We’ve heard a lot about parents who are burned out on homeschooling already, because the truth is, it’s not for everyone.
Most people are happy to send their kids off to school each day to be taught by someone else. But there is one homeschool dad who is really embracing the opportunity to teach his kids, and it seems like he’s having fun while he’s at it.
Kentucky dad Matt Nestheide is usually a contract analyst. But right now, he’s a homeschool dad extraordinaire. He has been has been getting into his new role. In fact, he’s been getting into many new roles. He’s dressed up as a mad scientist, fitness instructor, and a Bob Ross impersonator to bring his kids loads of fun during their homeschool days.
Matt is the dad to three girls — Cole, 8; Sydney, 6; and Mila, 3. While their schools are closed, Matt plans lessons around the characters he embodies each day.
Matt is definite homeschool goals … AND dad goals, that’s for sure. Most of us are just happy if the kids aren’t wrestling on the floor all day and fighting over the remote. But he’s actually making excellent use of this break from regular life! It’s admirable.
He told Good Morning America about how it all started. “[Their] routines have obviously gotten thrown out the window, so we wanted to just have a little bit of fun and a little bit of lightheartedness as we started our days,” he said. “I told my wife on Sunday night, ‘I think I’m just going to throw on a suit on Monday morning and just walk upstairs and act like a principal or a teacher.'”
He totally didn’t expect it to be something he would end up doing on the regular, but the girls loved it. “I did it and the girls were cracking up and laughing. They really enjoyed it. So I thought, ‘Alright, maybe I should think about doing something different tomorrow.’ It just kind of snowballed from there.”
The family has been self-isolating for about two weeks because their youngest daughter is immunocompromised, he said. “We’re cautious. Our youngest, Mila, has a congenital heart defect, so [she’s in] the at-risk immunocompromised population.”
“Obviously we’re doing everything that we can to keep her healthy and keep all the kids healthy. We’re trying to be appropriately cautious, yet optimistic.” This certainly seems like a great way to keep everyone both healthy and in good spirits.
Matt has dressed up as quite a few characters, so far. He’s been artist Bob Ross as well as celebrity chef Guy Fieri, a wakeboarder, and more. He’s always working on his next character, so there will definitely be more to come. Luckily, thanks to his wife sharing the hilarity, joy, and educational moments (because that’s what it’s all about, after all) on Facebook, we all get to enjoy them.
It’s really incredible to see the way Matt has approached homeschooling his girls. While it’s absolutely a stressful time, especially for families who are worried about their own health, the health of others, or even the health of their kids, focusing on homeschool can almost feel like too heavy a burden. Watching how some parents are embracing the opportunity is refreshing.
The truth is, while no one would deny that times are tough right now, it’s also an incredible opportunity to tune into what matters. Focusing on the things you actually can do to help teach your kids, stay positive, or just have fun is so important. Matt and his family look like they are having a blast. Surely, his girls are learning a ton, too.
Matt is balancing working from home while he gets into character. He says it can be a lot to manage but that acting silly can help offset the struggle. “Traci and I, we’re juggling a lot as parents right now. So first, we have to be patient with each other and to show each other grace,” he says.
“We can’t control what’s going on out there, but we can control our attitude,” Matt said. “[Second], don’t be afraid to look like a goofball! I can see [my kids’] faces literally light up. They laugh and they start imagining things and pretending.”
It’s a great philosophy, honestly. And as it turns out, Matt isn’t just teaching his girls. He’s teaching all of us how to focus on what really matters.