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