As homeschool parents, we are responsible for our children’s education. WE take on that responsibility oftentimes when our children are young. By the time they reach middle school we are educating younger siblings, and may be getting overwhelmed with the responsibility of educating so many different grades.
At this point it may be time to start easing our children into independent learning. This is an important thing for our children to learn. Independent learning can help them learn responsibility, prepare them for college, and helps them truly engage in the material.
But how can we create independent learners?
IF there is something you don’t know, what do you do? You learn it right? That is what your children need to learn to do as well. Model independent learning. Let them see you learn a new skill, study, or take a course.
Modeling learning for our children is important. As they grow, they need to know that the learning doesn’t stop. We are all learning something every day; the key is learning something that will be of value to us moving forward.
From a young age our children are learning and asking questions. If they don’t know the answer to something, encourage them to seek the answer out. This can be done by researching the web, heading to the library, or browsing through a book.
Encourage independent learning at a young age. This may require your help at first, but eventually your child will know how to look things up themselves, and will understand the importance of researching an unknown topic.
This is a hard one! As homeschool parents we are used to being with our children, learning alongside them, and teaching the material. There may come a point where we don’t feel “needed”. Believe me, we are still needed! But, we also need to embrace the fact that our children are growing up, and need to be able to learn independently. When this time comes embrace it! You are moving into a new season, you have done your job, and you have done it well!
Creating independent learners takes time, encouragement, and hard work. But, as our children grow they need to be able to work and learn independently. Independent learning is an important skill, and one that will benefit them for a lifetime.
Next week we are going to take a look at some homeschool curriculum options that encourage independent learning.
Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.