Getting Support From Spouse in Homeschooling

by Mary Ann on September 8, 2010

Using the five rules of engagement

Don and I will have been married 40 years come May. It has been an amazing experience. The wonderful part is that we still love each another!

Lately I have felt a real need for us to do something that will bring joy to us, that will enhance our family. I want to keep our relationship growing, especially after 40 years.

I want to have a vision for our family and then craft a Family Mission Statement. There are only two of us and we have lived together 40 years and I can tell you he can’t see the point in that.

I talked with my husband about this a few weeks ago. I brought it up again this last week. I tried to convey how exciting it would be, how helpful in our future and how much fun. I can tell he isn’t buying it.

Some of you are really excited about having a structured and consistent family time and having the Closet available. You can visualize how this will really impact your family in a positive way. You want to plan with your spouse and really enjoy this project together. You want them to listen for Sparks and help you come up with inspiring ideas for your Closet. And then you have the let down when you realize that your spouse is not on board– they don’t see what you see – it just means some work to them. Now what? Let me share how I am going to handle that very situation in my family.

I am going to move Don along slowly. I looked at my calendar and had him look at his. I asked him to find fifteen minutes once a week when we could sit and talk together. So now we have a structured time, an amount he can handle. I am taking the responsibility to make sure it is used consistently.

I am going to visualize what I would like the next 20 years to look like. I am going to take one small part of that vision to him each week and say “What do you think of this.” “How does that sound?” “Would you like that?” “Do you see it differently?” Then I am going to listen to him and what he says and how he feels. Then I will take that part back and rewrite it. I will do this till that small part is perfect for both of us. Then I will share another small part. I will make this family vision bit by bit. I am not going to be resentful because he won’t just jump in with both feet like me. Even if it takes a year to craft this vision the year will pass whether I do it or not.

When the vision is clear I will start writing a Family Mission Statement in the same way, bit by bit. When it is done I will hang it proudly and my husband will embrace it because we wrote it together, in a way that works for him.

This can happen for you in your structured family time and your Closet. Find fifteen minutes that you and your spouse can sit and talk and then you listen. Take ideas one or two at a time and ask “What do you think of this?” “How would you handle this?” “Do you have any ideas about this?” “Have you noticed anything the kids have talked about this week?” “What did you like to do when you were little?” “What is your favorite subject?” “What do you wish you knew more about?” Then listen to what they have to say. Use their suggestions and ideas to put inspiring items in your Closet.

In anything that you want to go well utilize the Five Rules of Engagement. Schedule time for it and then be consistent in honoring the time. Be Present. Don’t come to this meeting with an agenda, just a question or two and a listening ear. Don’t overload the time. You can’t solve all your problems or answer all the questions in 15 to 30 minutes. Don’t overload. Make this little bit of time special. It only happens once a week and possibly for only 15 to 30 minutes so make it special. Plan ahead and come with a cup of herb tea or coco. Put on a smile. Willing accept what help is offered.

Ask gentle questions and involve them and in the end you will feel supported and they will have supported you. Who knows where that process could lead in your family? Do what you can. Accept what they will offer. Have peace and see progress.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shiniga June 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Thats a great idea. I had read this before, but didn’t understand it well. But today when am trying to craft a family mission statement with all excitement and Ratish feels like “Is that even necessary”, and my excitement dies in a second, I can really see what is to be done. I had decided to make a small list with things I want to do, and ask 15 minutes of his time every day to do an activity we both wanted to do together and start off with that. And then slowly add more things as we go. Hope this will work. I have also read and decided to use the 5 principles to make this a success.


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