Homeschooling the early years is very involved. Teaching a child to read can lead to exhaustion. There are only so many times a mom can say, “sound it out” before she feels like her brain might explode. Not to mention working on the same spelling words that you thought you already mastered. When you are in the trenches of these more aggravating lessons it can be easy to wonder, “when will my child learn independently?” In fact, I remember asking a fellow homeschool mom this when R was five. Today I am going to share the answer and a few tips for the season leading up to independence.
When will my child learn independently?
The short answer to this is when you have a child who can read and write. Many of the subjects covered can be worked on independently once a child is able to read well and write their answers without help. Some subjects will involve more time invested on your part. It will really depend on your child’s confidence and ability to handle small tasks.
A few ways to prepare your child to learn independently
Build strong reading skills
Your child will not truly be able to work independently until they are able to read all of the directions for their work on their own. The exception to this is an online curriculum that will read it allowed to them in your place.
Build strong writing skills
If you have to stop countless times to tell your child how to adequately write something then chances are they are not ready. Give your child a strong writing foundation and it will be easier for them to work independently.
Instead of changing your format completely, start small. With R, I started by doing dishes in the kitchen while she was at the table. I was still right there when she needed me but I didn’t work through each problem with her. It may be that you start by letting your child work on one assignment independently or just writing a certain portion of the assignment.
Set clear boundaries
Homeschool looks different in every home. Set clear boundaries about what learning should look like. Is your child allowed to work on the couch, in their room, or with headphones? Before setting them loose to learn independently establish these. It will help make the switch easier. My daughter loves to do the bulk of her school work on the couch and I can’t fault her for that.
Establish a routine
Does your child have to write copy work the same way each day? Do they always do a certain number or type of math problems? These may be the items you will be able to let them work independently on first. Establish the routine and then let your child take over.
At the end of the day, it will come down to your child’s confidence. When your child is able to read and write well it will really depend on how confident they are in certain areas.
Do your children learn independently yet? What steps did you take to get there?
Looking for more?