This week is not only Valentine’s Day, but also my husband’s birthday. So naturally I have been spending time thinking about this amazing man by my side.
Our childhoods were polar opposites. Thankfully, we had wise counsel during our engagement to discuss these differences. Understanding how our childhoods impacted our decision-making processes, our approach to conflict, and the way we handle money spared us plenty of fights in our marriage.
But, of course, nothing really could prepare my adorable husband for being married to a former homeschooler.
That might seem like a funny thing to say, but if you understand homeschooling tends to be a way-of-life, you understand that there is a culture of sorts that accompanies it. So, I went to the source and asked my husband what a non-homeschooler should know about marrying a former homeschooler.
1. Your Fiancé has already considered if they will homeschool
While you’re over here just trying to just get a handle on this whole adulting thing, your former homeschooled fiancé has already contemplated how many children they will have and if they will homeschool them. It’s just a fact. You best ask them where they stand.
2. You may (or may not) end up Homeschooling your children
This is kind of an obvious one, but if your spouse is a former homeschooler, there is a high likelihood they will end up homeschooling their children. Also, on the other end of the spectrum, a former homeschooler may not want that for their children. Dialogue is important. You may be surprised.
3. Homeschooling your children means you are responsible for the education of your children.
This won’t be just your spouse’s gig. If you aren’t on board with homeschooling, it will not only affect your marriage, it will impact you children. The nice thing is that your spouse already has a grasp on the concept and can fill you in on the details. Trust me though, it’s not as hard as it may seem at first. Just remember, “everything is an opportunity for a lesson.”
4. Your spouse may not be able to relate to you school experiences.
If you need it, find a fellow friend to reminisce with because the only foundation your spouse will have for understanding the words/phrases/experiences (i.e. waiting for and riding the bus, lockers, swim class/showering after, crossing guards, Dean’s office, detention, recess, dances, hall passes, track & field days, names up on the board, picture day, yearbook signings, etc.) from your schooling experiences will be the stereotypes they’ve seen in movies.
5. Your spouse will most likely be a self starter.
The moment a former homeschooler decides they want to do something is the moment they get it done. Don’t be surprised by this; growing up, the carrot of playing/reading/hanging out with friends if they got their schoolwork done quickly was dangled before them on a daily basis. By the time they graduated, they had perfected this skill.
6. The concept of learning new information or a new skill will probably not intimidate your spouse
That coffee table your former homeschooled spouse wants but can’t afford? There’s a part of them that says, “I bet I could figure out how to build it.” Even if they have never picked up a hammer let alone stepped foot inside a home improvement store, they figure if they can’t learn it from a book, a blog post, or youtube, they can always ask someone. Cause, you know, that’s how they learned _______ (insert any school subject).
7. Your spouse may more easily interact with/feel more comfortable around people of various ages or demographics
Because we didn’t spend every day with an age-specific group, we’ve learned to carry on conversations with people of all ages, backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, etc. Because everyday life is our school room, we learned to handle ourselves in various situations. And, because we get asked questions about our lives as homeschoolers all the time, we’ve learned how to be polite and cordial (even if we think the people we are talking to are idiots).
8. Your spouse will have an opinion about everything.
Even if they aren’t the type to vocalize it, having an opinion about everything comes with the territory. Homeschool parents often put an emphasis of raising independent thinkers, which means your spouse has been taught to observe, consider, and formulate an opinion. They will probably be shocked if you don’t have one.
9. Don’t assume your spouse has taken a home economics or industrial tech courses
I’ll be honest, I had to have my husband explain this one to me. His point: your spouse didn’t have to pick a class from the set electives of home economics (e.g. baking class) and industrial tech courses (e.g. wood shop). They got to follow their own interests… which leads into the next point.
10. Your spouse may know information about things that most people don’t.
Come on, admit it, there have been times your fiancé has mentioned something and you think to yourself, “how do they know that?” It’s because they were homeschooled. We are notorious for studying what interests us, regardless of if the majority of the rest of the world cares about it – it’s kinda our thing.
11. Schedules may be fluid.
Homeschoolers are the masters of schedule manipulation. If they don’t get their work done one day, for whatever reason, they just double-up the next day. Schedules are suggestions, a simple framework for accomplishment, not a ridged set of rules to follow.
Of course, every individual is different and homeschooling experiences vary, so I want to hear from you all! All you spouses of former homeschoolers, chime in with your thoughts! What did we miss?