A few weeks ago I shared some tips for working towards independent learning in your homeschool. I wanted to revisit this topic by sharing what a day in the life of a newly independent learner looks like.
My daughter, who is 11 years old, is relatively new at the full-time independent learning gig. She has been doing her own reading and math homework for quite awhile, but it wasn’t until last year that we instituted the morning meeting and she took control of most of her learning.
A Day in the Life an Independent Learner
I asked my daughter to share with you all what her typical day. Here’s her responses:
9:00-9:30 am – I wake up, sort of, and eat breakfast.
9:30-10:45 am – I meet with my mom about the day’s assignments.
10:45-12:00 noon – I work on my assignments, that is if my brother doesn’t bother me. He’s three, so you know how well that goes.
12:00-1:00 pm – I watch my brother while my mom makes lunch. Then, we eat and I help clean up.
1:00-4:00 pm – I finish most of my school work for the day, do my chores, and then have free time. Usually I like to work on one of my projects or play outside with my brother.
4:00-7:00 pm – I dance, well not everyday, just twice a week.
7:00-8:00 pm – I eat dinner and help clean up, again.
8:00-9:00 pm – I take a shower, get ready for bed, and hang out with my parents after my brother goes to sleep.
9:00 -10:30 pm – I head to bed and finish my reading for the day. After that I watch a show or two on my tablet and go to sleep when my dad tells me to turn out the lights.
Wrap-up from Paige
Yes, you read that right, my daughter gets out of bed late and stays up late at night. One of the reasons we homeschool is for the flexibility it allows us all :-).
So, as you can see that I only work directly with her (meaning sit down across the desk from each other) for about an hour to an hour and a half in the morning. We discuss her previous days assignments and then I teach any of the concepts she will need to complete her work for that day. The rest of the day I am available to explain things when she has questions, but she is doing the bulk of her homework on her own.
I do check over all her assignments and ask questions to ascertain her understanding the next day. I also use tests and assessments every couple of weeks to make sure that things aren’t slipping through the cracks. She’s not quite ready to be totally in charge of her learning journey. However, we have definitely moved from “tomato-staked student-teacher” connection towards a “mentor-student” relationship.
This shift has allowed me to have time to prepare her assignments, to learn the material I need to teach, and to work with her younger brother. As she gets older, we will be adding in several lecture style-classes, some of which she will do independently, some of which I will teach to her.
My hope is that this will give those of you with younger students a glimpse of what it is like to move towards independence with your homeschoolers. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.