Thursday, March 16, 2017

Blogging Through the Alphabet: Independent Learners

This week's letter is I

Were you wondering if I had forgotten? Nope, I remembered, but life said wait. 

Wait? Yes, wait.

I could have written this post about Independent Learners and what a blessing it has been for our girls to learn how to learn on their own on Monday, but I was afraid it might get lost in the mass of reviews we posted earlier this week. :)

This is a blessing I think too many Mamas miss out on.

The blessing of having independent learners.

Independent Learners, working and homeschooling, blogging the alphabet

Let me tell you a little story about the past four days. Hopefully by the end of the story you'll have a little peak into why I am blessed by the time we put in early on by teaching our girls how to be independent learners.

Monday was the first day of work after Daylight Savings Time messed with my sleep. I got myself ready for work, checked to make sure Arlene knew what she was doing for school, and went to work. I arrived home to Arlene having done her coursework, she made dinner, and we headed out to a 3rd House legislative meeting with our State Representatives and Senator at our local library hosted by the League of Women Voters. 

Tuesday I got up early and headed in to work, while Arlene did her coursework and the laundry. That evening she had a welcome back and awards party for her volunteer position at our local history park. While she was enjoying the party with her friends, I went out to dinner with my friend Anne, whose children also volunteer there, and then we went to Goodwill.

Two days down, no input from me except to make sure Arlene knew what needed done each day. No lectures to give, and no papers to grade yet this week. Sweet!

Wednesday dawned bright, early, and cold! Arlene was helping her spinning mentor with Ag Days, a 4-H extension outreach to Second graders. She and her fellow spinner Abby worked with Sue to talk about and demonstrate spinning wool into yarn to several hundred schoolchildren. I spent the time getting my car serviced, and working on notes for my upcoming reviews. After I picked Arlene up we went to get fabric for her 4-H quilt.

Today I needed to work again. Emily had the day off of work, so I left notes for both of the girls about what they needed to get done. Once their housework, and Arlene's coursework, was done they could have the rest of the day to do whatever they wanted. When I arrived home I was treated to an explanation of how beer is really just yeast burps after they consume/ ferment too much grain. Must have been an interesting Biology lesson! :)

So now that it is Thursday evening, do I have a lot left to catch up on with Arlene for school? No. Because I invested the time when she was in Middle School to teach her how to learn, and because we lean towards the Charlotte Mason style of learning with living books and shorter lessons, plus a focus on narration, everything is completed for the week. 

What does that leave for tomorrow? Arlene and I are going to take Kurt's car for an oil change, then we're going to the gym to go swimming, followed by another stop to get quilt fabric, and an afternoon of writing reviews. Arlene will probably spend her afternoon reading a library book. 

Does this sound too simple for High School? Who decided it had to be difficult? This method fits us well, and it is realistic for both our High School Junior and this working Mama. Too often I find parents wondering if they can homeschool through High School. If you've laid a good foundation, High School is actually easier in many regards than the younger grades. 

I want to encourage you to take the time to teach your children to become independent learners, one skill at a time. I chose the picture above because it brings to memory something Arlene learned on her own: how to watercolor. I could have taught her what I know, but instead, I gave her access to two different good quality art books about watercolors. She simply read the instructions, followed the pictures, and practiced until she felt confident in her skill.

I am so thankful for Independent Learners!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Amanda and Annette for Blogging Through the Alphabet, and Kym's Homeschool Highlights! 

A Net In Time Schooling

Homeschool Coffee Break


  1. independent learners are the best! Still working our way there, but overall.. it's coming along nicely. :)

    1. I think you're doing a fabulous job of it by letting him cook on his own! :)

  2. Carol - Great post! Having a special needs child, independent learning is an ongoing, daily struggle. I know the importance of it but my son just can't seem to be motivated nor to grasp the concept. But, I'm determined!

    1. Kelly, Keep working at it! When they learn to do just one part of an assignment independently it is a major celebration! You will then be able to assign small pieces for them to do, with check-ins in between. Even if they need to sit beside you to do it, if they can focus on completing one task at time on their own it is a great skill to master!

  3. Goodness, I needed this today. I have simplified significantly this year and find myself struggling with how easy it has been to get schoolwork completed each day. No fusses (well, almost :) ) and completion, plus lots of discussions. Thank you.