Best of Afterthoughts, Home Education

Helping Your Children Become More Independent

February 6, 2014 by Brandy Vencel

To mix things up a little, I’m starting another series, this one about helping AmblesideOnline students become more independent in their schoolwork. Some of my suggestions will work for any homeschooler, of course, but since I don’t know what it is like to homeschool other than with AO, I thought I’d be clear about what I know … and don’t know.

And I don’t know much about what a day looks like homeschooling in an other-than-CM way. That’s a fact.

Over the years, I have thought a lot about helping my children become more independent in our homeschooling endeavor. There are a few reasons for this. The first is purely practical. The more students we are homeschooling, the more we need each child to do what he can to support the family learning project. If I am still finding pencils and paper and books for my eleven-year-old every single day, it is going to be difficult for me to also find time for important things, like teaching a little person to read or do their math.

A second reason is that it is good for children to do what they can, when they can. We don’t do them any favors when we do for them what they can rightly do for themselves.

Lastly, I think this is a natural extension of Charlotte Mason’s assertion that:

There is no education but self-education and only as the young student works with his own mind is anything effected.

Vol 6, p. 289

Yes, she means here that the child must work with his own mind, rather than the teacher chewing his food for him like a mama bird, but I think that appropriate general independence starts us off on the right foot. The child who gathers his own supplies or begins his daily lessons without being told to do so has already taken the first step in self-education.

Below is the series index. You can bookmark this page, if you like, and I’ll come back and link new posts as they are published.

Helping Your Children Become More Independent

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4 Comments

  • Reply The Importance of Independent Children (A Low-Energy Moms Post) | Afterthoughts August 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    […] ago, I wrote an extensive series on helping children become more independent. That post has a lot of details and suggestions on how to do this, including a lot of nitty gritty […]

  • Reply Ashleigh April 21, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Hi, I am excited to read this series! The link to the first article goes to the second article though. Do you mind posting the link to the first one? Thanks so much!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 24, 2019 at 8:02 pm

      Ah! Thank you for telling me! I think I fixed it. 🙂

      • Reply Ashleigh Allen April 30, 2019 at 9:21 pm

        It worked! Thank you! 🙂

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