I came across this report online (see link below–you have to download it by providing your email address)
The Secret to Homeschooling Freedom
and it was a good read. Basically it talked about having your kids self teach themselves, freeing up mom to do other things such as working with younger children or working or focusing on other household things. I definitely recommend checking it out if you have a large household (and even if you don’t).
The idea (not a novel one, lol) is really intriguing to me as, like others, I find myself stressing out trying to provide each child with one on one face time with me. In addition, self teaching helps the kids to be independent learners for life so they don’t have to count on someone to obtain knowledge.
I know that I spoon feed my kids to much and marveled (not in a good way) about how I have been suppressing independence a great deal of the time rather than encouraging it. My eight year old likes to pick up her books and start without me and one day I told her to wait til I could sit down with her (which results in a lot of dead time). I stopped dead in my tracks and asked myself, what was I doing? Why did she have to wait for me? She’s a good reader masha Allah and very studious and works well on her own. It was at that moment that I begin to think, gee, I’m making my kids be dependent upon me, the exact opposite of what I wanted.
So I am trying to reevaluate and step a little out of my comfort zone and try to let them be a little more independent insha Allah. I know that it will take me some time to really feel comfortable as I don’t want them to go off and learn on their own and learn things incorrectly. (In the report, the author mentioned that she notes when new concepts come up for her younger children and she writes “see me” on their planners for that day. ) And, I love sitting down with each of them as that is some quality time, something hard to come by in such a large family, so that’s hard for me. I love to sit down and do math and science with my 9th grader, and she enjoys it too, but I don’t want to cripple her.
So anyway, if any of this is ringing true for you, take a peek at the report as there are some tips on how the author goes about using self teaching in her home (funny, its such a natural concept, that we (well speaking for myself) have to train ourselves to align with it). For some of my kids, self teaching is just not possible at this stage; my preschooler and my 12 year old …..he is still not fluent in reading, but masha Allah, I’ve given him “below” grade level work, only due to his reading level, and lately he has been more independent and I can tell he enjoys it.
In addition, I’ve got a 17 year old studying for the GED. I’ve struggled for 12 years trying to homeschool him. We’ve had more off days than on days, as in only a sprinkling of days in one given year where he’s actually done some work (not even talking about finishing it). But lately (finally after many recent lectures about what he was going to do, he was almost a “man”), he’s studying. He’s doing better than he ever has. He is more enthusiastic about it. I did help him set up a daily schedule and ok, I laid out the sections in the books, kind of like syllabuses, where each block is what I thought could be accomplished in one session. He didn’t like the weekly planner idea of writing down everything to do in one week; he likes to use the syllabuses, then he can go at whatever pace he chooses and check items off….two lessons today, or just one on harder concepts. He comes to me when he’s stuck and we discuss it. The only thing I really want to do is add in some review time where I can sit down and make sure that he is understanding everything. He asks me himself to do this as he is thinking that he maybe didn’t understand everything. So although not totally independent (our current setup), its really working, masha Allah.
Anyone else out there currently struggling to try to let go some? Love to hear from you and for those who have already mastered this……..