through the newness of the difficulties here, just like you do.’” What a great point!
Many of our parental conversations may seem like a classic communication played out in sitcoms night after night on TV. These are the times that try men’s souls.
These are the moments we will look back on and cherish as we remember our homeschooling years, giggling together.
Copyright © 2013 The HomeScholar LLC, www.TheHomeScholar.com.
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, specializes in helping parents homeschool high school, and provides many of her homeschool resources for free. Get Lee’s FREE 5 part mini-course, “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Homeschooling High School.”