By Mark Hoerrner

Finally, Dads have their due.

Traditionally, the practical reality of homeschooling has shown that in order for one parent to be home on a full- or part-time basis, requires significant financial sacrifice. Owing to the unfortunate fact that men are still considered the primary breadwinners, and because of some fundamentalist beliefs that men are ordained as the household providers, they are often the ones left to seek success in the corporate world.

What this has done, studies are showing, is create a vacuum in the life of the children who are being homeschooled. While the sexual makeup of the family is often blurred today, it's clear that children need a two-parent home, with significant contributions from each parent.

However, as the corporate parent, how can fathers make a significant impact on their children's lives? The answer lies in perspective change. Just as a homeschooling mom is more than just 'mom', the 'dad' must always be more than a working provider.

Reading with children, even for as little as 15 minutes a night, provides a strong impact on their ability to read and comprehend. It allows cognitive interaction with participatory learning that crosses all learning styles, and usually has a completely positive effect on learning and reading prowess.

Further, while Mom establishes a daytime routine, Dad can easily set the tone for the night. By coming home with the children in mind, and ready to set the pace for homework, bath, chores, and bedtime, the father can become a pivotal person in how the home is run. Not only does this create a structured routine for children, but it gives Mom the break she needs from her daily 'job' of being the primary caregiver. The shared responsibility adds to the harmony in the home, and serves only to enhance the relationship between Mom and Dad, a key model for the children's psychological development in the area of human relations.

One of the key points in homeschooling is the fact that in-depth, experiential learning can be combined with traditional educational techniques to create a vibrant learning experience. Dads can not only participate, but plan and add a unique perspective to such events, and be seen as a competent educator. Just by participating in some of the events Mom has planned will lead to this, but do not underestimate the value of making sure that Dad has a chance to be the coordinator.

Though this would seem a no-brainer, it's important for the homeschooling father to ensure that the homeschooling mother has his support at all times. When others may provide a degree of resistance to the idea of homeschooling, the father needs to take a supportive role in underpinning the family's choice to educate at home.