Homeschooling is hard work. You may be feeling overwhelmed by how much work it is, especially if you have a few children. There is only one of you versus a mountain of lessons, housework, activity schedules, and laundry. However, just because you are homeschooling, doesn’t mean you have to be teaching every lesson. Wait…what?? That’s right, it’s a myth that homeschooling moms need to teach everything. The ultimate goal of homeschooling is actually to foster independent learning. So, here’s a quick guide to how you can start teaching independent learners in your homeschool.
Helping Students Become Independent Learners
One of the first, and best ways, to help students become independent learns is through outsourcing some education. This could mean a co-op, however, it also could mean a math program that teaches itself or a science book that is on CD. You see, having the children work through classes that aren’t taught by you actually increases their independence. Also, outsourcing a subject or two can be completely affordable when done this way. Students will be required to complete the lesson and keep track of what they have done. You will need to check their work, but that is quicker than doing the lessons and will take the pressure off of you. Building independent learners can be as easy as buying a curriculum resource that somehow provides lessons so you don’t have to.
How to Encourage Children to Learn through Their Passions
The best way to encourage self-education and independent learners are to encourage their passions. When children want to learn, they love to learn. So, if you focus on what they love, you won’t have to teach that subject. This works great for history and science. Let students dive deep into their passions. They can read, write, graph, research, and do projects of all types. Teaching independent learners is simple when learners want to learn independently. Notebooking and journaling are fantastic homeschool methods that will encourage your young learners to seek out answers on their own.
Family Learning together Builds Independent Learning
We think that everyone has to have their own curriculum for every subject, however, several subjects lend themselves to learning as a family. This can be done as read alouds, group projects, or field trips. In addition, siblings can learn together without mom or dad. Independent doesn’t have to mean all alone. Team up siblings, let friends put together a study club, or have older kids tutor younger ones.
Building Independent Learners through Problem Solving
Independent learners need to be able to problem-solve. This isn’t just solving math problems, but being able to push through difficulty or confusion. Learning is a process, and not always a straight line. When children self educate, they need to be able to come up with solutions, theories, and test what they are considering. So, by teaching children how to solve problems independently you are in turn build independent learners. Take the time to build these skills in your children, remember the age-old adage, “Teach a man to fish….”
Dedicate a specific time in your week to simply teaching your children HOW to find the answers they seek. In today’s day and age with the world at our fingertips, you can easily setup a safe and effective method for your kiddos to use when ever they are stumped on a problem or activitiy. You might even create a small checklist to hang in the classroom for them to refer too when Mom or Dad are busy.
What does Teaching Responsibility and Self Sufficiency do for Your Homeschool
In addition to problem-solving, responsibility is an essential skill for independent learning. Independent learning requires personal responsibility to stay on track. They need to be self-motivated to keep going. On the other hand, self-sufficiency also encourages independent learners. Teach children life skills, handy crafts, and study skills. All of these foster self-sufficiency which gives children the confidence to pursue their own studies. It also fosters independence and the desire to do things unassisted.
Easy to Use Organization System for Homeschoolers
There is a sure way to set your children up for success, create an easy to use organization system. Organization is important to a smooth-running homeschool. Creating an organization system for resources, books, tools, and materials will help your children learn independently more readily. They will be able to find and return whatever they need to study and grow. This takes the pressure off of you and puts the responsibility onto the children to get their supplies and clean up after lessons are finished.
Free Homeschool Planning Pack
In addition, organize lessons and have clear goals. When everyone is heading in the same direction and knows where the finish line is, it gives them the freedom to reach that goal independently. This Free Homeschool Planning Pack will help you get your independent learners off to the right start!