#AtoZChallenge: D is for Daddy School

d is for daddy school
photo credit: Exploring Beautiful British Columbia via photopin (license)

What if … what if I could just stay home with the kids … and teach?

DI would. I could. Daddy Homeschool lessons slipped in easily when the girls were young. At the zoo, in the grocery store. At the ballpark. In the park. When we hiked or fished, shopped or ran errands, colored or ventured out on daddy/daughter dates, learning was fun.

It’s not so easy now.

Kids become a bit jaded with age. Inspirational teachers are fewer and further apart. One girl – I won’t say who – issued a cease-and-desist for all “how was school?” inquiries. Ever. Commutes to school aren’t filled with talk of faraway lands and long-lost eras.

They’re spent griping and counting the days – and years – until school’s finally through.

But what if … what if Dad ran a school? With field trips to day baseball games and museums. With courses such as Grilling 101 and Intro to Sports Math. What if we could trace history along with Indiana Jones and wildlife along with Dian Fossey? What if?

In Dad School …

1. We’d read and then watch

I couldn’t wait for Grace to finish the book, so we could watch the movie.

A couple of years ago, Grace read the book Misty of Chincoteague. I couldn’t wait for her to finish so we could watch the movie. I wanted her to be able to tell the differences, and tell me a little about how she saw it in her mind.

3 movies/books we’d tackle:

THE COLOR PURPLE | Alice Walker’s story of life as a black woman in the deep south in the 1930s took on magic in Steven Spielberg’s hands. We’d have a forum to discuss racism, sexism, and homosexuality.

FIELD OF DREAMS | W.P. Kinsellas’ book teaches of hope and faith as much as it does baseball. It’s as grand as the greatest ballplayers of an era sharing an Iowa cornfield as a home, and as simple as a son and his father having a catch.

STAND BY ME | My school would include this Stephen King rite-of-passage piece. We’d pair this with The Earthling, starring Ricky Schroder, with kids facing harsh realities of life. I wish someone had talked with me about The Earthling and other movies and books tough to wrap my 10-year-old mind around.

2. The grocery store = classroom

I’d have the girls go get things on my list. Wait, that’s just a benefit to me! Well, they have to find it. It’d be Guy’s Grocery Games meets Coach Daddy Academy. The girls know daddy wants what’s on sale. Or the store brand.

They also know how to check the price per pound/ounce, whatever.Good little shoppers.

3 lessons we’d learn:

VALUE | Which delivers the best deal – an 8 oz. block of cheddar, or a bag of it, shredded? Is the sale price really a better deal than the store brand? Which soda choice gives Dad the most bang for his buck?

NUTRITION | They’d learn to read labels – and teach me. We’d learn which oils we should cook in – and why. And we’d explore the advantage of making dinner from scratch than buying it microwavable.

BUDGET | Who can drum up the best dinner for $20 or less? How do the Publix brand animal crackers compare to Nabisco? Should we buy shampoo and conditioner at Food Lion or Aldi?

3. Oh, and the music

In younger days, we’d play “Who Sings This?” in the car. They’re getting good at it, recognizing Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace. I think that’s good for memory, too, right?

Plus, they can school the boys when it comes to 70s rock and 80s hair bands, too.

3 trends we’d watch for:

EVOLUTION | 60s Beatles differs from early 70s Beatles differs from Paul McCartney and Wings. Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart went from bad-ass to softies. What about Sammy Hagar vs. David Lee Roth?

LYRIC INTERPRETATION | What’s The Joker or River of Dreams really about? Why do Adam Levine and Ellie Goulding make strange noises in their songs? Why do boy singers sing about lost love so much?

HISTORY | How does music relate to history? What did music say during the Vietnam War or L.A. riots? What does music sound like when the world is relatively calm?

So, Coach Daddy Academy.

The crest would be kickass, blue and green, maybe some read. Images of a brain and lightning bolts and maybe a fierce red panda eating a salmon.

Recess would run on, and lunch would be buffet style. There’d be copious field trips, field work, and Field of Dreams. We’d bake, we’d fish, we’d draw and we’d write.

If I could just stay home with the kids … and teach.

school quote


  1. Since I had to take Little Man out of school, I’m totally stealing some of your ideas. And David Lee Roth versus Sammy Hagar? Seriously? No contest – David Lee Roth any day!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Please do, and spread the good word. You and I know Van Halen effectively ended when David Lee Roth left.

  2. Ritu says:

    Can I come to your school??!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ll save a seat in the front row, Ritu.

      1. Ritu says:

        I’ll be teachers pet!!!

  3. Lyn says:

    Now that is a style of school I’d be happy to go to. School and I never did get along. If every subject could have been “English composition,” I’d probably still be there 😀
    I didn’t particularly like Rod Stewart in his early days, but his Great American Songbook albums I just love!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ll sign you up, Lyn. I wasn’t the model student. If I could have written essays on math tests, I might have been okay.

      I liked Rod Stewart better early, as with Bryan Adams and even Chicago. Some artists get soft and cheesy with age. I wonder if bloggers do, too.

      1. Lyn says:

        Oh yes, I’m sure we do 🙂
        LOL just wait for around ten years or so when you become a grandpa (scary though?) and see how soppy you will become 😉 With 9 grandchildren, I’ve become very proficient in “soppy.”

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Some would say I’m well on my way to soppiness, Lyn.

  4. Rhonda Albom says:

    Coach daddy academy sounds like a great school.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Totally not accredited, but the lunch is sublime and you ought to see the playground equipment.

  5. Holly says:

    I like your lesson plans!

    Isn’t Elise ready to graduate soon? Time flies, fortunately and not.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Could you get on board with a course load like this, Holly? Elise will graduate in a few months, in fact.

      We hope to nail down the college acceptance sooner than later, so we can rest a bit easier.

  6. Kisma says:

    I’m with Lynn, can I attend???

    My two have the best line up of classes compared to what I went through so when I ask what’s going on at school and they grunt and tell me, I just asked if I can go to school for them and they can go to work for me. They get really quiet.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’ve caught me during open enrollment, Tiff. I tell mine that courses get better in college, but they see it as four more years, and not the good kind like when you love a president or something.


  7. mocadeaux says:

    Where can I sign up for the Daddy Academy Music Classes? I am woefully unschooled in this department and am pretty sure that pop radio should not be my source of knowledge and inspiration.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s all online, but I hired the people who created healthcare.gov, so it might be awhile. It’ll be spectacular, though.

  8. Linda Eskin says:

    Brilliant! A school that’s interesting, fun, and relevant. What a concept!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Linda! Now if I could only get the funding. And building. And staff.

  9. Daddy School sounds excellent! If only home-schooling were an option for everyone!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You could come head my English department, Clare. I’ll be busy overseeing lunch preparation.

  10. 1jaded1 says:

    The music…nice…all are my faves. Sorry Norah..

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We’re spinning the hits over here, LJ.

  11. Does it have to be either / or?
    Kids can go to school and learn what’s in the standard books, and they can learn life and practical skills at Mom’s and Dad’s. Ideally both can compliment each other.
    I like examples that allow me to use elements that are exciting for Colin, like “if Jonathan Toews makes $13.8 million per year, how much is that for every month?”

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      CD Academy would be best as a learning supplement, Tamara. Or with any mom and pop. Learning should never stop.

      Hockey has given Colin a brilliant grasp on geography already, hasn’t it?

      1. Hockey is what made him want to learn to read. At age 4. Thank you, hockey!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Now he can spell Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, right?

  12. Rorybore says:

    I would soooo be in your school!! I’d fail on purpose just so I could come back each year. I have often thought the world should be our classroom. Wouldn’t we learn more valuable lessons? I once read a story about a family that pulled all their children out of school to sail around the world for 2 years. They said it would be a better education. I wonder how it turned out?
    I did a paper on Protest Music of the 60s and the poetry of the times. Especially coming on the heels of the Beat Generation of poets. A lot of Bob Dylan in my life during that period. Not a bad thing. Best grade I ever got and my teacher had like 8 meetings with me about the paper. I think he just wanted to listen to the music. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      it’s k-12 with adult learning opportunities, Les. No need to fail. My girls were open to the world as a classroom more at a younger age, but now just can’t wait to stop learning.

      You should do a search for that around-the-world family. Or maybe they’re lost at sea, in which case they should have kept their kids’ asses in geometry class.

      I’d listen to that music, too, Les. Good stuff.

      1. Rorybore says:

        Oh my gosh.. I think I found them!! Still sailing. https://afamilyafloat.com/

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        NOT any port in a storm, for this family at least, Rore. Thanks! Following now.

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