Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Homeschooling Through the Alphabet: I is for Independent

Let's face it our job as parents is to help our kids become independent.  Along with helping my boys become life long learners I want them to be independent.

My job as a homeschooling mom entails more than just teaching my kids how to read, write, compute math facts and learn about the world around them.  I am very aware that they also need to know how to make their own decisions, manage their time, budget their money, and keep a house running smoothly.



I teach my boys independence in small little ways each and every day:

I encourage them to try new things; we teach them how to work with real tools and do new things around the house all the time.  We explain why it's a good idea to know how to do a certain job and then we model and teach them how to do it.

I encourage them to make their own decisions; considering the pros and cons and any consequences that may arise. They help pick out their school work, tell me what subjects they'd like to learn about, decide how to spend their free time, and how best to tackle their daily work load.

I try not to do things for them that I know they can do themselves; making breakfast and lunch, washing their clothes, etc.  I will help them out occasionally but I don't want to always do the things for them that they are capable of doing.

We started assigning chores to our boys when they were quite young.  We began slowly and added in one chore at a time waiting for them to master each new chore before adding in a new one.  We also made sure to holding them accountable.  Their chore is their responsibility and while we obviously help out when they're sick or something unforeseen crops up, I would not help them if they got overwhelmed because they kept putting it off until the chore got to be too much; that's a big part of teaching responsibility.

We talk a lot about household finances, budgeting money, and planning for the future.  They each have their own savings account, wallet, piggy bank, etc. and are often put in charge of smaller sums of money.  They get to decide to spend it or save up for a larger purchase.  They often work for their money too picking up jobs shoveling snow, raking leaves, and doing yard work.

I may lay out their schoolwork and school books before school starts but I do not keep after them to get it all done.  We have had days where one child or another was still doing schoolwork at 4 o'clock in the afternoon (amidst tears that they couldn't go play); a very important lesson in time management!

Others in the series:

Homeschooling Through the Alphabet:

A is for Awe
E is for Expectations
F is for Fun
G is for Games
H is for Heart

Linking Up With:

18 comments :

  1. Well done!! What a great list.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  2. Homeschooling is definately not for me personally. I am in awe of those who can achieve both roles of mom and teacher. That said I am so interested and curious about it.

    #familyfun

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    1. Hey, we all have our limits and it's good to know your own. I never thought I could do it either; my oldest begged for two years to be homeschooled before I even offered to read up about it. But once we gave it a real try we did love it and find that it just clicked for our family. Of course we make adjustments along the way as we need to but it's not nearly as hard or scary as I thought it would be. I think a lot of people are naturally curious about it because while it is growing by leaps and bounds it's still going against the norm. and that always adds some interest. Plus every family tends to find a unique way that it works for them. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  3. This is where homeschooling wins out. They don't have time to teach these skills in your average classroom. Great post.
    #familyfun

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  4. Hi, Joanne - I meet you via Wednesday AIM Link Up. As a retired school principal, I LOVE the ways that you are teaching your boys to be independent. This is an excellent list to share with others!

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    1. Aw, thank you! That is so nice to hear.

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  5. all great steps to encourage independence. :)

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  6. Thank you for sharing this post at Wednesday AIM Link Party at Grammy’s Grid. I shared it on social media. Hope you get lots of traffic!

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  7. I love this, I may not go down the home school approach but teaching them a bit of independence is vital and something that I'll definitely do. There are always consequences to their actions and it's a good life lesson to learn! It's not a Mum does all easy ride! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

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    1. Exactly! I'm pretty sure most parents teach independence no matter which route they go for schooling but I find it so much easier to find the time to teach them now that we're no longer in public school.

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  8. Great list! The most surprising part for me was perhaps the most obvious: each child develops that independence at their own pace.

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    1. Very true; just like all those other learning skills. My youngest is quite resistant to learning to do things on his own. Begs everyday for someone, anyone to make his meals for him...

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  9. I'm lagging behind these days. In the mornings, there used to be a time my son would brush get dressed have his breakfast - all on his own. But these days I realise I'm doing most of it for him! Blame the vacations - haha.

    I guess it's time to wake up a wee bit early.

    #practicalmondays

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    1. It happens! It's so much easier and faster to do things for them. I find vacations and illnesses often set us back and we don't realize we've naturally taken some of those jobs back over.

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