Home Education

Helping Your Children Become More Independent: Independence, Not Isolation

March 20, 2014 by Brandy Vencel

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here is good reason to believe that, in Miss Mason’s classrooms, oral narration never ended, but continued on throughout the child’s education. In some schools, there was only one book available, and this forced the teachers to read the books aloud, even when the children were capable of reading them on their own. Later in her life, Miss Mason wondered if this reaped benefits in the lives of her students, because they had to continue listening as they grew older.

This sort of thing helps to keep the child attached to the class and the teacher, I think.

There is something to be said for learning in community. A child who can read all of his books alone need not read every single one of them alone. In fact, some books {such as The Illiad} are intended to be read aloud. Some books are best shared. Sometimes, there is a sort of bonding that happens by reading a book with someone.

It is necessary that a student learn for himself, and not depend on his teacher, yes. But I don’t want independence to be interpreted as isolation.

One time, a long time ago, a friend of mine expressed a concern about homeschoolers based upon her experience with one family. If I remember correctly, the family had a son. They may have had more than that, but this son was completely by himself, working alone, without much interaction with his parents. Of course, it may be that my friend didn’t even observe a normal day with the family, but I have always remembered this concern of hers, that the children not become too isolated, that they have opportunity to learn and be with others, to bless others, even.

I took this to heart many years ago, and I’ve always been on guard against encouraging independence that was detrimental to the family-as-community. We don’t want our members isolated. We want them independent, but in a way that points them back to the community. Their independence is so that they can grow and learn and be a blessing to others.

I thought that this warning — to foster independence, but guard against isolation — was a fitting way to end this series. The balance helps to bring us back to the golden mean, doesn’t it?

I’ve enjoyed thinking through independence with you all, but I’m also ready to move on to some different ideas to ponder, aren’t you? Next time, we’ll talk about something new.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Helping Your Children Become More Independent | Afterthoughts August 24, 2019 at 9:07 am

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