This series of posts addresses the rationale behind my Homeschool How-To course How to Make Learning Meaningful, Memorable, and FUN! . . . coming in September. The first Homeschool How-To course How to Teach the Way Your Child Learns is available NOW! 🙂
Must parents resort to nagging to coerce children into completing their assignments?
Responsibility is one of the hallmarks of maturity.
Ask any employer what makes a valuable worker, and you’ll find “able to start and finish duties with minimal supervision” among the top answers.
More importantly, responsibility to initiate and “own” responsibility for progress is a key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, businessmen, and CEOs.
If we want our children to become successful adults, we need to gradually transfer to them the responsibility to pursue their own education.
Now this is a long, slow process!
- It would be unreasonable to expect a 7-year-old to make his own meal choices, but it’s appropriate to encourage him to learn about and care for the needs of his pets. He’s learning to care responsibly for others who are more vulnerable.
- It would be unfair to expect a 10-year-old to clean the house as thoroughly as her parents, but it’s appropriate to begin teaching her (and her brothers) how to do various chores and expect them to complete them with minimal reminding. They’re learning to tend responsibly to stewardship of home and family.
- It would be unwise to expect teenagers to plan their own high school curriculum without supervision, but it’s appropriate to invite them to set goals, weigh in on what it will take to meet those goals, and take responsibility for meeting those requirements.
At each step, we help our children “learn how to learn.”
- We take them to the library and teach them how to use the resources there.
- We take them to interesting places and give them time to absorb what they can learn from the experience.
- We teach them to use the internet safely to research topics of interest.
- We find and introduce them to interesting people who can help them along their path. I can’t emphasize strongly enough the helpful role parents can play by helping their children meet trustworthy counselors! A “friend in high places” has given many people a boost along their path.
- “What about socialization?” By socialization, homeschoolers don’t mean “indoctrination into conformity to the norm.” We understand that true socialization involves teaching our children how to write letters requesting information, how to put together an impressive resume, how to conduct themselves comfortably and appropriately in a variety of social interactions, and how to look people in the eye and return a confident handshake.
Our goal is to teach them how to teach themselves and look for constructive opportunities to improve their knowledge.
Those are skills that will add real value to their adult lives!