My wife is doing a tremendous job in her first year of homeschooling. She is a fantastic planner and with some regularity is able to get our family ahead in covering the material. But homeschool is a family effort. So instead of just providing funds for the curriculum materials, I have decided to be my wife’s teacher’s aide.
In a traditional school setting, a teacher’s aide does menial tasks for the teacher. Lots of tasks—like stuffing papers into folders and grading worksheets—are things anyone can do and don’t require much evaluation. They just take time.
I’ve tried to support my wife by doing these types of tasks for her. When she had to organize manipulatives for the math program, I pitched in. Also, I usually do the daily grading of my daughter’s worksheets. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes of my time. Each of these tasks is small, but the reasons I do them are important.
Here are three motivations I have for choosing to serve as my wife’s teacher’s aide.
- Loving my wife: The Lord commands me to love my wife as I love myself. Pitching in at the end of the day is one small way for me to show her I love her. I don’t want her to have to stay up fifteen minutes later or give up some personal time to grade these papers. When it comes down to it, I wish I could do more for her.
- Seeing my child’s progress: It’s great to see how my daughter is progressing and what she’s learning. When she does great work, I have the opportunity to praise her. Sometimes, when she’s careless, I can challenge her to do better. I’ve seen her respond to praise and my challenges to do better. Her work keeps getting better.
- Supporting our homeschool: Homeschooling allows our family to provide our children a Christian education, which is one of the most important gifts we can give them. I don’t want to stand on the sidelines of this journey of learning my children are on. Being my wife’s teacher’s aide allows me to actively support homeschooling on an everyday basis.
I enjoy being a teacher’s aide because of the ways it enables me to support my wife and children. I would encourage homeschool dads to consider similar ways they could get involved in the day-to-day homeschooling routine.