In a few cases there are men who stay at home and homeschool while their wives go to work. But this is not the norm for many reasons, like boys play war and girls don’t and women want to be with a guy who earns more than she does. But, also, women who believe that families are better when kids are at home are usually also women who want to be the parent at home.
I am not going to debate whether this is good. I think it’s similar to the debate about whether it is good that women opt-out much more frequently than men. These situations are so clearly part of who we are that there is no need to debate whether it’s good or not.
But here’s what’s interesting to me: my career-coaching business is divided by gender pretty evenly. I don’t advertise that I coach people for homeschooling, but lots of people end up hiring me to talk to them about homeschooling. And it’s almost always men.
This is surprising to me. The demographic who hires me to talk about homeschooling is a guy who makes a lot of money, has a stay-at-home wife, and wants her to homeschool his kids. Of course he has an uphill battle. Any guy who grew up in the last 40 years knows it’s way easier to be at work than it is to be at home with kids. So the men are hesitant to tell their wives they should spend more time with the kids. The men want to discuss possibilities.
Here is what the dads are thinking:
1. They see school is irrelevant at work. Most people who are making a lot of money in corporate life did not do well in school. This is because the personality traits that are rewarded in school are penalized at work. The guys I talk to see this, and they are concerned that they are selling their kids a bad bill of goods.
2. They see high performers and they want their kids to be like that. The high performers did things on their own besides school. They remain self-starters and they get jobs through non-traditional routes. The guys I talk to worry that their kids are not displaying this sort of behavior and they want to take them out of school to encourage it.
3. They have a big-picture view. The people who make a lot of money in business are good at looking at the big picture. The people who are successful at running a household are making the day-to-day details fit with each family member’s life. So most men who work full-time with a stay-at-home wife come home to a household that largely runs without them. But they have the ability to see the household in a way that you can’t see if you’re in the thick of it.
So, it’s a little off-putting that I talk with so many men who want their wives to homeschool. But I confess that I find their perspectives inspiring and justified and probably they are great guys to be married to.