My reply to a friend’s comment on Facebook made me think of how my husband and I share roles and responsibilities in our family’s preschool homeschool journey.
My friend had asked me if we enjoyed building the community form the Jepoy Dyip book series created by children’s book author and illustrator Jomike Tejido. The books feature different vehicle characters (Cora the Taxi, Victor the Tricycle, Chief Wang, Kuya Dong) and their adventures in Bayan ng Pag-Asa. Each book contains an activity board with instructions on how to build and make each character an actual toy kids can play with.
I suddenly wondered how serious and consistent we are in our designated tasks in our homeschooling. Tatay builds the toys. Nanay reads the storybooks.
Did I ever sit down with my husband and son to construct even a single structure of Bayan ng Pag-asa? Looking at my phone’s cameral roll, I was always present in their toy buildings sessions only to take snapshots of the finished products!
I am thankful for that question on my FB thread. It made me realize how unfair I have become in fulfilling our homeschooling goals. I kept on pushing my husband to get involved when it was me who kept on overplaying my role but limiting it to tasks I only know and enjoy doing.
I read books to my son because I also love reading. I organize our homeschool schedule because I love to plan and being organized. I am not good in playing with complex toys. In my mind, building and connecting railroad tracks, constructing wooden dump trucks and paper toys should be Tatay’s activities with our little boy.
In reality, my husband is silently refusing my self-imposed homeschooling roles. He goes beyond his assigned tasks and is willing to try new activities with our son and me.
I recalled how my husband would give in to my request, stop whatever he’s doing and listen to me as I share what I learned from the workshops I’ve attended. He would also say hat I am the better storyteller but will always give in to our little boy’s request to stop working and read to him his favorite bedtime stories.
There were times when he would engage me on issues that he is passionate about. Sometimes his questions intimidate me — but it feels good to know that he is interested and willing to be part of our important roles as our son’s first and best teachers.
It takes two to tango
Teaching our children is like dancing. We each have our own steps to perform but in order to gracefully dance together, we also need to know our partner’s own moves. We may find it difficult to groove the way our partner does but by constant practice and resolve to learn, we can perfectly move as one.
And I thank my dearest husband for showing me that as long as we are together, we can dance even the most difficult steps.
Tatay, thank you for encouraging me, not only by words but also through your actions, to experience the joy of discovering and exploring with our dearest son.
Now, I can’t wait for Jomike Tejido’s next book. It will be my turn to build the new characters in his Jepoy Dyip series.